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The effect of the language of testing on second language learners’ academic performance in social studies: The case of Kreol Seselwa and English in the Seychelles classrooms
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2018 (English)In: L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, ISSN 1567-6617, E-ISSN 1573-1731, Vol. 18, p. 1-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines the use of Seychelles Creole (hereafter, Kreol Seselwa), and English as languages for testing knowledge in the Social Studies classroom of the Seychelles. The objective of the study was to ascertain whether the languages used in the test affected the pupils' academic performance. The paper is theoretically influenced by the Social Practice approach to writing (Street, 1984), challenging a monolingual (autonomous) approach in favour of a more multilingual (ideological) model which takes into account all the learners' language repertoires. A within groups experimental design was implemented, and 151 primary six pupils (11-12 years) from three different schools wrote a short test, in a counterbalanced design, in two languages. The topic of the test was fishing, mostly local contextual knowledge, taught in English. The tests were marked for content in both languages. The results showed that the scores on both languages highly correlated, indicating that both tests captured the same knowledge constructs. However, pupils achieved significantly higher marks in the tests written in Kreol Seselwa than in English. The study has implications for policymakers, teachers and most importantly learners in other multilingual settings, particularly in post-colonial countries like the Seychelles, where the mother tongue is undervalued in the classroom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 18, p. 1-22
Keywords [en]
Kreol Seselwa, L2 medium of instruction, subtractive multilingualism, social studies
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-166399DOI: 10.17239/L1ESLL-2018.18.01.10ISI: 000498516000019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-166399DiVA, id: diva2:1379813
Available from: 2019-12-17 Created: 2019-12-17 Last updated: 2019-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Zelime, Justin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf