Original Research

The effectiveness of an English nutrition education game on knowledge retention in Grade 5 isiZulu-speaking learners

Nicola L. Wiles, Rebecca A. Esteves, Annette van Onselen
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 36, No 1 | a1426 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v36i1.1426 | © 2017 Nicola L. Wiles, Rebecca A. Esteves, Annette van Onselen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 August 2016 | Published: 21 April 2017

About the author(s)

Nicola L. Wiles, Dietetics & Human Nutrition, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rebecca A. Esteves, Private Practice, South Africa
Annette van Onselen, Dietetics & Human Nutrition, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

A good understanding of nutrition concepts enables a person to convert basic knowledge into the ability to take action. At the time of this study a game testing nutrition education concepts in English among isiZulu speaking learners had not been investigated. The objective of the study was to determine the effectiveness of an English Food-Based Dietary Guideline (FBDG) nutrition education game on the retention of nutrition knowledge among isiZulu speaking learners. An intervention using a pre-test post-test design. A five part questionnaire was administered to determine levels of nutrition knowledge before and six weeks after a nutrition education board game intervention. A total of 169 Grade 5 learners from two schools in Sweetwaters, KwaZulu-Natal, participated in this study. Baseline results showed that the learners had very poor knowledge of the basic FBDG. The question regarding the food fortification logo showed most improvement overall, with statistical significance ( p = 0.000). The pictorial representation of information in the game helped the learners improve their knowledge retention for certain questions. While there was very little improvement in the retention of knowledge as a whole, the control group experienced a significant increase in their post-test knowledge score (p = 0.011). Poor English proficiency may have influenced the effectiveness of the intervention. Nutrition education games have the potential to improve nutrition knowledge. Priority should be given to increasing English language proficiency among isiZulu speaking learners to improve their ability to retain nutrition information taught at school.

Keywords

Opvoedkundige voedingspeletjies; behoud van voedingskennis; taalvaardigheid

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