International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Language in Education: A Critical Review of Current Proposals for Official Mother Tongue Use in Zimbabwean Classrooms
Kudzai Gotosa, Manuel Rwodzi, Gilda Mhlanga

The study critically analyses four studies that focus on the language of instruction in Zimbabwe’s public schools to establish a feasible way of incorporating the mother tongue as a medium of instruction. Prescriptions for mother tongue use in Zimbabwean schools are not working. From the review, it is clear that most proposals researchers have put forward for implementation of mother tongue use are not feasible at the moment. Practically, the mother tongue is used in class oral discourse only through code switching; a practice teachers and pupils have devised in order to solve classroom language problems. The study recommends that, this code switching which has emerged naturally be formalized as a starting point towards sole use of the mother tongue. All indigenous languages should be used in Zimbabwean public schools alongside English through codeswitching, practitioners being left to decide on the language(s) of instruction depending on the demands of their situations.

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