LITERACY DEVELOPMENT AND SELF-CONCEPT OF ENGLISH SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS: A REVIEW OF THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES
University of the Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Statistics reveal that the quality of literacy performance of learners in South Africa is poor. Various factors, such as the complex socio-economic circumstances in South Africa, including poverty, the policy of having eleven official languages, a troubled educational system, the legacy of apartheid, and a high rate of unemployment have contributed to the low levels of literacy among a large part of the population. Drawing on Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Systems Theory this theoretical paper explores the interplay between extrinsic and intrinsic factors that contribute to first-language (L1) and second language (L2) acquisition and the effect of these factors on the self-concept of ESL learners. An exposition of Bronfenbrenner’s theory is conducted, including discussing how it relates to literacy development, scholastic abilities and the self-concept of ESL learners. Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Systems Theory demonstrates the interactive role of various extrinsic and intrinsic factors within the different systems of the total functioning of the individual. These include the interaction between individual learners and their contexts, as well as the effect of this interaction on individual growth and change. A learner’s experiences at school, support systems at home and in the community, relationships with peers and friends, as well as the availability of essential resources will have a direct effect on the quality of his or her scholastic success, including his or her literacy development and self-esteem. Through an intensive investigation of Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Systems Theory this theoretical paper aims to explore the interaction between the various systems wherein an individual function, the systems’ perspective influence on his or her literacy and academic ability, as well as the role of an individual’s self-concept in the whole process.
Keywords: Literacy, self-concept, ESL learners, Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Systems Theory.