Qualitative study of some effects of using English as a language of instruction at Standard 2 and 5 in the Botswana education system, where learners are not primary language speakers of English

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The purpose of this study is to address the issue of language in education policy in Botswana where English is used as a language of instruction at the lower levels of primary education, in this instance focusing on grades 2 and 5. Bearing in mind that English is not the learners' first language, this dissertation firstly attempts to discover some of the possible effects this could have on learners concerning their acquisition of English as a second language, and their progression into further education. Secondly it looks at the role of the primary language (Setswana) as the foundation for the child's acquisition of new knowledge and hence subsequently his/her learning of L2. The data were collected qualitatively in three primary schools through interviews and classroom observations. All three schools are government-run Tswana medium primary schools. The study is based theoretically on the sociolinguistic perspective of bilingual/multilingual education. It draws on language policy studies, language attitude studies as well as issues of language and culture.

Bibliography: pages 104-109.