Effects of Language Status on Assessment and Educational Development of Basotho Learners from Minority Languages’ Backgrounds

Maboleba Agnes Kolobe(1*), Lifelile Matsoso(2),

(1) National University of Lesotho
(2) National University of Lesotho
(*) Corresponding Author




DOI: https://doi.org/10.26858/ijole.v4i3.14046

Abstract


This paper provides a critical overview of the theoretical and practical questions that prevail in the teaching, learning, and assessment of learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds in Lesotho.  It investigates how far exclusion of minority languages affects both assessment and/or educational development of learners whose mother tongue is not Sesotho but other minority languages spoken in Lesotho. The paper advances a research-evidenced argument that the poor performance of students from such backgrounds is indicative of marginalisation and discrimination of such learners due to their language background. A constructivist qualitative study was adopted through use of focus group discussions with 246 learners and 142 teachers in 23 schools located in Botha Bothe, Mohale’s Hoek, Qacha’s Nek and Quthing districts in Lesotho. These places were selected based on their predominance of minority languages. The findings revealed diminutive if not absolute non-recognition of minority languages in teaching, learning, and assessment of learners from this linguistic background. Therefore, the study concludes that linguistically discriminative curriculum, teaching and learning and assessment educational practices can reasonably be associated with   poor performance of learners. Based on these findings, the paper recommends that Lesotho’s education system should respect and embrace existence of national minority languages. Again, the curriculum, its implementation and more importantly assessment should not be divorced from linguistic background of learners.

Keywords


Minority language, Language discrimination, Assessment, Lesotho languages

Full Text:

PDF, 378-388

References


Altheide, D. L. (1996). Qualitative Media Analysis: Qualitative Research Methods. Thousand Oak: Sage Publications.

Ansell, N. (2002). Secondary education reform in Lesotho and Zimbabwe and the needs of rural girls: pronouncements, policy and practice. Comparative Education, 38(1), pp. 91-112.

Babbie, E., Mouton, J., Vorster, P., & Prozesky, B. (2001). The Practice of Social Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Badger, L., & Wilkinson, L. (1998). Literacy assessment of students from poor and diverse communities: changing the programs, changing the outcomes. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 21(2), pp. 147–158.

Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (2005). Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis: Elements of the Sociology of Corporate Life. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company.

Cheng, L., & Curtis, A. (2004). Washback or backwash: a review of the impact of testing on teaching and learning. In: L. Cheng, Y. Watanabe and A. Curtis (eds.), Washback in Language Testing: Research Contexts and Methods, pp. 3–17. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Christopher, N. (2008). Social and Educational Impact of Language Assessment in Nigeria. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 17(3), pp. 198-210.

Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. NJ: Pearson.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing among Five Approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Doll, W. E. (2012). Ghosts and the Curriculum. In WE Doll Jr and N Gough (eds.) Curriculum Visions. New York: Peter Language.

Eusafzai, H. (2014). Paradigmatic Choices for Educational Research. Asian Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 3(4), pp. 177-185.

Gacheche, K. (2010). Challenges in implementing a mother-tongue-based language in education policy: Policy and practice in Kenya. POLIS Journal, 4, pp. 1-45.

Galbin, A. (2014). An introduction to social constructionism. Social Research Reports, 26, pp. 82-92.

Gill, S. J. (1993). A Short History of Lesotho from the Late Stone Age until the 1993 Elections. Morija, Lesotho: Morija Museum and Archives.

Higgins, D., Trehan, K. & McGowan, P. (2015). Developing perspectives and challenging the "status quo". International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 21(3).

Huba, M., & Freed, J. (2000). Learner-centred Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning. Massachussets: Allyn and Bacon.

Kapukaya, K. (2013). Assessment: A help or Hinderance to Educational Purposes. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(6), pp. 84-93.

Khalanyane, T., & Hala-Hala, M. (2014). Traditional Assessment as a Subjectification Tool in Schools in Lesotho. Educational Research Reviews, 9(17), pp. 587-593.

