Original Research

Teachers as change agents: Teaching English First Additional Language in schools in Gauteng

Roy Venketsamy, Zjing Hu
Reading & Writing | Vol 15, No 1 | a431 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v15i1.431 | © 2024 Roy Venketsamy, Zjing Hu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 March 2023 | Published: 29 March 2024

About the author(s)

Roy Venketsamy, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa
Zjing Hu, Department of Complementary Medicine, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Teachers are responsible for curriculum implementation and transformation. Therefore, they are viewed as the primary agents of change in teaching and learning. As agents of change, they are responsible for being innovative and creative in their teaching and learning in their English First Additional Language (EFAL) class.

Objectives: The study aimed to explore South African teachers as agents of change in teaching EFAL in their Grade 3 classes.

Method: This study adopted a qualitative research approach with an interpretivist paradigm. The researcher wanted to explore teachers’ lived experience as agents of change in the Foundation Phase class. A case study design with purposive sampling was used.

Results: The findings revealed that teachers understood their roles and responsibilities as change agents in their classrooms. They agreed they were responsible for implementing the curriculum to improve basic literacy skills among EFAL learners.

Conclusion: The study found that teachers, as agents of change, needed support in continuous professional development to implement the curriculum. They also highlighted the need for help from their school management teams.

Contribution: This study contributes to a deeper understanding of the role of the EFAL teacher. They are no longer mediators of learning but agents of change in teaching, learning and curriculum adaptation. Their roles go beyond imparting knowledge to learners. They are developers and mediators of critical thinking, decision-making, communication, use of technology and relationship-building skills.


agents of change; teachers; Foundation Phase; English First Additional Language; EFAL

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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