The use of adapted teaching strategies in literacy by grade three educators in the northern KwaZulu-Natal region
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The literacy levels in South African schools are alarmingly low. Educators are challenged in diverse classrooms with multicultural and multilingual learners as they are faced with the problems that these learners are experiencing in literacy. Educators therefore need to be able to adapt their teaching strategies to suit the needs of their learners to address learners’ different learning needs and styles. This study investigated the use of adapted teaching strategies used by grade 3 educators in literacy in selected schools in northern KwaZulu-Natal. A mixed methods research design was used which included the use of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to gather data. The findings which were linked to the literature review revealed that educators lacked adequate knowledge and skills to adapt their teaching strategies as they have not been adequately trained to teach literacy within multilingual contexts. Although some educators were using adapted teaching strategies they were not using them effectively in their multilingual classrooms while some educators did not have a wellstructured intervention programme at school to deal with learners who were experiencing problems with literacy. Inexperienced educators also had problems identifying learning styles and adapting their teaching strategies. This study found that teachers require continual professional development to enable them to effectively adapt their teaching strategies to suit individual learning needs and styles.