Teacher perspectives on the effect of using Chinyanja as a medium of instruction on reading levels of grade four (4) learners in selected government primary schools in Lusaka district.

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Seyaya, Amina
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The University of Zambia
The aim of this study was to establish teachers’ perceptions on the effect of using chinyanja as a medium of instruction on reading levels of grade four (4) learners in a multilingual Lusaka District. The research design was a case study. Qualitative methodology was used to collect and analyze data. The methods used were interviews, observations and document analysis. Grade four pupils were only observed and some talked to during break time. Simple random and purposive sampling were used to come up with a sample consisting four primary schools, four head teacher, six grade four teachers and twelve parents. The data was analyzed qualitatively and grouped into identified themes generated from the research objectives. The findings revealed that teachers and learners were facing phonological, morphological and semantic challenges. Pupils had problems in understanding what the teacher said in Chinyanja due to lack of proficiency in Chinyanja. On the other hand, some teachers whose mother tongue was not Chinyanja had some challenges when communicating to the learners during literacy lessons because of language barrier. The differences between Chinyanja and learners mother tongue contributed to the learning difficulties among the children. Parents found it very difficult to help their children with homework in reading because of high levels of illiteracy among them, regional parents’ transfers, negative impact of technology and also different language used in their homes. The study concluded that the effects teachers, pupils and parents were facing were many of using Chinyanja as a medium of instruction contributed greatly to the difficulties in teaching reading to the grade four in Lusaka. Pupils were denied of the parental involvement in their education due to high level of literacy among parents and also the parents’ negative attitudes learning Chinyanja. It was recommended that head teachers in Lusaka should allocate grade four classes to teachers who are conversant with Chinyanja, the language of instruction. The district education board Secretary should also orient new teachers in Chinyanja as it is the medium of instruction of the district.
Native language and education--Zambia. , Language and education--Zambia.