MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Magda Cronje
Comments: 0
Article views: 661
Latest Badges:

View all Magda Cronje's badges.

2 DBE documents that should align are in direct opposition to each other

09 May 2018, 13:16

Most SA children do not learn to read in Grade 1 because they have to learn reading in two languages at the same time. It is due to two DBE documents that should align, but are in direct opposition to each other.

The Government policy on Education is firstly spelled out in the CAPS Curriculum of the Dept. of Basic Education (DBE), but in the case of Grade 1 English First Additional Language there is also a “Lesson Plan” which serves as Teacher’s Manual for the classroom. These two documents should align closely but they don’t. The thick “Lesson Plan” used by Grade 1 teachers is in direct contradiction to the CAPS curriculum. Here is something from both:

Extracts from two DBE documents that are not in accord (emphasis mine)

"CAPS Curriculum" – First Additional Language English, Grade 1

"Fortunately, children can transfer many literacy skills from their home language." When children begin to read and write in their additional language, they already know how to decode in their home language. If they learn phonics in their home language, they do not need to learn sound-spelling relationships all over again in English.

From the 3rd term of Grade 1, when learners have established some literacy in their home Language, the teacher can start labelling objects in the classroom…

In Grade 1, learners need to be exposed to lots of oral language in the form of stories and instructionsTotal Physical Response.

It is important that in Grade 1 children develop a strong oral foundation in their additional language.  Otherwise, they will not understand the words they are decoding in English in Grade 2, and the work they do in phonics will simply become ‘barking at print.’ Children are often able to decode in their additional language, but unable to understand what they read. They lack sufficient vocabulary and grammar to make sense of what they read. 

"Lesson Plan" – First Additional Language English, Grade 1 Term 1

Use display boards. Each will be used for a different set of words each week.


Week 3: boy, girl, I play, like , you, big, small, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, happy, sad, feel.

Week 4: jump, leg, try, feet, hands, ball, touch, tongue, open, close, face, fingers, toes, arm.

Week 5: children, candle, birthday, (+ 10 more words)


Week 3 & 4: cat, hat, fat, sat, rat (mat, pat)...

Week 5: hit, sit, lit, kit, fit, pit, bit. “Guess which word is behind my back.” Sound: s..i..t.

Writing frame

Week 3 & 4: This is me… Week 5: I am __ years old.

(Sight Words are added in Term 3)


The CAPS resonates with Second Language Acquisition Research taught at universities.

With the Lesson Plan, however, children will not acquire much English or learn to speak it, and they will not learn to read well and with understanding, not in any language.

Is this not the main reason why SA was last again in the latest PIRLS international survey on the reading of Grade 4 learners? It was in the news Dec. 2017 that 78% of them cannot “read for meaning.” The fact that most SA children are learning to read in two languages simultaneously, and the confusion it causes them, is at the root of many of our problems.

The children who are in Grade 1 this year will be in Gr. 4 when the PIRLS 2021 survey is taken again. If nothing is done soon to stop them being confused by written English, and to teach them to read well in their own languages, their education will also be a failure. 

What can be done to stop the injustice done to the masses of SA children? Can Grade 1 teachers be asked to stop using the "Lesson Plan" but rather to use only the CAPS? Can they be given guidelines in newspapers on teaching spoken/oral English? The CAPS speaks of "Total Physical Response" but teachers do not know how to teach children to react to may instructions such as Jump, Turn around, Touch/Pat/Rub your ear/ head/ arm - and later to let all children give each other such instructions. Newspapers can also encourage parents and others to help children start speaking English, so that they can know English before they start reading it in Grade 2.

Newspapers can also volunteer to launch a competition for new First Reading Lessons in every SA language, with a small prize for the winning school. (I can give some guidelines on a new method for teaching initial reading in African languages that is suited to African children and languages). The new lesson material in newspapers can then be copied by teachers for use. Parents and others can also use the newspaper material to help all our children to read soon. 

Dr Martha M Cronje

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Dear EFF, go find yourself anothe...

The revelations of the unabated pillaging that has taken place of VBS bank and the corrupt recipients of the stolen money notwithstanding, I have finally decided to tender my resignation as your patsy.  Read more...

0 comments 2357 views
Submitted by
Lana Kay Burger
Angry single mom won't stand for ...

Further to the article written regarding the education department's placement decision, I would like to tell my story. Read more...

0 comments 1576 views
Submitted by
Tau Tawengwa
Omotoso and the dangers of fantas...

The best way to protect our people from cults, is to ensure that they are empowered to make better choices through educational and informative programs. Read more...

0 comments 273 views
Submitted by
Sally Ann Martin
Minibus taxis - a law unto themse...

Minibus taxi drivers rule the road with impunity, hazards flashing, crossing solid lines, weaving in and out of traffic, driving up a one way, reversing back into oncoming traffic, “conductors” attempting to herd and hustle unsuspecting pedestrians into their bus. Read more...

0 comments 3730 views
Submitted by
In response to Sally on 'The dama...

Are we not all in our own way to our own degree narcissists? Are we not to somebody else, a particular individual person we perhaps do not gel well with a full blown narcissist? Read more...

0 comments 1037 views
Submitted by
Dr. Rabelani Dagada
Open letter to EFF deputy preside...

South Africa’s banking sector features among the most highly concentrated banking sectors globally, with the Top 5 controlling approximately 90% of the market. Read more...

0 comments 2499 views


Press Code We subscribe to the Press Code.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

Terms and Conditions Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2018 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.