The Social Sciences

Year: 2018
Volume: 13
Issue: 4
Page No. 943 - 947

The Disjuncture between Pedagogy and Practice of Mother Tongue Teaching in Early Childhood Development

Authors : Mpho I. Mokhomo and Ramotale Z. Moliko

Abstract: South Africans are entitled to education in the language of their choice, provided it is reasonably practicable. However, a number of South African learners are deprived of this right by lack of capacity from schools and educators as well as failure to implement policy by the officials. Mother tongue is of special significance to teachers in that their ideas are communicated to learners through the medium of language. Communication in the classroom is based on the meanings of thousands of words exchanged between teachers and learners and unless the teacher and the student understand each other, communication will be fruitless. However, it seems the majority of South African Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners who are qualified to teach in early childhood programmes have not been trained to teach in mother-tongue. This study is qualitative in nature and is embedded in social constructivism. Language is socially constructed and social constructivism is about social construction of meaning and is founded on Vygotsky’s theory. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from ECD centres in the Lejweleputswa District of the Free State with a sample of 10 female of ECD practitioners with an average age of 30 and a teaching experience of 10 years. Five parents of these ECD learners also gave their opinion about mother tongue teaching. Data was analysed using multiple interpretations as advocated for by Gibbs. The purpose of this study was to come up with suggestions that will strengthen the use of mother tongue instruction in South African, so that, learners can benefit more from the education system. The findings of this study revealed that the majority of ECD practitioners are in favour mother-tongue teaching. However, lack of resources was a barrier. The other factor that came forward was that the majority of parents were in favour of English as a medium of instruction because of the perception that a learner who was fluent in English was in fact learned.

How to cite this article:

Mpho I. Mokhomo and Ramotale Z. Moliko, 2018. The Disjuncture between Pedagogy and Practice of Mother Tongue Teaching in Early Childhood Development. The Social Sciences, 13: 943-947.

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