Stepping outside the ordinary expectations of schooling: effect of school language on assessment of children’s knowledge of mathematics in Ghana

  • E.M Wilmot
Keywords: medium of instruction, school language, mother tongue, assessing mathematics in early years, mathematics achievement in early years

Abstract

As a result of barriers erected by language, especially in situations where 'school language' is different from children‘s mother tongue, there could often be incongruity between children‘s knowledge of mathematics and teachers‘ assessment of it. This paper, a case study conducted in Ghana, West Africa, shows how children‘s 'mother language‘ can be used to make what is 'invisible‘ to teachers - children‘s true knowledge of mathematics - 'visible‘. By changing the medium of instruction from the dominant classroom language to the child‘s mother tongue this study reveals how it takes stepping outside the ordinary to see the weaknesses in teachers' assessment practices.

Keywords: medium of instruction, school language, mother tongue, assessing mathematics in early years, mathematics achievement in early years

Published
2011-08-22
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2508-1128