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The place of native language in Science teaching and learning in the Junior Secondary Schools in Ghana
The effect of limited English language proficiency on the learning of science is investigated for some Junior Secondary School (J.S.S.) pupils. Despite serious efforts put up by pupils to learn science, difficulties in speaking and writing English were factors that limited their performance in science. Two types of schools: an experimental school (where English language was widely spoken by teachers and pupils) and the public system schools (where the native language enjoyed popularity) were investigated. In one case, pupils were urged to use English language to express themselves and demonstrate their level of understanding in science. On the other hand pupils were given the opportunity to use the local language to express their understanding of lessons in science. The study found out that learning science could be facilitated when the pupils with low proficiency in English were given the chance to employ their native language as a tool for learning science. This study, therefore, calls on educational policy makers to consider integrating the use of native languages into the science curriculum at the J.S.S. level. This implies developing more native vocabulary in science.
JOURNAL OF THE GHANA SCIENCE ASSOCIATION Volume 1 Number 1, July (1998) pp. 7-11