Exploring factors influencing teachers’ expectations of learners’ reading practices


Research demonstrates that teachers’ expectations could influence learners’ reading achievements, both positively and negatively. Specifically, teachers’ expectations determine the level and type of instruction they would map out for learners, which can, in turn, impact learners’ academic outcomes. The goal of the current study is to explore the factors influencing teachers’ expectations of their learners’ reading practices in two South African schools. The study was qualitative and followed a case study design. A sample of six teachers was purposively selected based on the criterion that they were English First Additional Language teachers of reading in the Intermediate, Senior and Further Education and Training Phases. The researcher employed semi-structured, face-to-face interviews to collect data and a process of inductive analysis of the qualitative data. The results revealed that teachers’ expectations concerning their learners’ reading practices were determined by several socioeconomic factors. These include learners’ reading culture, ill-disciplined learners, a lack of parental support regarding reading, a lack of resources, poverty, and a lack of knowledge and responsibility. The findings also demonstrated that, despite unfavourable learning settings, teachers had unique strategies for improving their learners’ reading achievements.

Author Biographies

Dr Olifant, Tshwane University of Technology
Tilla Olifant is a lecturer in the Department of Applied Languages at Tshwane University of Technology. She holds a Doctoral Degree in Language Practice (DDLP) from the same institution. Her area of expertise is reading practices of secondary school learners studying English as their First Additional Language. E-mail: OlifantFM@tut.ac.za
Prof Cekiso , Tshwane University of Technology
Madoda Cekiso, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology. He specialises in psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and onomastics. He has published several papers in the African Journal of Disability, Reading & Writing, South African Journal of Childhood Education, and Journal for Language Teaching, Journal of Social Sciences, and Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology. E-mail: CekisoMP@tut.ac.za
Dr Boakye , University of Pretoria
Naomi Boakye is a senior lecturer in the Unit for Academic Literacy at the University of Pretoria. She obtained her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Pretoria. Her research and supervision areas include Academic Reading, Academic Literacy, Translanguaging in education, Reading comprehension, Socio-affective factors in reading development, and Reading strategies. E-mail: naomi.boakye@up.ac.za