Original Research

Realising that the out-of-school environment could influence the development of Foundation Phase learners’ literacy skills

Anna J. Hugo, Metse J. Masalesa
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 11, No 1 | a840 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v11i1.840 | © 2021 Anna J. Hugo, Metse J. Masalesa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 January 2020 | Published: 21 May 2021

About the author(s)

Anna J. Hugo, Department of Language Education, Arts and Culture, Faculty of Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Metse J. Masalesa, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Mpumalanga, Nelspruit, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: In this article, an analysis is done of the out of school factors of Foundation Phase learners that could influence the proper development of these learners’ language abilities. Specific reference is made to the home environment of Foundation Phase learners in rural Mpumalanga.

Aim: This article aims to draw attention to the fact that there are many factors in the out-of-school environment of Foundation Phase learners that could influence the young learners’ ability to develop their language skills and language abilities well.

Setting: This article relates to the out-of-school environment of Foundation Phase learners with specific reference to the influence of the environment at home of Foundation Phase learners in four schools in rural Mpumalanga. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system’s theory is incorporated as it explains the home environment as the microsystem in a child’s life. The home is the place where a child’s first and vital education takes place and where the acquisition of language skill begins.

Methods: In this article, sections from a qualitative research project, as well as a literature review were used.

Results: The results show that there are many factors in the out-of-school environment of Foundation Phase learners that could influence the development of the learners’ language skills and language abilities.

Conclusion: The authors argue that if teachers and other school staff members are aware of the many aspects arising from the out-of-school environment that could influence young learners’ well-being and progress, especially with regard to language abilities at school, they could help to address and overcome the unconstructive language influences in the lives of their young custodians.


Keywords

literacy skills; Foundation Phase; out-of-school environment; home environment; families’ socio-economic situation; parental involvement; role of siblings and grandparents; influence of the community

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