The Effect of Language of Instruction on Middle School Students’ Achievement, Academic Self-concept and Comprehension Abilities in Science Learning
Keywords:Science education, medium of instruction, science achievement, science academic self-concept, comprehension abilities, language planning and policy
Starting from 2019, Morocco has implemented a new language policy on the medium of instruction for science education. This policy stipulates that scientific and technical subjects should be taught in French. Research has unveiled numerous problems regarding the adoption of foreign or second languages as mediums of instruction .This being the case; the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of language of instruction on the quality of science education. The researcher deployed an explanatory sequential design. Research instruments consisted of a Likert-scale questionnaire distributed among 114 9th grade middle school students, classroom observations, and interviews with science instructors. The results revealed that the French-medium participants are disadvantaged in learning scientific subjects as they showed lower achievement scores, lower levels of academic self-concept, and they relatively encountered more difficulties with the comprehension of scientific courses. By conclusion, this paper provides a number of pedagogical implications addressed to middle school students, middle school science teachers, school counselors, and finally to language policy decision-makers.
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