Improving comprehension in physical science through mother–tongue subtitling in secondary education
Mahlasela, Johannes Tsietsi
MetadataShow full item record
Research and the literature show that there is a culture of failure in science subjects in South African schools. Among many factors responsible for this state of affairs, it is assumed that lack of language proficiency in the Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT) could be the cause. Studies indicate that mother-tongue learning is key to better academic performance in schools. The question of which language should be used as the LoLT in South African schools is a hugely debated issue. Arguments regarding this debate centre around two main issues, namely, the Language in Education Policy (LiEP) and psycholinguistic theories. Means have to be sought to address the issue of poor academic performance by learners in these schools. One of the central areas which needs attention to improve learners academic performance in these schools is learner comprehension. An empirical research study was done in an attempt to determine whether mother-tongue subtitling would improve learners‟ comprehension of science. A total of 93 Grade 12 learners from two schools in one township were used in this study. The participants were divided into two equivalent groups: one group watched and listened to mother-tongue subtitled science content material, and the other group watched and listened to the same science content material that was not subtitled. Both groups then wrote a physical science comprehension test after watching and listening to the video. This process was repeated over a period of six weeks during which one lesson was given and one video was shown each week. The comprehension test questions were divided into the recall and understanding domains. The results of this experiment revealed that mother-tongue subtitling improved the science comprehension of learners in as far as recall is concerned.
- Humanities