Shared writing as first phase in writing instruction of Intermediate Phase Afrikaans Home Language learners

17 Apr 2019

Since 2012, the poor literacy levels of Intermediate Phase (IP) learners have been a concern for officials in the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). Responding to the literacy crisis, the WCED has implemented the South African Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), along with various other literacy interventions, but in the West Coast District, IP learners? writing skills remain poor. Focusing on the West Coast District, this article sheds light on the implementation of writing-instruction practices in Afrikaans classrooms, specifically ?shared writing?, as outlined in CAPS. The article maps the theoretical and conceptual framework of the writing process. In particular, it discusses Vygotsky?s and Piaget?s ideas on social-cognitive development and scaffolding, which propose that a competent adult should interactively model the writing process to learners before practice and independent writing are attempted. Current literature in the field of writing instruction foregrounds the concepts of ?thinking aloud? and a ?shared pen?, according to which the teacher and learner co-compose a text, allowing teachers to model writing strategies and learners to become competent writers. In this study, quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to describe and understand West Coast District IP Afrikaans Home Language teachers? implementation of shared writing. Data collection consisted of quantitative and qualitative questionnaires, as well as interviews, with results converted into percentages. Subsequent data analysis disclosed the patterns, strengths and weaknesses experienced by IP Afrikaans Home Language teachers in the West Coast District, and provide valuable insights into the implementation of shared writing.