Language of learning and teaching as a barrier to effective implementation of CAPS: Narratives of Grade 10 Life Sciences teachers

Florah Moleko Teane


The study sought to provide information about the experiences of Life Sciences teachers in the implementation of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) using English as the language of learning and teaching (LoLT). Life Sciences, as a subject within the Further Education and Training (FET) band, underwent a series of policy changes over a very short period. The teachers in the Bojanala East District in the North West Province were faced with the challenge of implementing the new policy known as CAPS using English as LoLT. A qualitative research design was employed for the study. The researcher used a purposeful sampling technique to select 33 Grade 10 Life Sciences teachers as participants. Data were collected using one-on-one interviews, focus group interviews and document analysis to investigate the performance of Grade 10 to 12 learners in Life Sciences over a period of three years. Findings of this research indicate that the use of English as LoLT in teaching Life Sciences prevented learners from sufficiently understanding the subject. In addition, learners seem to struggle with new terminology as implemented by the policy changes.


English, Language barrier, Learner performance, Life sciences, Life sciences, Teachers, Teaching and learning,

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

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