How to Teach CAPS English Senior Phase First Additional Language: Practical Tips and Strategies

Master the art of teaching CAPS English FAL in the Senior Phase with engaging methods like group work and debates, fostering critical thinking and communication skills in learners.

Teaching English First Additional Language (FAL) in the Senior Phase can be challenging for educators. CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) provides guidelines for teaching FAL in grades 7-9. It aims to develop learners’ language proficiency, communication skills, and critical thinking abilities. However, implementing these guidelines can be time-consuming and require much teacher effort.

One of the critical aspects of teaching CAPS English FAL in the Senior Phase is creating a stimulating learning environment. This can be achieved by using various teaching methods, such as group work, debates, and role-playing. Teachers should also incorporate real-life situations and examples into their lessons to make them more relevant and engaging for learners. Additionally, they should encourage learners to express their opinions and ideas freely, which will help to develop their critical thinking and communication skills.

Another important aspect of teaching CAPS English FAL in the Senior Phase is providing learners with regular feedback and assessment. This will help them identify their strengths and weaknesses and improve their language proficiency. Teachers should also use a variety of assessment methods, such as written assignments, oral presentations, and tests, to evaluate learners’ progress and provide them with constructive feedback.

Understanding the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS)

The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) is a comprehensive policy document outlining the learning and teaching requirements for all South African school system subjects. CAPS guides teachers in teaching, assessing and evaluating learners in a structured and consistent manner.

For English Senior Phase First Additional Language, CAPS guides the content, skills and knowledge learners should acquire at each grade level. The CAPS document outlines the learning outcomes, assessment standards, and assessment tasks for each grade, which teachers should use as a guide when planning their lessons, assessments and evaluations.

One of the critical features of CAPS is that it is outcome-based, meaning that it focuses on the knowledge, skills and values that learners should acquire rather than just the content they should learn. This approach encourages teachers to design interactive, engaging lessons relevant to learners’ lives and that promote critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity.

CAPS also emphasizes the importance of assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Teachers must use various assessment methods, including formal and informal assessments, to evaluate learners’ progress and provide feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. The assessment tasks outlined in CAPS are designed to be authentic, relevant and meaningful and to assess learners’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts.

Teaching Strategies for English Senior Phase First Additional Language

Teaching English as a First Additional Language in the Senior Phase can be challenging. Still, with the right strategies, it can be a rewarding experience for both the teacher and the learners. Here are some effective techniques for teaching English to Senior Phase learners:

  • Use authentic materials: Use materials such as newspapers, magazines, and videos to make the learning experience more engaging and relevant to the learners.
  • Encourage active participation: Encourage learners to actively participate in class by asking questions, sharing their opinions, and engaging in group discussions. This will help them to develop their language skills and build their confidence.
  • Provide opportunities for reading and writing: Provide learners with opportunities to read and write in English by assigning reading tasks, writing assignments, and group projects. This will help them to develop their reading and writing skills.
  • Use technology: Use interactive whiteboards, educational apps, and online resources to enhance the learning experience and make it more interactive and engaging.
  • Provide feedback: Provide learners with feedback on their language skills and encourage them to improve by setting achievable goals and providing constructive feedback.

By using these strategies, teachers can create a dynamic and engaging learning environment to help Senior Phase learners develop their English language skills and achieve their full potential.

Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment and evaluation are crucial components of teaching the First Additional Language in the Senior Phase. The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) outlines a comprehensive assessment programme designed to spread formal assessment tasks throughout the school year. 

The assessment process involves gathering, recording, interpreting, using, and reporting information about student performance. Teachers should use various assessment methods to evaluate student progress, including tests, projects, presentations, and observations. They should also provide regular feedback to students, highlighting areas of strength and areas that need improvement.

Teachers should consider content knowledge and language proficiency when evaluating student performance. They should assess students’ ability to communicate effectively in English and their understanding of English grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. Teachers should also evaluate students’ reading and writing skills, including their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts.

Teachers should use assessment results to identify areas where students need additional support and to adjust their teaching strategies accordingly. They should also use assessment data to track student progress over time and evaluate their teaching methods’ effectiveness.

Resources and Materials

Teaching CAPS English Senior Phase First Additional Language requires various resources and materials to ensure learners receive a well-rounded education. Here are some of the essential resources and materials that you will need to teach this subject effectively:

  • Learner’s Books: These books are designed to provide learners with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in English First Additional Language. They cover various topics, including reading, writing, and speaking.
  • Teacher’s Guides: Teacher’s Guides are essential for any English First Additional Language teacher. They contain detailed lesson plans, assessments, and other teaching materials to help you plan and deliver practical lessons.
  • Literature Anthologies: Literature Anthologies are collections of literary works, including poems, short stories, and plays. They are an excellent resource for teaching learners about literary genres and styles.

In addition to these resources, there are also various online resources and materials that you can use to supplement your teaching. These include:

  • Online Dictionaries: Online dictionaries are essential for learners trying to improve their vocabulary and language skills. They provide learners with the definitions and meanings of words and their pronunciation.
  • Grammar and Writing Guides: There are many online grammar and writing guides that you can use to help learners improve their writing skills. These guides cover various topics, including grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.
  • Online Language Learning Platforms: There are many online language learning platforms that you can use to help learners practice their English language skills. These platforms offer a range of activities, including reading, writing, and speaking exercises.

It is important to note that the resources and materials you use will depend on your teaching style and the needs of your learners. Be sure to choose resources and materials that are appropriate for your learners’ level and abilities, which will help them achieve their learning goals.


Teaching English First Additional Language in the Senior Phase is critical to the South African education system. It requires competent and dedicated teachers willing to go the extra mile to ensure their learners can communicate effectively in English. 

From the research, it is clear that learners’ comprehension and cognitive academic skills can be enhanced through effective teaching methods and classroom interaction. Teachers need to ensure that they use appropriate teaching methods that are learner-centred and that promote active participation in the learning process. 

It is also essential for teachers to provide learners with ample opportunities to interact with the language both inside and outside the classroom. This can be achieved through various resources such as reading materials, audio and visual aids, and language games. 

Finally, teachers must assess their learners’ progress regularly and provide constructive feedback to help them improve their language skills. This can be done through various assessment methods such as oral presentations, written assignments, and tests. 

In conclusion, teaching English First Additional Language in the Senior Phase is a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right approach and dedication, teachers can help their learners develop the necessary language skills that will enable them to succeed in their academic and professional lives.