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Learning literacy in a familiar language: Comparing reading and comprehension competence in Bemba in two contrasting settings in Northern Zambia

Kula, Nancy and Mwansa, Joseph Mwenya (2022) 'Learning literacy in a familiar language: Comparing reading and comprehension competence in Bemba in two contrasting settings in Northern Zambia.' Journal of the British Academy, 10 (s4). pp. 97-124. ISSN 2052-7217

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Abstract

The latest language in education policy in Zambia is to use a ‘familiar’ language in the initial stages of education before transitioning into a regional and later foreign language medium. Investigating the use of a familiar language – Namwanga – in Northern Zambia, in the context of a regional language – Bemba – the paper shows that learning of literacy in the regional language is better supported by classrooms that allow free use of the ‘home’ language or mother tongue. Results from a reading and comprehension task shows no hindrance to the achievement of reading fluency in a regional language when a familiar language is encouraged in the classroom. The paper provides support for multi-literacies developed through languages learners are exposed to in their environment rather than a foreign language.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medium of instruction, familiar language, literacy, multi-literacies, reading fluency, regional language, mother tongue, Zambia
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 10:43
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 10:47
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32665

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