The language of literacy teaching and learning in a multilingual classroom: is Silozi appropriate in the Zambezi region of Namibia?.

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Mashinja, Begani Ziambo
Mwanza, David sani
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International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE)
Language planning and teaching has been premissed on a monolingual bias and the exclusive use of a predominant language has been percieved as a suitable practice to ensure inclusiveness, epistemic access and language learning success in mulitilingual classrooms. Zambezi education region is multilingual and SiLozi is the sole language of instruction for initial literacy in the junior primary grounded on the notion that it is the predominant local language. Drawing on Ruiz’ Three Language Orintation framework, the study intended to assess the familiarity of learners and teachers with SiLozi language of instruction for initial literacy and the implication of their familiarity on epistemic access and initial literacy development in selected multilingual pre-primary classrooms in Sibbinda circuit of Zambezi region. A mixed methods study involving 6 pre-primary classrooms with 168 pre-primary learners, 6 pre-primary teachers and 6 school principals were sampled. Data were collected through a familiar language test, observations and interviews. The findings showed that pupils were not familiar with the official language of instruction which in itself, has a number of pedagogical implications. The results showed that pupils use their linguistic resources to access the target language and ensure epistemic access and initial literacy development. As a conclusion, the study argue that the exclusive use of SiLozi as medium of instruction for initial literacy is not a realistic view of the linguistic realities both inside and outside the multilingual pre-primary classroom, thus it is not appropriate
Initial literacy , familiar language , language of instruction , language as resource , translanguaging , silozi
Mashinja, B.Z., & Mwanza, D.S. (2020). The Language of Literacy Teaching and Learning in a Multilingual Classroom: Is Silozi Appropriate in the Zambezi Region of Namibia? International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE), 7(3), 31-42.