Understanding the intended and enacted National Certificate Vocational English curriculum

Madileng, Mary Mmatsatsi
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This thesis is premised on the notion that the perceived lack of quality of curriculum delivery in the vocational education sector in South Africa is probably due in part to the weaknesses of content knowledge selected for inclusion in the curriculum of various programmes offered in the vocational education sector. The thesis examines the nature of knowledge specified in the English subject offered in the Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) Colleges. Drawing on Basil Bernstein’s notion of the pedagogic device, the study follows the English curriculum as it starts from the production field where new ideas are created and modified, to the recontextualization field where curriculum designers and textbook writers produce written curriculum documents, to the reproduction field where the students are taught and examined. The study further examines the English lecturers’ insights about their perceptions and understanding of the curriculum they teach from. My findings indicate that the English curriculum follows an outcomes-based design structure, and displays a lack of conceptual integration, knowledge sequence and progression. The approaches to the teaching of English which inform the construction of the intended curriculum display characteristics of a generic horizontal nature. The intended curriculum does not incorporate features that encourage a mastery of technical terms which are appropriate for different occupational fields followed by the TVET College students. The design structure of the curriculum fails to guide the lecturers in terms of unpacking approaches to the teaching of English and how to use them in their teaching, as well as clarify the progression process and ways of aligning lesson planning to the occupational needs of the students. An analysis of this curriculum identifies strengths and weakness, highlights accomplishments, and focuses on realistic policy alternatives for the TVET sector, curriculum design, pedagogical and assessment practices.
A thesis submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg , 2017
Madileng, Mary Mmatsatsi (2017) Understanding the intended and enacted National Certificate Vocational English Curriculum, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/25731