Sunday, July 27, 2014

Zambia Discovers that Learning in Native Dialect is Better Than Using English

Learning in Native African Language is Better Than Learning in English

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) secretary-general Wynter Kabimba says the PF government will overhaul the education system by making local languages more prominent in the curriculum and doing away with the colonial style of education.

Mr Kabimba said the current education system is still steeped in colonialism and Government would put an end to that.

“Our education system has a colonial hang-up…we want to change that,” he said.

Mr Kabimba said this during a meeting with school managers from over 20 government schools in Mazabuka on Saturday.

He said the current education system does not meet the challenges of a third-world country.

“Our education system does not meet the demands of a third-world country. We are producing students who are not relevant to the needs of our country,” Mr Kabimba said.

He wondered why Zambians should insist on using English as the medium of communication when the country is rich with many languages.

“It is the policy of the PF to revive vernacular languages because a language gives us identity,” Mr Kabimba said.

He said the PF wants pupils aged 10 and above to focus on what they are good at, instead of studying subjects which are irrelevant to their skills.



“We need artisans to develop this country. We cannot all be lawyers or doctors. That is why the PF wants to tap into human potential at a young age,” Mr Kabimba said.

“Our education system does not meet the demands of a third-world country. We are producing students who are not relevant to the needs of our country,” Mr Kabimba said.

Mr Kabimba said there is a deliberate effort by colonial masters to kill native languages.

“A language gives personal and cultural identity. Teachers have a duty to teach children vernacular languages.

“It is the policy of the PF to revive vernacular languages because our languages give us a sense of identity,” Mr Kabimba said.

Mr Kabimba said he is not proud to use English as a medium of communication.

“I use Sala when talking to my children in my house, because English is a foreign language,” Mr Kabimba said.

Mr Kabimba said he is proud that when he started school in Livingstone, he was taught Tonga and later on he learnt Lozi.

“I speak these local languages fluently because I was taught to speak them while I was young,” he said.

“We need artisans to develop this country. We cannot all be lawyers or doctors. That is why the PF wants to tap into human potential at a young age,” Mr Kabimba said.

Mr Kabimba said he finds it strange that some people even brag that they speak English better than indigenous languages.

Meanwhile, Mr Kabimba says there’s no compromise of discipline in the party. Mr Kabimba says discipline in PF is paramount because no one is bigger than the party.

Mr Kabimba, who is also Minister of Justice, was speaking on Saturday in Mazabuka during a radio programme called Live Wire on Mazabuka Radio.

And Mr Kabimba says most Zambians are concentrating on discussing individuals at the expense of development.

“Let’s learn to debate Development Issues, not personalities because there are many people who are suffering out there,” Mr Kabimba said.

Some callers wanted to drag Mr Kabimba into discussing the fate of Minister of Foreign Affair Given Lubinda.

“Our primary duty and priority is to tackle the poverty which Zambian people are facing, not to discuss personalities,” Mr Kabimba said.

He urged people to rally behind the PF government so that it can deliver development.

“Support the PF with or without Wynter Kabimba. The PF wants this country to be better and if Zambia does not develop under Michael Sata, we can forget about development,” Mr Kabimba said.

Source:http://www.lusakatimes.com/2013/01/14/education-system-to-be-overhauled-local-languages-to-be-made-more-prominent-kabimba

This research is perfectly in harmony with the revelation I received from God in 2012 that I posted on this blog. Read details of the revelation at http://www.africason.com/2014/06/african-school-of-grassroots-science.html

 

I can be of help to the government of Zambia, I know exactly the initial problems you'll face; which is creating contents in your native language. Simply contact me, I'm ready to come to your country and let you know how to do it. You need just a model for creating terminologies in your native language. Only then shall African children learn naturally as it should be.

 

I made a song about this topic after receiving the revelation from God. Please spread this message all over Africa through your radios, TVs, mouth to mouth, anyhow you can. The song is called African school and could be found on iTunes, artiste name: Africason


Africason is a Musician/independent recording artiste and a die-hard believer in Africa.
Twitter: @african_school
Website: www.africason.com
Email: info(AT)africason.com
Find my songs on iTunes, artiste name: Africason

Students Taught in Their Native Language Rank High in Sciences and Maths. - a Research in Philippines.

Don't teach maths and science in English
Students Taught in Their Native Language Rank High in Sciences and Maths. - a Research in Philippines.

English may be the language of science, but students learn better and contribute more when taught in their local tongue, says Giovanni Tapang.


What language should be used to teach science and mathematics? It's a question that often provokes disagreement among educators in charge of implementing the standard curriculum of many non-English speaking countries.

For some, it's a practical matter of meeting current employment demands with flexible education policies and teaching practices. But others feel teaching needs a clear national objective for educational development.

