Reading for riches: a Vygotskyan analysis of English writing by D.E.T. matriculants

Masters Thesis


Faragher, Lynette Dorothy Pears. 1995. Reading for riches: a Vygotskyan analysis of English writing by D.E.T. matriculants. Masters Thesis Master of Education. University of Stellenbosch.
Title

Reading for riches: a Vygotskyan analysis of English writing by D.E.T. matriculants

TypeMasters Thesis
Authors
AuthorFaragher, Lynette Dorothy Pears
SupervisorOdendaal, Marie
Institution of OriginUniversity of Stellenbosch
Qualification NameMaster of Education
Number of Pages198
Year1995
Abstract

This thesis addresses the problem of the assumed deficit mind-set brought by some L1 and educated L2 speakers of English to the English output of L2 speakers.

It was hypothesised that insights from the work of L.S. Vygotsky will redress the assumption that non-standard writing of English reflects linguistic and intellectual incompetence.

It was hypothesised further that a word count, the analysis of metaphors used in the writing and an understanding of idiosyncratic expressions are tools that can be used to develop a system of evaluation that would apply Vygotskyan thinking in evaluation methodology.

British and American mainstream evaluation methodology and language theories were compared with Vygotsky and set in a Vygotskyan perspective to establish a methodology for this project.

A sample of essays written by DET matriculants was analysed with the tools mentioned above and it was found that the writers of the essays had achieved self-regulation. This finding suggests cognitive and linguistic competence. Furthermore, if readers of the essays focus on the strategies used to make meaning rather than on the non-standard forms produced then they are likely to approach the writing with a positive mind-set. However, more research is needed before the tools can be incorporated into an evaluation instrument.

KeywordsESL; english as a second language; South Africa; college students
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440107. Social and cultural anthropology
470306. English as a second language
470411. Sociolinguistics
Byline AffiliationsStellenbosch University, South Africa
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