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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The use of the mother tongue (Shona, L1) in second language (English, L2) instruction and learning in Zimbabwe: a case for a common underlying hypothesis
Author:Nyawaranda, VitalisISNI
Year:2000
Periodical:Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research (ISSN 1013-3445)
Volume:12
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:25-42
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:language instruction
English language
languages of instruction
Shona language
mother tongues
education
language policy
Teaching
Abstract:Zimbabwe's language policy stipulates that all instruction, except in the teaching of indigenous languages, should be in English after grade three of primary school. Two case studies that examine the use of Shona by two English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers at secondary school level suggest that there are different opinions among teachers on the role of the mother tongue in instruction and that classroom practice is guided more by a teacher's personal beliefs about the best way to learn a language than by the national language policy. The continued use of Shona in ESL instruction, let alone its use in the teaching of other subjects, shows the complexity of choosing which language to use in the classroom and demonstrates that language use in the classroom cannot be effectively legislated by language policy. Moreover, Zimbabwe's policy on the language of instruction seems to be in contradiction with recent research on the use of the first language in second language instruction, although the debate on the possible transfer between the first and the second language is not conclusive. Bibliogr., sum.
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