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Language of Instruction and Learning in Mathematics and Science in Some African Countries

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image of African and Asian Studies
For more content, see Journal of Asian and African Studies.

Abstract This article looks into the unfounded belief in many so-called anglophone countries in Africa that mathematics and science are best taught in English and not in an African language, the language pupils and teachers normally speak and command much better than English. Examples are given from Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Ghana. The reintroduction of English from the 5th grade in primary school in maths and science in the Kiswahili speaking island of Zanzibar is discussed at some length. Examples from Africa are contrasted with examples from some Asian countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia. The attitudes of parents which are built on a misconception are analysed. The article ends on a more optimistic note claiming that misconceptions can be altered.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Educational Research, University of Oslo Norway


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