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Teachers do not easily identify or use the thinking skills (support skills) present in themselves in their planning activities.
The learners equally when they move from the Foundation phase to the Intermediate phase [from grade 3 to grade 4] do not reflect such support skills.
Learners are thus unable to work quickly enough to acquire the new skills that are required in the next stage of their education.
The problem of learning another language often encountered by learners when they come to formal school exacerbates the already challenging circumstances reflected in a country impacted by poverty.
They have already acquired thinking skills in the process of learning their primary or home language.
They often begin to learn this additional language during the foundation phase, and then in the intermediate phase they have to use the new language for the acquisition of knowledge and learning.
In the schools in this study both the teachers and learners usually have to use the additional language as the language of learning and teaching(lolt).
The main thrust of learning and teaching takes place in the intermediate phase where new subjects and learning areas are introduced and grounded.
Alston holds a BA in English and Theology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education.
He successfully completed his PhD from the University of Johannesburg in 2008.
He works with the Mpumalanga Department of Education.
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