n Journal of Educational Studies - Mother tongue teaching through the Eyes ofPrimary School Teachers in the North WestProvince of South Africa




The paper is based on the perceptions of teachers regarding the teaching of mother tongue in two classrooms in a peri-urban area in South Africa. This study intended to find out about the perceptions of teachers regarding the use of mother tongue in Foundation Phase classes as stipulated by law. A qualitative and interpretive study on the perceptions of teachers regarding the importance and place of mother tongue instruction in schools was conducted in two primary school classrooms in the North West Province. Two teachers were interviewed and lessons were observed where Setswana and English were being taught. There was an aura of mixed feelings regarding the advantages of teaching in Setswana, especially in a multicultural area as in the context where the study was conducted. Despite teachers making their preference for teaching in English known, there was proliferation of Setswana in the teaching thereof. The study revealed that teachers preferred the use of English as the language of learning and teaching over Setswana, an indigenous language to the area where the study was conducted. English lessons were not getting the attention they deserved as code-switching in Setswana was more prominent than the focus language itself. It is recommended that Setswana be given more attention - as proficiency in the language helped learners learn an additional language.


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