Proceedings of The 3rd World Conference on Teaching and Education
Using an Indigenous Language to Teach Natural Sciences and Technology: Opportunities and Challenges in Two Primary Schools
In 2018, the South African Basic Education Minister announced that a rollout of a decolonised education system would begin in the year 2019. Amongst others, this announcement intensified the debates around the effective use of local African indigenous languages as languages of learning and teaching (LoLT) in classrooms.
In this case study, the researcher interviewed and observed primary level teachers as he investigated the teaching of Natural Sciences and Technology through the language medium of isiXhosa. The findings demonstrate that teaching in local African indigenous languages require huge shifts in how teachers perceive teaching hence they would need to be supported. This process though is thwarted by the inadequate preparation of teachers to teach in African indigenous languages. The study also reveals that teaching black African learners in a combination of English and an African indigenous language opens up opportunities for multilingualism in classrooms.
Keywords: basic education, code switching, communication, multilingualism, translanguaging.