Exploring Grade 6 mathematics teachers’ use of the language of learning and teaching in assessment for learning
The aim of this study was to exploring grade six mathematics teachers’ use of the language of learning and teaching in assessment for learning in selected primary schools in Alexandra Township, South Africa. Research has shown that in primary schools, where learners are taught using their home-language (Grades 1-3), performance seems better than where the use of English as a First Additional Language (EFAL) (Grades 4-6) is used for teaching and learning. Guided by qualitative cases study design, semi-structured interviews and no-participatory observation were used to collect data from the nine purposefully sampled Grade 6 mathematics teachers. Themes were used to analyse, interpret and discuss data collected in conjunction with the literature reviewed and the theory underpinning the study. The findings of this research revealed that learners struggle to learn using English as the LoLT and to augment concept development and understanding, teachers and learners use code-switching. However, because of the different language backgrounds of learners and teachers in the same class, code-switching is often not effective, but in many instances, code-switching has become the norm to ensure understanding where learners have limited language proficiency.
Keywords: English first additional language, the language of learning and teaching, assessment for learning, mathematics, Grade 6, code-switching
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