Teachers' language practices in the teaching of mathematics in a grade four multilingual classroom in Zambia.

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Mambwe, B.
Ndhlovu, B.Z.
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Studies in Educational Management Journal
Zambia has seventy‐three (73) recorded languages with seven considered as major languages. The diversity of ethnic groups with their related languages has led to the existence of several traditions and cultural practices which have implications on the education of children. The Ministry of Education introduced the use of a familiar language as a language of learning in primary schools from grade one to four. The current study explored the teachers’ language practices when teaching mathematics in a multilingual class. We sought to establish the language practices of teachers and learners in the process of mathematical knowledge acquisition in the classrooms. The research was carried out in two selected primary schools in Lusaka district, Zambia. The target population was teachers and pupils in the 4th grade whose mother‐ tongue was not the language of instruction. The research was qualitative in nature and it took the form of grounded interpretative classroom research. The lesson observations and recordings served as empirical basis of the results. The results showed that teachers used code‐switching, translation, body language and visuals. The study recommended among other aspects continued use of code‐switching as a bridging mechanism between the conversational register and the mathematics academic register.
Research Article
Mathematics register. , Multilingualism. , Language practices. , Code-switching.
Mambwe B. & Ndhlovu B.Z (2020) .....