Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Effect of Mother Tongue and Mathematical Language on Primary School Pupils Performance in Mathematics

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Effect of Mother Tongue and Mathematical Language on Primary School Pupils Performance in Mathematics

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study evaluated the use of mother tongue and mathematical language on assessment of Nigerian's Primary School pupils in mathematics. The purpose was to examine the effect of the use of mother tongue and mathematical language on Primary School pupils in mathematics. It investigated whether any difference existed in the use of three major Nigerian languages including mathematical language on the assessment of Primary School mathematics. It also examined which one will be more effective in enhancing primary school pupils' performance in mathematics. The study adopted a pre-test, post test control group quasi experimental design. 240 students drawn from primary schools in Osun state, Nigeria were sampled and used for the study. Mathematics teachers were trained in each of the Nigerian languages on how to use mother tongue and mathematics language. A unified syllabus was used for the study. Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT) was the instrument used to collect data from the subjects. The scores were collated and scored in percentages, mean and standard deviation for descriptive statistics and t-test, Analysis of Variances (ANOVA) and Post -Hoc Analysis for the inferential statistics. Findings revealed a significant difference in performance scores among the groups. The study would be beneficial to the pupils, parents, mathematics teachers, government and policy makers on the need to incorporate mother tongue into the teaching and learning of mathematics for simplifying and better performance in mathematics. Based on the findings it was recommended among other things that mother tongue should be employed in the teaching of mathematics at primary schools level in order to internalise mathematics language and make the pupils mathematics friendly at their tender age.

Keywords: assessments evaluation, mother tongue, mathematical language, primary, spatial

INTRODUCTION

Language is central to or pervasive in the realm of human. Language forms the basis of whatever social cohesion we can attain, determine our worldview. Language intimately links the past with the present and the present with the future. We cannot escape its influences even by silence. Human beings need language to grasp things intellectually and to get others to do so, to a large extent, language defines humanity. Zhang (1997) stated that language is the key to the heart of people if we lose the key, we lose the people. If treasure the key and keep it safe, it will unlock the door to untold riches, riches that cannot be guessed at from other side of the door. David (2006) opined that language is undoubtedly one of the most important areas of the curriculum. They are both means to an end and an end in themselves. That is, they provide a child with the tools to communicate and at the same time an integral part of the creative process that results from this communication when the language arts are taught with awareness, as well as enjoyment, students gain competence of their language and confidence in themselves. They learn to integrate the components of language into all aspects of their lives. Clenfield (1998) opined that children learn language through all the language experiences they have, such as discussion, conversation, lectures, scolding, stories, reading, reporting trips, parties, songs and games. They learn by participating in the language itself.

Unfortunately, the uses of mother tongue in teaching mathematics have not been encouraged in the Nigeria school system. Formal education was introduced to most African countries with little or no attention devoted to the teaching of indigenous language in their educational institution for quite a long time .According to Jannina & Mark (2004) mother tongue was christened as vernacular which means language spoken by the barbarians. The introduction of education by colonial administrators was to impart knowledge that suited not the interest and the purpose of the African pupils, but those of the foreign educators. …

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