Literacy and Language Quotes from a peer reviewed publication by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire

Mkandawire, Sitwe Benson (2017). Familiar Language Based Instruction versus Unfamiliar Language for the Teaching of Reading and Writing Skills: A Focus on Zambian Languages and English at two Primary Schools in Lusaka. Zambian Journal of Language Studies, 1(1), 53-82. ISSN: 2415-668X.

The study presented among others, the significance of mother tongue based instruction (Zambian Language) in this case versus English language. The full article can be accessed from this link The following were the main points presented:

  1. “Using unfamiliar language such as English for literacy education cripples and destroy the child’s productive and mental processes in education” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  2. “Zambian languages such as Nyanja empowers pupils in class and the local people in general for mass mobilisation and active participation in the democratic and development of the country. Local languages empower citizens to participate effectively in economic, cultural, social and political matters of the country as they will be free to express themselves” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  3. “A country is nothing without its culture and local indigenous languages are a vehicle for transmission. Families tell their children different stories in local languages. Those stories constitute proverbs, riddles, myths, taboos and narratives of social conduct, morals and great heroes of their tradition. The languages they use in their homes, let them be used in education to empower learners and value their cultural heritage” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  4. “Teaching in local languages promotes an educational principle of moving from known to unknown so that a child can link the old with the new knowledge”. by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  5. “Local languages promote and develop a sense of belong among citizens as there will be a feeling of closeness with one language, one tongue and one country” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  6. “Teaching a child in unknown language burdens the child with two unknown things: The language itself and the subject matter to be learnt” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  7. “Indegenous Local languages facilitate easy access to information for all Zambians not only in class but also the fact that people can defend themselves in courts”  by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  8. “Promoting local languages alongside English at national level will provide opportunity for generations to learn Zambian local languages and see the value attached to local languages” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  9. “Promotion of local languages will equally help raise some critical consciousness in pupils and eventually allow Zambians to elect responsible and credible leaders in the country” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  10. “Local languages will breaks class silence and the linguistic classes among Zambians and promote unity as more children in schools will become more literate to reason out issues at different levels” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  11. “Promoting local languages will promote more employment or jobs for Zambians because more books will need to be written in local languages and media stations will need more people to translate various information” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017).
  12. “Allowing pupils to learn in their languages they use when playing allow them to actively participate in class than having passive ones as the case is in most classes where an unfamiliar language was used” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017)..
  13. “Multilingualism should not be seen as a problem but as an asset as it helps people to look at a problem or issues from different perspectives” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017)..
  14. In education, some teachers cannot teach confidently because they are very competent and comfortable in using a familiar local language. Many primary school classrooms have been characterized by teachers who do a lot of code switching: that is shifting from English to a Zambian language” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017)..
  15. “Local languages can contribute to national development as they are a source of communication for the masses. For instance, politicians campaign using the same languages promising and urging communities what they should do to aid development. Local languages empower the masses to take part in many ventures at national level. They unlock thinking abilities in learners in schools and they are a source of cooperation and gives members of the community a sense of unit and identity” by Sitwe Benson Mkandawire (2017)..

About Sitwe

Sitwe Benson Mkandwire is a researcher, teacher and writer. He is currently based at the University of Zambia, School of Education, Department of Language and Social Sciences Education.
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