Yizani – resources for teaching isiXhosa as an additional language

The Incremental Implementation of African Languages (IIAL) is a programme by South Africa’s Department of Basic Education to introduce the learning of an African language as a second or third language for pupils at schools. This programme will start learning-language in grade 1 and then follow it through to the end of schooling in grade 12 – that’s where the incremental implementation part comes in. While a laudable initiative, there are not enough trained African languages teachers in schools currently. The public broadcaster SABC has attempted to assist with a terrifying puppet-show series, but it fails to provide adequate support to teachers and guidance on how to structure a lesson. With Yizani, we’ve attempted to bridge this gap.

Read more

Grammarly – a user review

Grammarly is a digital writing tool that aims to improve the quality and clarity of your writing. It is pretty much your wordprocessor’s spell and language checker on steroids. Grammarly has an online platform as well as as a chrome and Microsoft word plugin, but I use the desktop app. My workflow is writing in Google Docs and then copy and paste to a new document in Grammarly for editing and checking. You can, however, also import materials directly if you are working in Word or another word processor.

Read more

Learning Theory: Connectivism

In today’s fast-paced digital world, traditional learning theories may not satisfy the need for constant knowledge expansion and skill acquisition. Connectivism, a learning theory developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes, offers a fresh perspective that aligns with the demands of the 21st century. This theory emphasises the role of networks, relationships, and technology in learning, suggesting that learners are more connected than ever.

Connectivism suggests that individuals learn by establishing connections between various sources of information and nurturing those connections to create a vast, interconnected web of knowledge. Connectivism posits that learning occurs through active exploration and participation in numerous connections rather than simply absorbing information. It’s considered a response to the significant advances in digital communication, acknowledging the need for learners to adapt and make continuous learning choices more effectively.

Given the enormous importance of these networks in contemporary learning cultures, connectivism can provide valuable insights into how people can best learn and adapt to an ever-evolving digital landscape. By embracing this theory, educators, students, and lifelong learners alike can better understand and utilise the most resourceful ways of acquiring and sharing knowledge in an age of technology and global interconnectedness.

Read more