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Title:The use of Shona as the medium of instruction in the first three grades of primary school in a Tonga-speaking community: teachers' and parents' perceptions
Author:Mavunga, GeorgeISNI
Year:2010
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (ISSN 1022-8195)
Volume:41
Issue:1
Pages:126-147
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:languages of instruction
Shona language
primary education
attitudes
Tonga (Zambia, Zimbabwe)
Abstract:This article investigates teachers' and parents' perceptions of the use of Shona as the medium of instruction in the first three grades of primary school in a Tonga-speaking community. Research was carried out at four schools and their surrounding communities in Nyaminyami District of Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe. While the principal method of data collection was the interview, observation and document analysis were also used to collect data. The major findings were that while a few parents and teachers felt Shona should not be used as the medium of instruction in the first three grades of primary school in a community where the majority of the pupils' mother tongue is Tonga, a large number felt that Shona should continue to be used as such at this level, mainly for the purpose of integrating Tonga children into the wider Zimbabwean society. For pedagogical, psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic reasons, the article recommends the use of Tonga as the medium of instruction in the lower grades of primary school, at those schools in Nyaminyami District where the majority of the pupils speak Tonga as a first language. App., bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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