The language of instruction in mathematics teacher education for the early grades

South African Journal of Childhood Education

Field Value
Title The language of instruction in mathematics teacher education for the early grades
Creator Shuukwanyama, Tulonga T. Long, Caroline Nkosi, Absalom David Maseko, Jeremiah
Subject Education; Childhood Education; Mathematics mother tongue; code-switching; language policy; mathematics; social construction; preservice teachers; micro-teaching; English
Description Background: Teaching mathematics in junior primary classroom requires an understanding of concepts and knowledge to communicate them applicably. The role of language of instruction is thus deemed significant in creating adequate insight into mathematical content. Teacher training institutions are therefore required to produce skilful teachers to utilise the mother tongue (MT) as medium of instructing mathematics.Aim: Lecturers’ perceptions on the use of MT in the teaching of mathematics is viewed crucial in determining the values and emphasis they place on the preparation of student teachers to effectively teach mathematics in MT. The study aims at uncovering the perceptions of mathematics lecturers regarding MT instruction in the University.Setting: The study was conducted at one of the University of Namibia campuses which train teachers.Methods: Purposive sampling was used to select four lecturers. Semistructured individual interviews were used to obtain lecturers’ perspective on the stated issue.Results: Findings indicated that although lecturers were aware of the benefit of teaching mathematics in MT, not all were in agreement with teaching in MT especially at the university. Findings further indicated that there are various impediments for teaching mathematics in MT at the university including students’ background and the lack of resources, including lecturers who speak the MT.Conclusion: A recommendation deriving from the study is that two parallel policies for language in education are implemented, one pertaining to the school environment, under the control of the Ministry of Education, and one pertaining to the tertiary education, under the auspices of the university. For tertiary education it is advocated that courses embrace both the official English language, as well as the Mother Tongue, in equal proportions.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2022-08-31
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Qualitative research; Case study; Interview
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajce.v12i1.1108
Source South African Journal of Childhood Education; Vol 12, No 1 (2022); 9 pages 2223-7682 2223-7674
Language eng
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Coverage — 2020 —
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Tulonga T. Shuukwanyama, Caroline Long, Absolum David Nkosi, Jeremiah Maseko