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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - 23rd Annual National Congress of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa
Title The language practices of grade R educators: Alignments and misalignments with language policy expectations/directives
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
City Port Elizabeth
Country/State South Africa
URL http://www.amesa.org.za/AMESA2017/Volume2.pdf#page=90
Abstract
Many international studies document South Africa’s poor performance related challenges in mathematics. There have also been concerns raised in relation to the South African policy that stipulates the compulsory use of home language for teaching mathematics, as to whether or not it is suitable for the proficient development of Grade R to three learners’ mathematics abilities. This paper aims to report on an investigation into the nature of Grade R educators’ language practices during
mathematics teaching to find out whether they are supportive of developing learners to be proficient in mathematics. It further explores the educators’ views of their language practices and questions whether these are aligned or misaligned to policy expectations in South Africa, in order to inform professional development and shape possible future intervention. Preliminary findings point to a complex struggle where educators expect and rely on rich isiXhosa cultural language capitals learners bring to the classroom to handle numeracy concepts, but find competing English language vocabulary that has become a culture in the home of modern families. The situation of cultures and languages at cross roads becomes complex to navigate for educators who find they have to improvise and complement the language prescribed by policy with the one learners have already picked up.

Related studies

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Tlou, Faith, and Nosisi Feza. "The language practices of grade R educators: Alignments and misalignments with language policy expectations/directives." 23rd Annual National Congress of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa. Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 3-7 July, 2017.
Copyright DataFirst, University of Cape Town