“We don't understand English that is why we prefer English": Primary schools students' preference for the language of instruction in Mathematics

Ernest Kofi Davis, Alan J. Bishop, Wee Tiong Seah

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This paper reports on a study which sought to investigate how social and political influences affect students’ preference for language of instruction in mathematics in Ghana, where the language of instruction from grade 4 onwards in school is not the students’ main language. 4 focus group interviews were carried out with 16 primary school students, randomly selected from 4 primary schools, comprising a mix of average, above average and below average achieving schools in the Cape Coast metropolis of Ghana. Qualitative analysis of the results brought to light evidence of social and political influences on students’ preference for English as the language of instruction in mathematics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-604
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ghana
  • influence
  • language preference
  • political
  • social
  • students

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