n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - Are San children in Botswana capable of acquiring English?

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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Current research from two decades ago indicates that San children are not capable of acquiring English due to various reasons. Despite this argument, this paper argues that San children are capable of acquiring English. Through qualitative research, the study employed open ended questionnaires, interviews, site visits and field notes to examine the problem. The study sampled San learners from a number of classes to examine whether indeed the problem was still prevalent. The results indicated that San children were not capable of acquiring English. However, a visit to a primary school in a rural setting at Tsumkwe village in Namibia indicated that indeed San children were capable of acquiring English if learners were taught in both mother tongue and English at the start of their primary education and were also taught by teachers from the same ethnic groups. The significance of this paper is that it will help the educational fraternity in Botswana to rethink and reflect on how San children should be taught to acquire English. The conclusion is that it is vital to review Botswana language-in-education policy to include mother tongue education and reflect on teacher classroom practices to address linguistically complex classes.

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