I agree with the latter view — and consider that science and maths have to be understood in the local tongue if a country wants to transform the subjects into real economic benefits.

English for commerce, not education

The point is often made that English is the lingua franca of both commerce and science. In our globalised age, fluency in English is seen to enhance competitiveness, and is certainly essential for those who come from developing countries, where most industries are owned or run by foreign (usually English-speaking) entities.

The ability to write and speak well in English is usually one of the most important criteria set by employers.

But critics of English as medium of instruction say that such move is detrimental to both the quality of the learning process and the development of critical thinking. This is because most school children come from homes in which their mother tongue is the predominant language, resulting to their early social marginalization.

Some nations have taken a mixed approach. In the Philippines, science and maths are taught in English, while other subjects are taught in Filipino. The Philippines has more than 120 other languages, and the Department of Education also allows local languages for the teaching of most subjects. This is because children naturally use the language they grow up with to understand the world around them.

The education department also believes that teaching in the local language will encourage children to stay in school rather than drop out, which is a big problem in the Philippines, where only 14 out of every 100 children who enrol in grade 1 will graduate with a college degree.

Studies conducted by organisations such as Unesco and the World Bank, as well as by local institutions, show that pupils learn faster, better and with enthusiasm when taught in their vernacular language.

In other countries, debateson the language for science and maths have led to changes in policy. In Malaysia, for example, there have been fierce debates between the proponents of Bahasa Malaysia and English. In 2003, Malaysia re-adopted English, but in 2009 decided to return to Bahasa from this year.

Maths and science are not exceptions

Yet despite the prominence of English as the language of instruction, it is not a requisite for achieving excellence in maths and science. Countries that rank high in maths and science tests in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS, carried out by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement), all have basic instruction in their local tongue (with the exception of Singapore).

TIMSS is an important benchmark for comparing standards in maths and science around the world; the tests have been administered every four years since 1995.  

Eighth grade students in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have – together with Singapore -- consistently ranked high in maths and science tests. These countries teach their basic education (including science and maths) in their local language, with English integrated only as a part of a compulsory curriculum.

Ironically, among the tail-enders are the English-speaking United States and the Philippines.

The challenge is worthwhile

Teaching all subjects in the local language not only enhances understanding for learners, but also paves the way for more potential for national development.

Teaching science and maths in the vernacular is not without its challenges. Instruction is an activity that involves the personal experiences of teachers and students — cultural and linguistic factors need to be taken into account to help students make sense of new information.

There is also a need to translate important journals, books and other educational materials. Unfortunately, most textbooks in the developing world are untranslated English imports. Apart from the language barrier, they often use examples that are valid only in the United States or the United Kingdom.

The training of teachers, and their teaching materials, must be in the local language as well. We don't need to invent new words for scientific terms; existing foreign terms that are used by convention can be used. But the rest of the translation still requires a lot of work, and an investment that education ministries are usually not willing to make.

It is important to note that the prominence of English is a product of history, much like the use of Latin from medieval times. Scholars, then and now, master each other's work in books and publications written in a common language. Just as English supplanted Latin and other European languages, we may yet see achange to another language.

But history also shows us many examples where the dominance of a particular language for scholarship does not preclude the publishing of excellent research in a native language. Teaching science and mathematics in the vernacular is no barrier to science excellence, and would result in better understanding of the world around us.

Giovanni Tapang is an associate professor at the National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines.

Source: http://m.scidev.net/global/migration/opinion/don-t-teach-maths-and-science-in-english.html


This research is perfectly in harmony with the revelation I received from God in 2012 that I posted on this blog. Read details of the revelation at http://www.africason.com/2014/06/african-school-of-grassroots-science.html

 

I can be of help to the government of Philippines or any other country, I know exactly the initial problems you'll face; which is creating contents in your native language. Simply contact me, I'm ready to come to your country and let you know how to do it. You need just a model for creating terminologies in your native language. Only then shall your children begin to learn sciences naturally as it should be.

 

I made a song about this topic after receiving the revelation from God. Please spread this message all over the world through your radios, TVs, mouth to mouth, anyhow you can. The song is called African school and could be found on iTunes, artiste name: Africason


Africason is a Musician/independent recording artiste and a die-hard believer in Africa.
Twitter: @african_school
Website: www.africason.com
Email: info(AT)africason.com
Find my songs on iTunes, artiste name: Africason

Children Who Learn in Their Mother Tongue Do Better in School - a Research in Mozambique.

Children Who Learn in Their Mother Tongue Do Better in School - a Research in Mozambique.


Portuguese is the language of instruction in all schools in Mozambique, although most children don’t understand it when they start school. This is now about to change.

