Die onderrig van woordeboek- en taalvaardighede aan Grondslagfase-leerders

  • Michele F Van der Merwe University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: pedagogical lexicography, dictionary skills, language skills, school dictionaries, assessment, intervention


A new star appeared on the South African lexicography horizon in 2010 with the publication of the Grondslagfasewoordeboek Afrikaans/English. This was the first South African dictionary that was specifically planned, adapted and designed for use of learners in the Foundation Phase. It differs radically from previous dictionaries that were published for the target market. The uniqueness in design resulted in a combined picture dictionary, as well as an alphabetical dictionary.  Official languages such as Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi and Setswana are presented with English as language pairs. Research on the teaching of dictionary as well as language skills of Afrikaans speaking Foundation Phase learners was undertaken.  The main purpose of the research was to determine if training in dictionary and language skills would have any influence on the learners’ dictionary and language skills.  During the research it is reflected on and determined which dictionary and language skills learners possess and which they should possess to be able to make use of a dictionary successfully, how to determine those skills and also if the Grondslagfasewoordeboek is suitable for usage in school. A dictionary project was undertaken in certain schools in the Boland, with participation of primary schools, the researcher, as well as the publisher of the dictionary. A process of action research, that is research in the classroom, was followed. Dictionary as well as language skills of learners were assessed, an intervention took place during which dictionary skills were taught for six weeks in the schools, where after a second assessment of dictionary and language skills took place.  After the intervention the learners showed a considerable increase in dictionary and language skills.

Author Biography

Michele F Van der Merwe, University of Stellenbosch
Michele van der Merwe is lektor aan die Fakulteit van Opvoedkunde aan die universiteit van Stellenbosch waar sy Afrikaans op voorgraadse en nagraadse vlak doseer. Sy spesialiseer in leksikografie, veral opvoedkundige leksikografie. Haar navorsing sluit die onderrig van woordeboek- en taalvaardighede, die skep van ‘n woordeboekkultuur in skole, asook die gebruik van (vak)woordeboeke via tegnologie in.