INTRINSIC DETERMINANTS AFFECTING THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERACY: A CASE STUDY OF SOUTH AFRICAN ESL LEARNERS
University of the Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:International surveys (such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study survey in 2006 and 2011 and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study survey in 2003 and 2011) have shown that academically South African learners compare poorly with other African countries and countries abroad. In addition South African statistics indicate that 50% of learners that start school will progress to Grade 12, whilst only 40% will pass Grade 12. Consequently, numerous South African learners, the majority of whom are English second language learners, do not reach their full potential. Researchers investigating this South African phenomenon argue that learning the English language is not simply limited to cognition, but various intrinsic and extrinsic factors interplay and interact with one another to facilitate language acquisition. Whilst acknowledging the prominent role of home- and school-related factors, in particular the input of the second language teacher, the current research explores English language learning by investigating the role of intrinsic factors such as motivation and self-concept and how these factors influence English language learning. For the purpose of this study, 201 secondary learners were purposively drawn from three secondary schools in South Africa. Results from the present study yielded positive correlations for both motivation and self-concept, as well as re-affirmed why both determinants provide a key impetus to initiate and sustain English language learning. The paper concludes with a synoptic summary of the pedagogic value of this investigation.
Keywords: English Academic Proficiency, ESL learners, Self-concept and Motivation.