A minority language as language of instruction in the science classroom: A case study of a science teacher teaching at a German-speaking school in Namibia
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Faculty of Education, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, GERMANY
Department of Physics, University of Graz, Graz, AUSTRIA
Online publication date: 2023-11-05
Publication date: 2023-12-01
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2023;19(12):em2372
Previous studies on the challenges teachers face when teaching science in German, as well as their corresponding coping strategies, feature a significant blind spot because—to our knowledge—they have only been conducted in regions, where German is the majority language. To address this blind spot, the present case study explores the perspectives of a science teacher on the role of German as language of instruction in a context in which German is a minority language. To this end, we conducted a narrative interview with a science teacher at a German-speaking school in Namibia and analyzed it qualitative-reconstructively. Our data analysis revealed that two meta-themes, which we labeled “teaching while navigating a monolingual norm” and “teaching while handling shortages,” pattern the key challenges and coping strategies of our interviewed teacher when she is teaching science in German language. The implications of this finding are outlined at the end of this paper.
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