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Title: Learning to read two languages : sociolinguistic and pedagogic study of Hausa primary school pupils in northern Nigeria and their reading and pre-reading abilities
Author: Millman, Michael Abdul Alim
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1985
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Second-language learning issues have been debated extensively over the past three decades. Long-term studies have focused on language-medium policy rather than on oral and reading development. Short-term studies have relied on pupils who can already read. The of-ects that alternative policies may have on the development of reading in children have, so far, only been considered theoretically. The sociology of language learning has received little attention. Consequently, the prevailing local linguistic and social conditions are often ignored in the debate about which language pupils should learn to read first. There are many assumptions about when, and how these children might best learn to read which language. These assumptions need to be examined empirically. This is a study of primary-school pupils who learn two languages, and experience a switch in the medium of instruction while they are still learning to read. In order to shed light on their learning-to-read development, this study examines fundamental questions about language acquisition, language learning, literacy and the reading process. Language-medium issues and a review of relevant second-language studies provide a focus for this examination. In the field-work, 386 Hausa-speaking primary-school pupils in Kaduna State, Nigeria, undertook a series of graded criterion-referenced reading and pre-reading tests. The performance of these pupils in the tests shows that, even after five years' exposure to Hausa and English reading materials and two years of English-medium instruction, as many as 20% of primary six pupils are unable tc read at all, and less than 50% of them are able to read either the English or Hausa language course books recommended for use in classes three and four. The results indicate that transfer of learning between Hausa and English can take place when English is the medium of instruction and that transfer could be in either direction. The results and analysis clearly show how important oral learning is in reading development and that sociological variables have a significant effect upon children's learningto- read development. The assumption that the benefits of learning to read first in the mother tongue is by no means fully supported by the findings of this study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available