The comprehension of ellipsis in isiXhosa-speaking Grade 1 learners

Research Article

The comprehension of ellipsis in isiXhosa-speaking Grade 1 learners

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2022.2148706
Author(s): Joanine Nel University of Pretoria, South Africa


Ellipsis occurs on and above sentence level, forming a part of the discourse-internal linguistic devices that children need to access and comprehend narratives and other classroom discourse for literacy and academic literacy development A dearth exists in the knowledge about the development and mastery of ellipsis in child language, specifically for speakers of African languages regarding both first and second language acquisition timetables and contexts. This study aimed to ascertain how well Grade 1 isiXhosa first language (L1) learners,with isiXhosa as their language of learning and teaching (LOLT) compared to other Grade 1 isiXhosa L1 learners with English as their LOLT; while evaluating if gaps exist in the possible mastery and development of ellipsis with regard to the LOLT. The isiXhosa LOLT group mastered both noun and verb ellipsis by time 2, while the English LOLT group showed no mastery by time 2; although statistically significant development occurred between time 1 and 2 for the English LOLT group. A statistically significant difference is apparent in the comparison between the isiXhosa and English LOLT groups for both times and ellipsis types, which points to a lack of comprehension of ellipsis in a non-mother tongue LOLT, which may impact future literacy development.

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