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Reading & Writing

On-line version ISSN 2308-1422
Print version ISSN 2079-8245


CEKISO, Madoda et al. Factors affecting Grade 6 learners' reading performance in a rural school in Maluti, South Africa. Reading & Writing [online]. 2022, vol.13, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2308-1422.

BACKGROUND: Rural learners face severe reading challenges that are unique to their environment. The challenges include parents' low level of education, little or no parental support, lack of reading material, and parents' low socio-economic status. It is therefore important that rural education research highlights these challenges in order to help in addressing them. OBJECTIVES: The study sought to explore the factors affecting the reading performance of Grade 6 learners from the Maluti District in the Eastern Cape. METHODS: The study was qualitative in nature and a case study design was followed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 purposively selected learners. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory was used as a theoretical framework to anchor the study. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. RESULTS: The findings showed that the reading performance of learners from rural areas such as the Maluti District was affected by several factors, specifically, the low level of education of their parents, a home environment that is not conducive for after-school reading, the parents' socio-economic status, and non-availability of reading material at school and at home. CONCLUSION: Recommendations are made for appropriate interventions that seek to overcome the identified factors that hinder rural learners' reading performance. The study identified a number of contributing factors that are likely to serve as barriers to rural learners' reading performance. Knowing these factors is likely to assist teachers in making educated judgements regarding the teaching methods and the appropriate strategies to employ to help learners overcome the identified barriers to reading.

Keywords : illiteracy; reading performance; Maluti District; sociocultural theory; quantile schools.

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