The implementation of mother tongue instruction in a grade 6 natural science class
This mini-dissertation describes the difficulties faced by educators who teach Natural Science in Grade 6 using isiXhosa mother tongue instruction. The researcher has investigated how educators dealt with Natural Science terminology when they were teaching Grade 6. The sample consisted of 10 educators from 10 schools in Gugulethu who were teaching Grade 6 Natural Science. The researcher used a focus group interview of 10 educators from 10 schools in Gugulethu. The researcher unpacked the issues of teaching Natural Science in mother tongue instruction, as it was the policy of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). The researcher looked at the measures put in place by the WCED to pilot schools, such as resources and training of the educators. As a researcher I looked broadly and compared educational policies in other neighbouring countries, such as Mozambique and Swaziland, to South Africa. In a purposive sample, one was likely to get the opinions of one’s target population, but one was also likely to overweight subgroups in one’s population that were more readily accessible. Researcher also consulted some literature such as that of Baker, Alexander, Brock-Utne etc. In conclusion, the researcher used exploratory studies for hypothesis generation, and by researchers interested in obtaining ideas of the range of responses on ideas that people had. However, in this study the researcher used the qualitative methods, with a focus group interview, to gather data on the implementation of mother tongue instruction in a Grade 6 Natural Science classes. The findings of the study seem to indicate that learners understand better if they are taught Natural Science in isiXhosa mother tongue. Therefore, recommendations pose a number of challenges to those committed in the implementation of mother tongue instruction in the Western Cape schools.
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