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June 03, 2013

Africa

Maths still best taught in English

Teaching-English-in-South-Africa"A recent article by Dr Anthony Essien, a lecturer in mathematics education in South Africa, addresses the issue of English as a non-native language of instruction.

When the use of other languages in the teaching and learning of mathematics is debated, it is not uncommon for people to ask: Why don't we stick to using English? Has English failed? Why do we want to go through the trouble of teaching maths in an indigenous language that is not fully developed to cater for all the mathematics vocabularies in English?

Yet, before the 16th century, these same questions were being asked about the use of English for teaching and learning mathematics because at the time mathematics was done only in Greek and Latin, which enjoyed privileged status in scholarship. It was only in the 16th century that the first mathematics book was written in English.

Read the full article from the Mail & Guardian.

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