Physical Science teachers’ use of reading strategies in a South African context


  • Sonica Swart Department of Education
  • Maryna Reyneke North-West University
  • Salome Romylos North-West University
  • Washington Dudu North-West University


Teaching in global multilingual societies requires a change of instruction concerning reading comprehension, as many learners are not instructed in their home language. Reading comprehension skills are lacking in South Africa and are discernible in subjects like physical sciences, where the text requires high levels of cognitive thinking. This study focused on improving reading comprehension using strategies like vocabulary, syntactical awareness, and text recognition, among others. An interpretative qualitative approach was chosen to determine to which extent reading strategies are used and taught in the physical sciences classroom. Semi-structured interviews and non-participant teacher observations were conducted to determine the participants’ knowledge of and ability and skill in using reading strategies. The study found that the use of reading strategies in physical sciences classrooms was limited, and the participants (physical sciences teachers) were unable to integrate many strategies to assist with reading comprehension.


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Author Biographies

Sonica Swart, Department of Education
Post-level 1 teacher at public school
Maryna Reyneke, North-West University
Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning Faculty of Education Research interests: Assessment in education Language across the curriculum
Washington Dudu, North-West University
Deputy Dean: Research and Innovation: Faculty of Education Inquiry-based teaching which incorporates nature of scientific inquiry and nature of science within the school science curriculum. Lately, from 2019 my focus also includes inquiry-based teaching and learning practices coupled with indigenous knowledge perspectives in the science curricula. Curriculum Teaching Assessment Nature of Science