Attitudes of Teachers on the Use of Local Language as a Medium of Instruction in the Lower Primary School in Kwania District, Uganda
Abstract: Children are most likely to succeed in learning when they are given an opportunity to learn in their mother tongue from early years. The use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction boosts children's self-confidence and school performance. Despite English being the language of instruction and a major factor in enhancing good academic performance in schools, there is need to establish the opinions and attitudes of the key participants - the teacher and the pupil- regarding the efficacy of local language use in school. This paper sought to investigate the attitudes of teachers on the use of local language as a Medium of Instruction in Lower Classes of Primary Schools in Kwania District, Uganda. Data was collected and analysed using the mixed method approach and the study utilised triangulation as a research design. Data collection was done by means of questionnaires, observations of lessons, interviews and document analysis. Purposive sampling was used to get a total number of 24 respondents consisting of teachers, and head teachers learners. The study was guided by the Linguistic Interdependence (LIH) by Cummins (1979 and 1981). Results of the study indicated that teachers and learners have positive attitudes on the use of local language as a medium of instruction underpinned by limited support by the government in training of teachers, material development and assessment of local language at the end of the primary cycle, since local language is used only in the lower primary classes. Teachers and learners are of the opinion that the promotion of local language as a medium of instruction in schools is meant to fulfill the study recommended by the intervention of government in empowering teachers to effectively use of local languages as LoI yet the support by the government in LL as a Medium of Instruction is inadequate.
Key Words: Language of instruction, Local language, Attitudes, Second Language