Gabriel Kwame Ankrah, Philip Boateng Ansah, Elizabeth Konadu Mills Abbey


English and Ghanaian indigenous languages are employed at different levels of education as mediums of instruction and are taught as subjects in Ghanaian schools. This study explored this linguistic situation using data from interviews and recordings of classroom interactions in a Junior High School located in the predominantly Twi-speaking community of Obuasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. To achieve this objective, three research questions and a research hypothesis were formulated to guide this study. In all, four language teachers and twenty students were randomly selected purposively for the study. The outcomes of the study showed that students’ lack of competence in English and the linguistic gaps in Twi is the pragmatic factors that influence language choices in this classroom and that code-switching is the main medium adapted to cater to these linguistic challenges. Furthermore, all participants had positive attitudes towards English aa s medium of instruction and as a subject of study because of its utilitarian function, and code-switching as a medium of instruction because it aids in lesson comprehension but they have negative and uncertain attitudes towards Twi as a medium of instruction and as a subject of study respectively because it has a low aspirational function. The study concluded with recommendations that there should be a distinction between the medium of instruction and medium of class interactions or put a premium on students’ needs as the basis for language-in-education policies; that Ghanaian indigenous languages be made compulsory subjects of study from primary school to the Senior High School level and that competence in at least a Ghanaian indigenous language be made a condition for employment in Ghana to give a strong aspirational function to Ghanaian languages as well as trigger positive attitudes towards these languages. 


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Ghana, junior high schools, linguistic perceptions and realities, Obuasi Municipality

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