Pedagogical Stylistics: Teaching isiXhosa Poetry at Further Education Training Phase Using Text World Theory Approach
Nontembiso Patricia Jaxa
Humanities and Languages Department, School of Education, Sol Plaatje University, South Africa
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Pedagogical Stylistics
Text World Theory

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Jaxa, N. (2024). Pedagogical Stylistics: Teaching isiXhosa Poetry at Further Education Training Phase Using Text World Theory Approach. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 7(1), 118-133.


This article explores the integration of pedagogical stylistics, specifically text world theory, into the teaching of isiXhosa poetry in the Further Education and Training (FET) phase. IsiXhosa, one of South Africa’s official languages, possesses a rich poetic tradition that is deeply rooted in its culture and history. However, the effective transmission of the cultural significance and literary aesthetics of isiXhosa poetry to FET learners is challenging, because of limited availability of culturally relevant pedagogical methodologies. In this paper, we propose a novel approach, by incorporating pedagogical stylistics, a cross-disciplinary field that combines stylistic analysis and education theory into the teaching of isiXhosa poetry. In particular, the text world theory, developed by Werth, was utilised as an analytical framework, and an IsiXhosa poem was used as a model. The study adopted a qualitative-argumentation approach to analyse Chief Markers’ Reports for the subject IsiXhosa Home Language regarding the performance of Grade 12 learners in the poetry section of this subject. The reports range from 2019 to 2022 and contain both quantitative and qualitative assessments. According to the reports, learners’ scores are low and some fail the poetry section, which makes up 37.5% of the total mark of the literature paper in IsiXhosa Home Language. According to the Chief Markers’ Reports, learners struggle to understand word meanings, context and textual meaning and they lack knowledge of literary and poetic devices. The findings of the study indicate that the text world theory approach can be useful to enhance learners’ engagement with isiXhosa poetry, by encouraging them to participate actively in constructing meaning through their cultural and linguistic experiences. Moreover, the pedagogical stylistics approach facilitates the appreciation of poetic devices, themes and socio cultural contexts, which leads to a deeper understanding and connection with isiXhosa literary heritage.

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