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Skilled reading in isiZulu: what can we learn from it?

Study of what the orthography of isiZulu requires of readers. As an agglutinative language with a conjoined writing system, isiZulu carries meaning not only in separate words, but also in morphemes that cluster together, forming long complex words. Eye tracking data shows that competent adult readers of isiZulu move their eyes across text in saccades (shifts of the point of focus) that are short in comparison with the saccades of efficient reading of English. It also shows that readers of isiZulu fixate on points of text for longer periods than do readers of English. The key argument of the paper is that the orthography of isiZulu has features that require attention by teachers of reading if their learners are to benefit from the advantages that reading in their first language should bring.
Author(s): Land, S.


Land, S. 2015. Skilled reading in isiZulu: what can we learn from it? Journal of Education, No. 63, 2015

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