The use of literature both in and outside the classroom is of the utmost importance and must be taken note of by language teachers. The National Curriculum Statement provides the guidelines for teachers to select texts themselves. This leads to teachers only selecting the well-known texts which results in learners only getting to know very few literary works. Older texts are the ideal option for text-selection for the teaching of literature in the classroom. They are still very relevant for classroom use and are considered to be necessary and an integral part of the study of literature. But the teaching of older literature is often neglected especially in the Afrikaans classroom. The Afrikaans literary tradition is still very young in comparison to other languages and consequently does not provide the same type of older texts that for instance English can provide in the form of Shakespeare for teaching purposes. An alternative would be to make use of Middle Dutch and nineteenth century Afrikaans texts. Although these texts aren’t always accessible for learners in the twenty-first century, this problem can be solved by writing a study guide for the purpose of studying older texts. This study guide is obviously meant for learners who can cope with the difficulty of the texts and is therefore meant for home language speakers in the grade 12 classroom. A study guide such as this must be written with a heterogeneous group in mind and should reflect the guidelines as contained in the National Curriculum Statement, especially with regard to the learning activities included in the study guide. To make the study guide user friendly it is better to present the older texts parallel with a translation. This will prevent readers from constantly having to search for footnotes at the bottom of the page. A parallel translation will also make the texts much more accessible. The purpose of the study guide is not to force learners to read Middle Dutch, but rather to expose them to older literature connected to Afrikaans. The teacher can use his own discretion to decide which of the older texts he/she wants to discuss or explore. Concerning the nineteenth century Afrikaans texts it is unnecessary to translate them. It is, however, important to provide sufficient background information in the case of both the Middle Dutch and the nineteenth century Afrikaans texts. By providing cultural history as background information the reader will be enabled to make better sense of the characters and the texts themselves. Readers should then be able to better understand the context in which the texts were produced.
Dissertation (MA (Afrikaans))--University of Pretoria, 2007.