oa Mosenodi - Language pedagogy in Botswana: paradigms and ideologies

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-559X



The ideological underpinnings of the language pedagogy to which primary teachers are exposed during their professional training are explored in this paper. The priority given to English through promotion of the direct language teaching method is contrasted with the neglected development of methodology for the teaching of Setswan a as a mother tongue. This inequality reflects and perpetuates hierarchical language values in Botswana society, as does the official exclusion of languages other than English and Setswana from classroom use. This then contributes to symbolic domination by an elite social group in Botswana which is bilingual in Setswana and English. Furthermore, the learning of non-elite children is handicapped by the framework of language pedagogy and educational language policy within which their teachers are required to operate. The common classroom practice of codeswitching between languages indicates teachers' resistance to dominant social values and the practical priority they give to effective communication with their pupils.

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