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Does the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement Address Teaching and Learning of Reading Skills in English First Additional Language?

Johannah Mapotlakishe Rapetsoa, Rachael Jesika Singh


There has been a general outcry in South Africa that learners’ reading ability has deteriorated. This could be attributed to the fact that since 1998, new curricula were consistently introduced and changed with an aim of redressing the legacy of apartheid. The whole process of curriculum change not only affected the learners’ ability to read, write and count, but the quality of education as well. When reading skill are not developed, learners cannot cope with their academic responsibilities. The aim of this article is to determine whether the recent curriculum, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), gives the teaching and learning of reading skills the necessary attention, and whether there is improvement in the reading ability of learners. The study used the mixed methods approach, but focused mainly on the qualitative approach, and employed a small scale quantitative focus to collect data from grade ten English First Additional Language (EFAL) learners and their educators, as well as curriculum policy documents. Although on paper CAPS seems to be a good curriculum, three years after its inception, educators are concerned about the reading ability of EFAL learners who are in grade ten in the Further Education and Training (FET) phase. Findings from educators and learners’ data indicate that there are some learners who can read well and those who are lagging behind. The challenge of educators not receiving intense training in order to implement the new curriculum was also highlighted. The study recommends that training of educators to implement the new curriculum EFAL educators should focus on building vocabulary and teaching comprehension skills so that the reading levels of EFAL learners in the FET phase can be enhanced.


CAPS; curriculum; English First Additional Language; reading; reading ability

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