RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MOTHER TONGUE ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCES OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the Study
English language is the only medium of classroom instruction in Nigerian schools which has affected students’ academic performances greatly because the language is foreign to the students. Hence, student who has problem in communication skill may likely not do well academically (Olanipekun et al, 2014).
Imposing a language other than mother tongue in higher education is a form of linguistic dominance and mother tongue marginalization, countries like Finland, Japan etc use the first language in higher education and they are excelling in different fields without a need for English (Zumor, 2013), educational research suggests that the best medium of learning is one’s mother tongue and that, similarly engaging marginalized children in school through mother tongue based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) is a successful model (Benson and Kosonen, 2013).
Mother tongue based bilingual education also known as translation in the classroom environment aims to make the L2 more comprehensible for the learners have a positive impact on educational and learning outcomes.
Bilingual education refers to the utilization of two languages as means of instruction for students and considered part of on the entire school curriculum. It involves teaching academic content in two languages with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model. In this research study transitional bilingual educational program model was adopted.
A transitional bilingual education program is a teaching model with two main focuses: first to ensure that students master educational content in their primary language (native language), then to assist students in becoming fluent in the second language. The idea behind this method is that students who are first fluent in their native language are more capable of becoming fluent in a foreign language – usually English.
The skills they learn in their native language can be translated into the second language. Mehisto (2012) suggest that there are potential benefits to individuals, schools, and societies in being bilingual for example: increased mental flexibility, improved inter-cultural skills, and increased opportunities for global exchange and trade.
Mother tongue as a medium of instruction promotes and improves the quality of education by building on the knowledge and experience of both students and teachers. UNESCO believes and supports findings of students showing evidence that mother tongue instruction is a key factor for literacy and learning.
L1 clasroom allow students to express themselves, contributes to discussions and develop their intellects as conversation are carried out in a familiar language. Bamgbose (2004) concludes that teaching in the learner’s language is more effective than teaching in English.
Mother tongue translation module as a translator tool, enables learners to translate a given text into their native language and understand its meaning as it clarifies what is meant and what is said. Not only does translation modules help to learn new vocabulary, expressions and grammatical rules, it also eases memory constraints so that students are able to memories and access more words in applying meaning to L2 words.
Through L1 students will find it easier to recall new words. This allows a more efficient memorization process. According to June Jordan (2009), you will never teach a child a new language by scoring, ridiculing and forcibly erasing his first language.
Mother tongue terminology is the translation of terms used with a particular technical application on a subject of study in native language. This strengthen the cognitive development of the students and clarifies concepts. The use of mother tongue terminologies enables the students to immediately construct and explain without fear of making mistakes articulate their thoughts and add new concepts to that which they already knew.
In turn, the teachers can more accurately assess what has been learned and identify the areas where they need help (Nolasco, 2010). Moreover how we look at the world is largely determined by our though processes and the way people think is strongly affected by their native languages.
Our languages shape our reality and we cannot think of something we don’t have words for every language has its own culture and history. Tacit knowledge is being acquired by the response when technical teachings are conducted on mother tongue.
Technical terms are therefore strongly connected with regional characteristics in which unfamiliar terms or new technologies brought over are made one-to-one correspondence and correctly translate a foreign term into the term that was already in use in the mother tongue with this identified concept the researcher endeavoured to conduct this study on this locality.
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