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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A note on language of instruction, teaching and cognitive outcomes of science instruction in primary schools in Kisii and Kwale districts, Kenya
Authors:Eisemon, T.O.ISNI
Nyamete, A.ISNI
Cleghorn, A.
Periodical:Kenya Journal of Education
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:science education
primary education
languages of instruction
Abstract:Many educators in Kenya and elsewhere have assumed that the use of vernacular languages in foreign language immersion situations inhibits the acquisition of communication skills in the target language, in this case English. However, reliance on English to teach science subjects in primary schools in Kenya may be a source of imprecise and often confusing instructional discourse as the teacher searches for English language equivalents of non-equivalent or more familiar vernacular language terms. This is illustrated with transcripts of Standard VIII and Standard VII science lessons in primary schools in Kisii and Kwale districts. Scientific knowledge may require explanation in the student's mother tongue or in another vernacular language. Moreover, the instructional use of vernacular languages may prompt their development as languages of scientific discourse in everyday life. Greater use might be made of vernacular languages, perhaps even at the expense of developing English language skills, if it can be shown that this facilitates the teaching and learning of science and other subjects of practical importance. Bibliogr.