An analysis of transitional language practices among grade five teachers and learners in selected primary schools of Chongwe district, Lusaka.

Thumbnail Image
Zulu, Andrew Japhet
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
The study was a mixed method involving both qualitative and quantitative methods. The population comprised of all the Grade five teachers and learners in Chongwe district. The sample size consisted of 256 participants. Random sampling was used to select eight (8) schools from the district and a simple random technique was used to select 216 learners from the sampled schools. Then purposive sampling was also used to select all the 40 grade five (5) teachers from the selected schools. The main research tools used were; lesson observation checklist, reading and writing tests, interview guides, questionnaires and an audio recorder. Qualitative data was analysed through the identification of common themes from the respondents’ description and presentations of their experiences and knowledge of teaching grade 5s. This data was collected through Interviews and Lesson Observations. Quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20) to generate descriptive statistical information in form of frequencies and percentages as well as actual statistics to generate standard deviation and the mean. Results for the tests and questionnaires formed the data which was analysed quantitatively. The findings revealed that, the majority of the learners’ ability to read and write was very bad as stated by most teachers, that not all the learners in their classes could read and write. While the results from reading and writing tests in English revealed that, 55.4% of learners scored below average in reading and 94.9% scored below average in writing. The findings on transitioning showed that the teachers did not have a common way of transitioning as others were using abrupt transitioning while the majority were using gradual transitioning. However, the lesson observations reviewed otherwise, in fact some teachers had switched to English only at the expense of the learners. The study also revealed that teachers and learners faced a number of challenges as a result of the policy. The lacked teaching and learning materials that would allow them to teach adequately, teachers were not trained on how to transition and learners had not broken through to the second language. Lastly teachers had other way which they believed could help the transitional process to be effective. The use of both languages from grades 1 to 7, introducing English at grade 2 so that the two languages can be used together among others. In conclusion, the length of the number of years used to teach in local and familiar language does not translate the learners’ improvement in their educational level. The manner in which the process of transitioning is what could be of great help. In view of the findings, it is recommended that primary teachers should be trained on what they are to do at grade five during the transitional stage and to make them understand what this transitional policy is all about. Keywords: Transitional language practices, Familiar local language, Policy framework, Initial literacy, English, Grade five Teachers and Learners, Chongwe
Transitional language practices , Familiar local language , Initial literacy--English,