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Tytuł pozycji:

Disentangling the language effect in South African schools: Measuring the impact of ‘language of assessment’ in grade 3 literacy and numeracy

Tytuł :
Disentangling the language effect in South African schools: Measuring the impact of ‘language of assessment’ in grade 3 literacy and numeracy
Autorzy :
Nicholas Spaull
Pokaż więcej
Temat :
language of assessment
English Second Language
South Africa
literacy and numeracy
Special aspects of education
LC8-6691
Theory and practice of education
LB5-3640
Źródło :
South African Journal of Childhood Education, Vol 6, Iss 1, Pp e1-e20 (2016)
Wydawca :
AOSIS, 2016.
Rok publikacji :
2016
Kolekcja :
LCC:Special aspects of education
LCC:Theory and practice of education
Typ dokumentu :
article
Opis pliku :
electronic resource
Język :
English
ISSN :
2223-7674
2223-7682
Relacje :
https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/475; https://doaj.org/toc/2223-7674; https://doaj.org/toc/2223-7682
DOI :
10.4102/sajce.v6i1.475
Dostęp URL :
https://doaj.org/article/50a353b9fda04f1883198b7b3dd39d63
Numer akcesji :
edsdoj.50a353b9fda04f1883198b7b3dd39d63
Czasopismo naukowe
The aim of this article is to exploit an unusual occurrence whereby a large group of South African grade 3 students were tested twice, 1 month apart, on the same test in different languages. Using a simplified difference-in-difference methodology, it becomes possible to identify the causal impact of writing a test in English when English is not a student’s home language for 3402 students. The article aims to address the extent to which language factors (relative to non- language factors) can explain the high levels of underperformance in reading and mathematics in South Africa. I find that the language of assessment effect is between 0.3 and 0.7 standard deviations in literacy and 0 and 0.3 standard deviations in numeracy. This is approximately 1–2 years worth of learning in literacy and 0–1 year worth of learning in numeracy. By contrast, the size of the composite effect of home background and school quality is roughly 4 years worth of learning for both numeracy (1.2 standard deviations) and literacy (1.15 standard deviations). These results clearly show that the ‘language effect’ should be seen within the broader context of a generally dysfunctional schooling system. They further stress the importance of the quality of instruction, not only the language of learning and assessment. The fact that the literacy and numeracy achievement of South African children is so low in grade 3 (prior to any language switch to English in grade 4) should give pause to those who argue that language is the most important factor in determining achievement, or lack thereof, in South Africa.

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