School of Education

Critical Approach to Language Explored in PhD Research

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Dr Senele Nsele’s PhD research explored an approach that enables teachers and learners to be more critical about language used in literary texts and social phenomena.

Nsele was the first student at UKZN’s School of Education to receive the Talent Equity and Excellence Scholarship and today he is a lecturer in isiZulu Education at the School.

‘During my days of being a high school educator, teaching was based on only one approach which focused mainly on textual structure and its elements, thus my enthusiasm to dig deep to discover approaches which can be used by teachers to create critical engagement with literary texts.

‘My research results showed that there is a need to teach critical language awareness and social phenomena through literary texts. I came up with a model which can be used in teaching prose in African languages,’ said Nsele.

He says conducting research and working remotely due to strict COVID-19 regulations was were challenging as he had to adapt to the change of being at home, where there were often disruptions.

The highlight of his research project was when he presented papers from his study in partnership with his supervisor, Professor Thabsile Buthelezi.

Nsele says doing the research has helped him grow personally and professionally.

Now focusing on development and growth as an academic and researcher, he advises his peers to believe in themselves and ‘never give up no matter how challenging it gets’.

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