Attitude of non-native cinyanja teachers and parents towards using cinyanja as medium of instruction at lower primary in Chilanga district
Matyola, Owen Gubula
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This qualitative study examined the attitude of non-native cinyanja teachers and parents towards the use of cinyanja as a medium of instruction in Chilanga district. The study was carried out because of the 2013 new language policy in the Zambian education system which advocates for the use of a familiar local language. It is argued that the use of local languages for initial literacy promotes acquisition of literacy skills which can enable learners transition effectively to the second language. A case study design was used in the present study. The sample comprised 15 teachers, 4 head teachers and 15 parents who were all purposively sampled from four primary schools. Semi structured interviews were used to collect the data which were analysed using the thematic approach. The results indicated that teachers and parents had positive experiences as the use of cinyanja was being implemented as a medium of instruction at lower primary in Chilanga district. The study further established that teachers felt that the selection of cinyanja as a medium of instruction was good mainly because it was the language of play for children. To the contrary, the study indicated that parents were not in favour of the selection of cinyanja as a medium of instruction. They instead mainly supported English, while others who opposed cinyanja supported code switching, mother tongue and Soli being an indigenous language for Lusaka. The study revealed challenges such as inadequate teaching and learning materials, complexity of chewa, regional transfers and private schools, Limited vocabulary and translational challenges, pronunciation and mother tongue interference, over enrolment and breakdown in children‟s native language and culture. The study recommends that the Ministry of General Education must expedite the production and distribution of teaching and learning materials so as to end the challenge of inadequacy of materials at the level of implementation with regard to the language policy. The study further recommends that the Ministry of General Education needs to find a lasting solution to the problems associated with teacher placement as it was established that the teachers who are non-indigenous to the language used as medium of instruction were finding challenges in terms of linguistic knowledge in Cinyanja. Keywords: non-native, medium of instruction, Cinyanja, teachers, parents, lower primary schools.
The University of Zambia
SubjectNon-native--Study and teaching--Cinyanja--Zambia
Language and language--Study and teaching--Zambia
- Education