 

Children in Mozambique start school without knowing Portuguese, yet they have to learn everything in Portuguese.
"This makes the learning process very difficult. Everything we learn, we learn through language,” says Professor Armindo Ngunga at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique.
Results from pilot projects on mother tongue education in Mozambique show that children who are taught in their mother tongue do better in school than those who are taught in Portuguese.
40 per cent of the population speak Portuguese - hardly anyone as their mother tongue.
Pressure for bilingual education
Research results by Ngunga and his colleagues have contributed to recent change in Mozambique. There is an emerging interest in bilingual education at grassroots level; more parents now want their children’s education to be conducted in their mother tongue in the first years of primary school. This again has resulted in governmental demands for the production of grammars, orthographies and dictionaries.
Ngunga is head of the Center for African Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UEM, and coordinates the research project Standardization and Harmonization of Cross-border Languages. The long-term aim of the project is a transformation of the educational system from a Portuguese school to a mother tongue school.
The project is a collaboration with the University of Oslo and the University of Zimbabwe and is supported by The Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education (NUFU). 
Languages without borders

A page from one of the coming Changana dictionaries that will be one of the dictionaries from the cross-border language project.(Photo: Susan Johnsen)
Historically Mozambique and Zimbabwe have shared several spoken languages. But as time, colonial powers and political changes have come and gone, the languages have drifted apart.
Sena, Changana and Shona are all linguistically related Bantu languages, all spoken in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Shona is spoken in Botswana as well, whereas Changana and Sena are also spoken in South Africa and Malawi.
The researchers want to re-establish the close relationship of the languages by harmonizing their orthographies – their spelling and language norms. To do this they need, as a first step, to go out and record spoken languages. This work is done mostly by students. In addition they collect text samples.
The next step is to do transcriptions of the oral material and scan the written texts before transferring all the data into a database from which they are now producing grammars and dictionaries. These new language tools are of vital importance.
Mother tongue pioneers
Historically, local African languages have been written down by a wide range of people, missionaries for instance. Different people have documented different languages according to their own mother tongue’s orthography. In Mozambique this has resulted in the same language having developed three or four parallel writing systems.
“What are the necessary steps forward to develop adequate language systems?”
“First of all, it is important to standardise the writing system so that it can be used in schools. Secondly, we need a standard terminology to be used in schools,” says Professor Ngunga.
The teachers who are taking part in the pilot projects on mother tongue education did not learn their own mother tongue in school; they are in a sense learning it at the same time as they teach. In this perspective they are mother tongue pioneers.

Professor Armindo Ngunga from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique (left), and Dr. Nomalanga Mpofu from University of Zimbabwe.(Photo: Susan Johnsen)
“The grammar and the dictionaries are going to be instrumental to the success of this project,” Professor Ngunga emphasises.
Same but different
In Zimbabwe, a former British colony, the language situation is completely different from Mozambique. The native languages have been the educational languages for decades. The British colonial powers brought their strong academic traditions to Zimbabwe. In Mozambique the universities are still relatively young due to the Portuguese rulers’ lack of academic aspirations for their colony.
“We have a language policy for the language curriculum in Zimbabwe. The mother tongue is supposed to be taught in primary school for the first three grades. This year it was set for an exam for another minority language called Tonga for the first time. I think it is a positive move from the government towards developing the languages,” explains research fellow Dr. Nomalanga Mpofu.
Regional cooperation
“Cooperation between the African institutions is very important if we want to proceed in our development together. The development and cooperation at grassroots level is done through the languages that people speak. We share the same border, the same language and people cooperate at this level. On a governmental level they speak English and Portuguese. It is important that we develop the languages that we use in order to make better use of common resources,” says professor Ngunga. 
The researcher’s efforts are already producing results. The Minister of Culture in Mozambique wanted to see the orthography report before the Parliament passed a law on the official orthography of Mozambique. The new law is an indirect effect of the project.
“Could mother tongues become languages of instruction in higher education institutions in Mozambique?”
“At Eduardo Mondlane University, I think it will happen, yes,” Professor Ngunga concludes optimistically.

 Source: http://sciencenordic.com/teaching-children-their-mother-tongue-mozambique

 

This research is perfectly in harmony with the revelation I received from God in 2012 that I posted on this blog. Read details of the revelation at http://www.africason.com/2014/06/african-school-of-grassroots-science.html

 

I can be of help to the government of Mozambique, I know exactly the initial problems you are facing; which is creating contents in your native language. Simply contact me, I'm ready to come to your country and let you know how to do it. You need just a model for creating terminologies in your native language. Only then shall African children learn naturally as it should be.

 

I made a song about this topic after receiving the revelation from God. Please spread this message all over Africa through your radios, TVs, mouth to mouth, anyhow you can. The song is called African school and could be found on iTunes, artiste name: Africason


Africason is a Musician/independent recording artiste and a die-hard believer in Africa.
Twitter: @african_school
Website: www.africason.com
Email: info(AT)africason.com
Find my songs on iTunes, artiste name: Africason