The implementation of the Learn English Audio Project (Leap) continues to strengthen, with the training of field researchers taking place in Gauteng this week.
Leap is a British Council and Department of Basic Education project to improve listening and speaking skills in learners, whilst ensuring access to quality English learning materials on micro-SD cards delivered via solar powered MP3 players popularly known as ‘Lifeplayers’.
The Lifeplayer technology has been developed in South Africa, thus ensuring its relevance and long-term sustainability.
The project is being implemented in 159 schools in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
This week subject advisers from these three provinces gathered at the South African Council of Educators offices in Gauteng for training on research methodology and instruments ahead of the rollout of monitoring and evaluation of the project. The monitoring and evaluation exercise will assess the impact of the project thus far.
The subject advisers will be tasked with visiting all the schools currently utilizing the leap system to evaluate whether the programme is beneficial to learners, teachers and school management. The researchers will conduct surveys, classroom visits and interviews with all stakeholders at the schools to get a sense of the project’s effectiveness.
The Leap project was introduced and launched by the Minister of Basic Education in South Africa in 2014 with the distribution of resource material and the training of teachers in 5 districts in the three provinces identified for the pilot. The British Council has already collected information from teachers involved in the project using questionnaires and telephonic surveys. If the outcome of this research project is favourable, the DBE and the British Council will explore further avenues to support schools with English teaching audio resources in other parts of the country to strengthen and enhance the teaching and learning of English First Additional Language in Grades R to 4 in multi-grade schools.