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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


SHUUKWANYAMA, Tulonga T.; LONG, Caroline; NKOSI, Absolum David  and  MASEKO, Jeremiah. The language of instruction in mathematics teacher education for the early grades. SAJCE [online]. 2022, vol.12, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2223-7682.

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

Keywords : mother tongue; code-switching; language policy; mathematics; social construction; preservice teachers; micro-teaching; English.

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