August 12, 2015

Background

Main Aim

happy kids

The main aim of VocabAfrica is to improve the vocabulary of Grade eight learners by means of quarterly, online tests.

Any learner from Grade six to Grade twelve in a government or private school, however, can take part in the competitions or complete the Pilot Tests. There are no entrance fees.

Although it is recommended that learners complete the test between 07:30 and 07:50 on the scheduled dates, learners can take the test at any time between 07:00 and 15:00.

Scheduled dates for 2018:

  • 2 March 2018
  • 18 May 2018
  • 31 August 2018
  • 26 October 2018

Background Information

The first VocabAfrica competition was held in 2013 for five schools in the Eastern Metropole of the Western Cape (picture above).

Similar vocabulary competitions were held in 2014 for schools in the Northern and Southern Metropole of the Western Cape. In June 2015 learners from 8 schools took part in an online competition. In September and October 2015 invitations were sent to a few schools in the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal. Approximately 2300 learners took part in the October 2015 competition.

In October 2015 a timer was linked to test. This timing device facilitated the completion of the test. Although it is recommended that learners complete the test between 07:30 and 07:50 on the scheduled dates, they can do it between 07:00 and 15:00 on that particular day. They can do it wherever it suits them as long as they do not get any help from another person. Learners are allowed to use a dictionary (a printed book or an electronic dictionary).

In October 2015 a tie-breaker was linked to the test. For practical purposes all learners who get 80% or more for a test, must complete a tie-breaker immediately upon completion of the test. The tie-breaker is a test that consists of 30 questions. Participants must complete the tie-breaker in less than 3 minutes.

In May 2016 a shorter format was introduced. Learners had to complete 50 questions in 10 minutes instead of a hundred questions in 20 minutes.

 

Although it is recommended that learners complete the test between 07:30 and 07:50 on the scheduled dates, learners can take the test at any time between 07:00 and 15:00.

Pilot Tests

The long-term aim of the Pilot Tests is to determine the competence levels of Grade eight learners and to start a database with information about the receptive vocabulary knowledge of Grade eight learners in South Africa.

Eventually we would like to develop equivalent forms of the different tests with corresponding norms that will enable learners to plot their progress from Grade one to Grade twelve.