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Language and liberation: Language of instruction in mathematics and science in the case of Zanzibar

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Abstract:

Paulo Freire defined the practice of imposing a foreign language upon the learner for studying another subject as a violation of the structure of thinking. Yet this is the situation most African children find themselves in today. The former colonial powers use a large part of their aid budget to promote their own languages as languages of instruction in the schools in Africa. Kwesi Kwaa Prah notes that no country in the world has developed on the basis of the use of a foreign language. Examples from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Tunisia show that it is especially important that the teaching of science is done in a familiar language, the language children normally speak. Only then is the structure of thinking not violated but liberated. Yet in 2006 Zanzibar reintroduced English as the language of instruction from grade five in mathematics and science subjects in all government primary school—and that on an island where Kiswahili is the primary language. This paper attempts to analyze the forces behind this move and who profits from it.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494288_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Brock-Utne, Birgit. "Language and liberation: Language of instruction in mathematics and science in the case of Zanzibar" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494288_index.html>

APA Citation:

Brock-Utne, B. "Language and liberation: Language of instruction in mathematics and science in the case of Zanzibar" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494288_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Paulo Freire defined the practice of imposing a foreign language upon the learner for studying another subject as a violation of the structure of thinking. Yet this is the situation most African children find themselves in today. The former colonial powers use a large part of their aid budget to promote their own languages as languages of instruction in the schools in Africa. Kwesi Kwaa Prah notes that no country in the world has developed on the basis of the use of a foreign language. Examples from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Tunisia show that it is especially important that the teaching of science is done in a familiar language, the language children normally speak. Only then is the structure of thinking not violated but liberated. Yet in 2006 Zanzibar reintroduced English as the language of instruction from grade five in mathematics and science subjects in all government primary school—and that on an island where Kiswahili is the primary language. This paper attempts to analyze the forces behind this move and who profits from it.


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Appropriating formative assessment as a tool for assessing and promoting mathematical academic language among English language learners: A case study


 
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