Unathi: The case study of a South African ESL learner who excels at writing in English

  • Susan Ntete


This article discusses the case study of a learner in Mdantsane Township in the Eastern Cape. Most black learners find it difficult to express themselves effectively in English. According to a survey made by Bot (1996) majority of black grade 7 learners are unable to read in English.  Many black learners in South Africa The study, which focused on five learners was an attempt to explain why some learners whose mother tongue is Xhosa are an exceptionally proficient writers of English. The article describes one of these learners and his writing practices. The data collected include formal interviews with this learner as well as an analysis of some of his writing. Some tentative conclusions are reached relating to the role of the teacher and certain affective factors. The article concludes with a few implications for researching teachers.


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Author Biography

Susan Ntete
Susan Ntete teaches at the University of the Western Cape in the Faculty of Arts, Department of English.  (email:  sntete@uwc.ac.za; tel:  021 959 2410).