Native Languages and Performance in School Mathematics in the Mozambique?s Social Context

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Ribas Salatiel Gwambe, Bhangy Cassy2


Mozambique is a multilingual society, with about 40 native spoken languages that belong to the Bantu?s origins, a part of Portuguese language, the main and official language for business and instruction. As pointed out in some studies the proficiency in the language of instruction is generally seen as linked to mathematics performance at school and that, in the situation which the language of instruction is different from that spoken in everyday life, there is a much bigger ?gap?, particularly when dealing with mathematics teaching and learning processes, than in other teaching-learning contexts. Regarding the situation of Mozambique the lack of development of specialized mathematics registers in native languages is visible since, even in simple trading relations, people mark and discuss prices and conduct counting and basic operations mostly in Portuguese. Thus, the present study intended to explore possible relationship between the students? way of reasoning to solve algebraic mathematics problems and their language proficiency.

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