An evaluation of the Language Integration Programme (LIP) for English second language pupils at Eastwood Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg.
The end of the apartheid era in the history of South Africa resulted in many black pupils being admitted to schools which were previously used exclusively by either coloureds, Indians or white pupils. However, the newly admitted black pupils spoke English as a second language in schools where the medium of instruction was English. Consequently, the black pupils' inability to cope with English as a first language meant that they were at risk of failing at school. In an attempt to reduce the risk of the black pupils failing, Eastwood Secondary School introduced the Language Integration Programme. The school hoped that the programme would accelerate the black pupils acquisition of the English while simultaneously making academic progress in their other subjects. The aim of this study was to gain insights into the results of the Language Integration Programme. The research questions focused on the views of the parents of the pupils who were in the programme, the teachers at the school, the pupils who were in the Language Integration Programme, as well as the principal and deputy principal of the school. Both closed and open-ended types of questions were used in the questionnaires that were administered to the parents, teachers and pupils, as well as in the interviews that were conducted with the principal and deputy principal. The findings from the questionnaires and interviews were supplemented by information that was obtained from the school's VRE-52 academic records. The findings of the study revealed that there was an improvement in the Language Integration Programme pupils' English language and communication skills. The findings also showed that there was a positive relationship between the pupils' performance in English and their performance in their other subjects while they were in the Language Integration Programme. Recommendations that arose from the study of the Language Integration Programme were that there is a need for placement tests to identify the background knowledge of the pupils so that the material in future programmes is not too easy for the pupils in the programme. The study also revealed that the class size in programmes similar to the Language Integration Programme should be kept as small as possible if the programme was to achieve maximum effectiveness because weaker pupils generally need more attention.
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