Importance of Schooling

Topics: Education, School, Teacher Pages: 5 (1870 words) Published: October 24, 2011
The most important part of school is learning, not only learning languages but also other fields such as science and history and the academic jargon that goes hand in hand with these other skills. As can be seen from Mgqwashu's (2002) article he was disadvantaged by not getting the proper education that a school child should have gotten. Without these requirements that learners get from school they cannot extend their knowledge and education, although, some do with great difficulty. The disadvantages Mgqwashu experiences are experienced by many school students to date. Writing about such problems, Hyland introduces a teaching practice which seems fit to get rid of the negative experiences. This essay focuses on Mgqwashu's difficulties at school and what is used as a medium of instruction by the teachers, genre approach, role of a teacher, avoidance of negative experiences, assumptions of lecturers,

Mgqwashu (2002) writes his article to make his voice heard about the problems he went through at school and at university. His experiences, both at school and university, represent the learning experiences of all learners and students not just him. Mgqwashu does this to show there is a problem in the school system that needs to be evaluated and fixed. Mgqwashu relays the information about the hardships he had as a student. He represents all learners and students as if to say they all share common educational background. Although this might be true in the educational system where students like Mgqwashu in the black township school system were not taught to write an academic essay, he also refers to other problems and says that every school child in the black townships went through this as well. However in this case it is not true. He assumes that all black township school teachers used their mother tongue as a mode and medium of instruction. "Mother- Tongue was the medium of instruction (by default), did more harm then good" (Mgqwashu, 2002: 2). This statement is not true for everyone because in some schools teachers did use English as their medium of instruction, unlike Mgqwashus' teachers who used their mother tongue. One must remember that although Mgqwashu (in the bigger picture) is said to represent all learners and students each student goes through their own experiences. Therefore it is preferable to say Mgqwashu talks and represents the majority of students in the South African school context.

To solve these problems as mentioned above Hyland talks about the genre approach to teaching, reading and writing. This approach emphasized on the importance of text structure and teaches us how to use language for different goals we want to achieve. He points out that "teachers have always distinguished between narratives, expositions, reports and so on, when setting written work" (Hyland, 1992: 18 ). What Hyland has to say here is clearly not what Mgqwashu sees and gets taught. This is evident in Mgqwashu's statement where he points out that "Our teacher, then a student at on of the teacher training colleges, 'taught' us essay writing..." (Mgqwashu, 2002: 4). From this statement, we clearly see that Mgqwashu's student-teacher that was meant to teach them never did. Due to the student-teacher never teaching Mgqwashu and the other students they could not have learnt and understood about the different types of writing. This student-teacher might have known about the different types of writing but she never passed the information on. When the reader reads that the student-teacher never conveyed the information to the students. One can conclude that the teacher, herself, did not know these different types of writing for different purposes.

Based on the concept mention above- genre theory or the genre approach- one needs to understand the different education principles and approaches to teaching. Although most teachers get taught the same way to plan their lesson and then to teach it some do not practice it that way...
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