Bilingual and biliterate? An exploratory study of Grade 8 reading skills in Setswana and English

DS Matjila, Elizabeth Pretorius


In this paper we present findings from a pilot study that examined the reading abilities in Setswana and English of Grade 8 learners, and their literacy practices and attitudes. In the light of these research findings, it is argued that unless learners are provided with meaningful opportunities to develop their reading skills and are exposed to reading materials in both languages on a regular basis from an early age, they will be inadequately prepared to cope with the high literacy demands of the twenty-first century. What is needed is a meaningful school reading programme geared towards exposing learners to books and helping them develop skilful reading strategies so that they can ‘read to learn’ more effectively.

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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