Code-Switching in Mathematics Teaching in Early Childhood Education: Switching From English to the Second Language (75913)

Session Information: Primary & Secondary Education
Session Chair: Jaysveree Louw

Friday, 24 November 2023 10:15
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 708
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In communication, code-switching refers to the process of using two or more languages in speech. South Africa is a multi-lingual and multi-racial society. Schools form part of societies, therefore it is to be expected that this ‘multi-ness’ will also be evident in schools. In many South African schools children are taught two languages namely their Home Language and a Second Language. Education policy proposes that subjects in primary schools be taught in the school’s Language of Learning and Teaching. However, teachers often code-switch between the Language of Learning and Teaching and the Second Language. This article examines the disadvantages and benefits of code-switching in the teaching of mathematics in South African primary schools. Interviews were conducted with 35 teachers and 78 learners in primary schools that have English as a Language of Learning and Teaching and Sesotho as a Second Language. The findings revealed that teachers generally code-switch because they express themselves better in Sesotho. The majority of the learners reported that they appreciate it when the teachers explain mathematics in English and Sesotho. However, learners who do not speak Sesotho claimed that they feel lost when teachers ‘teach’ mathematics in Sesotho. The study concluded that code-switching can be employed in the teaching of mathematics, but teachers need to be cognizant of the fact that there are learners in their classes who do not speak Sesotho.

Jaysveree Louw, Central University of Technology, South Africa

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Jaysveree Louw
Lecturer in Education
Interests include community upliftment and literacy development and promotion

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00