Parents' and teachers, attitude towards the use of english as medium of instruction at lower basic level in Livingstone and Namwala District of Southern Province , Zambia
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This study set out to investigate the attitude of both parents and teachers towards the use of English as medium of instruction at lower basic level in Livingstone and Namwala districts of Southern Province. Secondly, the study sought to establish whether parents and teachers were in any way consulted when either deciding or making adjustments to the language policy in education. Additionally, the study investigated the possible reasons why Zambia has continued to use English as medium of instruction since 1966. A descriptive survey design was used for this particular study and the study sample of 160 respondents was selected. These included 40 parents and 40 teachers from each of the responding districts to ensure a fair and representative distribution. The study employed two sampling techniques. These were stratified and purposive sampling techniques. Stratified random sampling was used to select responding schools and communities in each of the selected districts based on their geographical location. Additionally, stratified sampling ensured a representative and fair distribution in areas such as age, gender and location. Purposive sampling, on the other hand, guided the researcher to concentrate only on those teachers and parents who had relevant information for the study. A multi - method approach in data collection was used in this research. This was achieved through the use of questionnaires, focus group discussions and interviews. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in analyzing the data. Qualitative data were analyzed through the coding and categorization of themes while quantitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).The findings of the study were that both the teachers and parents had a negative attitude towards the use of English as medium of instruction at lower basic level. It was revealed that there was a communication gap between the teachers and the pupils since most children at lower basic level did not understand English. Therefore, they felt that both English and a dominant local language should be used as medium of instruction. The teachers also disclosed that they were never consulted when the government made adjustments to the language - in education policy. The study also revealed that colonial legacy and multilingualism were the main reasons why Zambia had continued to use English as the sole official medium of instruction at all levels of education. Recommendations made include the need to adjust the language in education policy so that it accommodates a dominant local language to be used with English as media of instruction. The study further recommends that where possible, lower basic classes should be given to local teachers in order to facilitate bilingual instruction in the classroom situation. It was also recommended that where possible, a local language should be used exclusively as medium of instruction in the first two years of education. Additionally, the study recommended that parents and teachers should be fully involved in the choice of the language of instruction at all levels of education. Finally, the study recommended that a further study that will involve pupils should be conducted of English as medium of instruction especially at lower level of education.
English Language---Study and Teaching
English Language---Remedial Teaching