Original Research

Playwriting as an emergent pedagogical tool for primary school student teachers

Mosa N. Khasu, Elizabeth Henning
Reading & Writing | Vol 15, No 1 | a437 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v15i1.437 | © 2024 Mosa N. Khasu, Elizabeth Henning | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 April 2023 | Published: 31 January 2024

About the author(s)

Mosa N. Khasu, Department of Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Elizabeth Henning, NRF SARChI Research Chair, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: This research explored how classroom plays could serve as pedagogical tools to introduce children to Sesotho and isiZulu vocabulary of artificial intelligence (AI). The article captures how student teachers learned to write plays that they could produce when they become professional teachers.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore how student teachers engaged in a playwriting process, creating drama texts for early grades primary school learners about AI.

Method: The qualitative study employed, a participatory action research design. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with the student teachers, coupled with a dual analysis of their drama texts. An inductive thematic analysis approach was applied for the data from interviews with the students. A deductive approach was implemented to analyse the drama texts according to criteria for playwriting with a pedagogical purpose.

Results: The findings revealed that playwriting as a tool for pedagogy can be useful in developing student teachers’ vocabulary of AI in Sesotho or isiZulu and to develop their playwriting skills.

Conclusion: The findings contribute to the corpus of pedagogies for the teaching of vocabulary in African languages, which includes writing the texts and aiming to use these for reading experience and for dramatic activity in early grades classrooms.

Contribution: The contribution of this study is how playwriting can serve as a pedagogical tool for the teaching of reading and vocabulary in the primary school.


playwriting; vocabulary; Sesotho; isiZulu; early grades; reading; artificial intelligence; remote learning

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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