Students’ reading ability has a profound influence on their academic performance. In order to assist students to handle their Sociology readings successfully, Dr Naomi Boakye of the Unit for Academic Literacy organised a workshop to train Sociology tutors on the use of effective reading strategies. The workshop was opened by Prof Adelia Carstens, Director of the Unit for Academic Literacy.
It was a collaboration between the University of Pretoria (UP), the Cape Peninsular University of Technology (CPUT) and the Catholic University of America (CUA). Dr Boakye and her research assistant, Ms Vimbai Mbirimi were the UP presenters. Sanet Cox and Susan Wust from CPUT presented on the use of cognitive strategies in reading, and Prof Angela McRae from the University of Maryland and the Catholic University of America presented on affective strategies for improving students’ reading comprehension. The three-day workshop was attended by 10 tutors; seven of them were responsible for tutoring students taking the first-year Sociology module.
Ms Linda-Ann Alston of the Unit for Academic Literacy, and Dr Nanda Klapwick from the Linguistics Department, UNISA, were also present at the workshop. On the third and final day, Prof Angela McRae presented on the integration of cognitive and affective strategies. She showed the tutors how to combine cognitive and affective strategies in their tutorials in order to enhance students’ use of reading strategies to improve their reading comprehension. Prof McRae also visited a school in Atteridgeville and observed a Grade four English language lesson.