Khechane, N. C. (2016). Developing a Model for Assessment in Primary Schools in Maseru, Lesotho. A doctoral thesis in the Faculty of Humanities at the Central University of Technology, Free State. Retrieved from File:///D:/Khechane,%20nkoja%20claudia.Pdf%20assessment.Pdf on the 10/6/2020.

Klenowski, V. (2009). Assessment for learning revisited: An Asian-Pacific perspective. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 16(3), pp. 263-268.

Kometsi, L. (2014). Legal protection of minority languages in Lesotho: The case of siPhuthi language of ebaPhuthi. Lesotho Law Journal: A Journal of Law and Development. (Special ed.), 21.

Kula, N. 2004. The Encyclopaedia of Languages and Linguistics. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Elsevier.

Lambert, D., & Lines, D. (2000). Understanding Assessment: Purposes, Perceptions, Practice. NY: Routledge Falmer.

Leedy, P.D., & Ormrod, J.E. (2009). Practical Research: Planning and Design. Boston: Pearson Educational.

Legere, K., Fichat, S., & Akindele, F.D. (Eds.). (2002). Taking Freedom: Language and Democratisation in the SADC Region. Windhoek: Gamsberg Macmillan.

Linn, R., & Miller, M. (2005). Measurement and Assessment in Teaching (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Maree, K. (2007). First Steps in Research. Pretoria: Van Schaik.

Matsoso, L.M. (2001). Lesotho’s national language policy in the silent voices of ethnic minority language Basotho. A Study funded by the Educational Research Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ERNESA).

Matsoso, L.M. (2012). The role of traditional knowledge in acquisition of proficiency in academic English by students in higher education institutions: An auto-ethnographic study. An unpublished Ph.D Thesis, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein.

Meyer, C.B. (2001). Field methods: A case in case study methodology. Case Study Methodology, 13(4), pp. 329-352.

Ministry of Education and Training – Lesotho. (2019). The education language situation in Lesotho. A Report from the LEQEP Education Language Policy Development Study Commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Training. Lesotho.

Ministry of Education and Training (2009). Curriculum and Assessment Policy: Education for Individual and Social Development. Maseru: Lesotho.

Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture. (1982). The Education Sector Survey: Report of the Task Force. Maseru: Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture.

Raselimo, M., & Mahao, M. (2015). The Lesotho Curriculum and Assessment Policy: Opportunities and Threats. South African Journal of Education, 35(1), pp. 1-12.

Roberts, T. (2006). Self, Peer and Group Assessment in E-Learning. London: Idea Group Inc.

Rosenberg, S., Weisfelder, R., & Frisbie-Fulton, M. (2005). Historical Dictionary of Lesotho. Lanham- Maryland: Scarecrow Press.

Rust, C. (2002). Learning & Teaching Briefing Paper Series. Oxford Centre for Staff & Learning Development OCSLD: Oxfords Brookes University.

Savin-Baden, M., & Major, C. (2013). Qualitative Research: The Essential Guide to Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.

Schiff-Myers, N.B., Djukic, J., McGovern-Lawler, J., & Perez, D. (1993). Assessment considerations in the evaluation of second-language learners: A case study. Exceptional Children, 60(3), pp. 237–248.

Scotland, J. 2012. Exploring the philosophical underpinnings of research: relating ontology and epistemology to the methodology and methods of the scientific, interpretive and critical research paradigm. English Language Teaching, 5(9), pp. 9-16.

Stake, R.E. (1995). The Art of Case Study Research. London: Sage.

Ukwuije, R.P.I., & Opkara, I.M. (2013). School Based Assessment-Implication for Educational Transformation. Nigerian Journal of Educational Research and Evaluation, 12, pp. 1-8.

Webb, V. N. (1995). Empowerment through language: A survey of the language situation in Lesotho. Selected papers presented at the Second International LiCCA Research and Development Programme.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 252 times | PDF, 378-388 view : 64 times

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


License URL: https://creativecommons.org/

 

 

 

Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.