Classroom interaction pedagogy in teaching English First Additional Language to enhance learners' communicative competence

Keywords: Classroom Interaction Pedagogy, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, interactive activities, social interaction, teacher efficacy, verbal communicative competence


Verbal communicative competence in English First Additional Language (EFAL) is particularly important in the intermediate phase (grades 4-6) of South African public primary schools. This article is part of the researcher’s doctoral study conducted in Ekurhuleni North District, in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers in the intermediate phase implemented a classroom interaction pedagogy (CIP) in teaching EFAL to enhance learners’ communicative competence. The study was constructivist in nature, informed by teacher efficacy and social interaction theories. A qualitative exploratory case study design was used. Five intermediate phase EFAL teachers from two public primary schools were purposely selected to participate in the study. Document analysis, observations and semi-structured interviews were utilised to collect the data. Data collected were categorised and themes were identified. It was found that teachers relied heavily on the use of charts and pictures, and appeared to ignore or be unfamiliar with some of the kinds of interactive activities and other classroom resources that can enhance communicative competence in EFAL. The study concluded that teachers need development in CIP interactive activities. For this reason, in-service training is recommended. Further recommendations suggest that, in order to maintain the use of EFAL in the classrooms, teachers should act as role models and use the target language at the learners’ level by employing gestures and scaffolding their speaking skills.


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Author Biography

Margaret Malewaneng Maja, University of South Africa
Margaret Malewaneng Maja is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instructional Studies at University of South Africa. She is interested in the teaching of English as additional language in the Intermediate Phase.Email: