LANGUAGE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE FOUNDATION AND INTERMEDIATE PHASES: A CASE OF A PRIMARY SCHOOL IN LIMPOPO PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA
University of Limpopo (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The paper reports on the findings from the study that sought to understand language of teaching and learning in the foundation and intermediate phases and its impact on the academic performance of learners. The study is important because it provides challenges encountered in the classroom when implementing policy framework on language of teaching and learning. It has potential to inform curriculum designers to bring about concerted efforts to the review of the policy. The purpose of the study was to investigate the classroom experiences and reflections of changing from mother tongue, Sepedi to English as a language of teaching and learning. And further suggests ways to address the learning deficits that are prominent amongst learners at the early schooling careers. A qualitative case study wherein participatory observations, open-ended questionnaires and unstructured interviews were used as data collection methods. Twenty teachers and four school managers were purposively sampled from one Limpopo primary school. The findings revealed that learners and teachers don’t cope with switching from Sepedi to English that is used as the language of teaching and learning, due to interference of dialects and slang in Sepedi usage; open door policy that allows first encounter of the school’s adopted mother tongue, namely Sepedi; and unqualified foundation and intermediate phase teachers. This study concludes that the change from mother tongue to English poses challenges to learning and teaching at the intermediate phase. This study recommends the placement of qualified teachers in the early childhood development phases; and that more professional teacher’ development programmes with focus on ECD (Early Childhood Development) content and pedagogies need to be rolled out that.
Keywords: Early childhood development, professionals’ teachers development, dialect, slang, pedagogies.