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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Codeswitching in mathematics lessons in Zimbabwe
Authors:Dube, Ruth
Cleghorn, Ailie
Year:1999
Periodical:Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research (ISSN 1013-3445)
Volume:11
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:1-12
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:mathematics education
primary education
multilingualism
Shona language
education
languages of instruction
mathematics
learning
Primary schools
Abstract:This article reports the preliminary results of an ongoing study of codeswitching between English and Shona during the teaching of mathematics in a cross-section of twelve primary schools in Zimbabwe. During each lesson which the authors observed, the following questions were explored: How frequently does codeswitching occur? Under what circumstances and/or at what points during the lesson does codeswitching occur? What are the apparent purposes of codewsitching? What evidence is there that codeswitching facilitates or impedes learning? Who (teacher or pupils) engages in codeswitching? Overall it appears that codeswitching serves three main purposes: to explain or clarify procedures to be followed, to promote understanding of important concepts, and to build an affective bridge between the school and the home. When children do not understand what they are taught due to inability to understand the language of instruction, then codeswitching provides a valuable resource for promoting understanding. Bibliogr.
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