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IMPACT OF KANURI LANGUAGE ON PERFORMANCE AND RETENTION OF BASIC SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CONCEPTS AMONG PUPILS

IMPACT OF KANURI LANGUAGE ON PERFORMANCE AND RETENTION OF BASIC SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CONCEPTS AMONG PUPILS

ABSTRACT
This research compared the performance of primary pupils in the class five after teaching using Kanuri and English languages to teach lower Basic Science and Technology Concepts among pupils in Maiduguri Metropolis, Nigeria. It explored the impact of using the learners‘ mother tongue (Kanuri) and second language (English) as languages for teaching and learning science at the lower Basic Science and Technology class. The study additionally explores the influence of gender on academic performance of pupils when taught in their mother tongue. The population from which the sample for this study was drawn are primary five pupils of the five model primary schools in Maiduguri Metropolis with a total population of 2371 pupils. Two model primary schools were purposively sampled on their suitability for the study. The sample size is 95 primary five pupils in the selected schools made up of 55 boys and 40 girls. The research design is quasi-experimental. For data collection, Basic Science and Technology Achievement Test (BSTAT) was used. A pretest, post-test, post-posttest was carried out to determine the level of achievement and retention after teaching using Kanuri Language and English. Four research questions and four research hypotheses were stated and tested. The hypotheses formulated tested whether Kanuri and English, as media of instruction, and gender have impact on academic performance and retention when Basic Science and Technology concepts are taught to primary five pupils in the study area. The hypotheses were tested using t-test of significance at P ≤0.05. The research findings showed, among others, that pupils performed better and had higher retention when taught concepts in Basic Science and Technology using Kanuri language than when taught using English language. The study also showed that gender has no impact on performance and retention when pupils were taught the same concepts of Basic Science and Technology in Kanuri. The study recommends that Kanuri should be adopted as the language of instruction at lower basic levels for teaching Basic Science and Technology in the area of this study, since it is the local language of the area. It also recommends for the training of teachers and the development of suitable teaching resources to create the enabling environment for learning to take place effectively.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Declaration ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Certification …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Dedication ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. iv
Acknowledgements ………………………………………………………………………………………………… v
Table of Contents ………………………………………………………………………………………………….vii
List of Tables ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… x
List of Figures ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. xi
List of Appendices …………………………………………………………………………………….xii
Operational Definition of Terms …………………………………………………………………………….
List of Abbreviations ……………………………………………………………………………………………..
Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. xvii
CHAPTER ONE : THE PROBLEM
1.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.1.1 Theoretical Framework …………………………………………………………………………….. 11
1.2 Statement of the Problem ………………………………………………………………………….. 15
1.3 Objectives of the Study …………………………………………………………………………….. 17
1.4 Research Questions ………………………………………………………………………………….. 17
1.5 Hypotheses ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 18
1.6 Significance of the Study …………………………………………………………………………… 19
1.7 Basic Assumptions …………………………………………………………………………………… 20
1.8 Scope of the Study …………………………………………………………………………………… 20
CHAPTER TWO : REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 22
2.2 Teaching and Learning Basic Science and Technology at theMiddle Basic Level. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 22
2.3 The History of the Kanuri People of Kanem-Borno ……………………………………….. 25
2.4 The Importance of Language for Communication in Teaching and Learning ……… 38
2.4.1 Outcomes of National Languages for Teachers, Administrators and Parents ………. 44
2.4.2 Factors Affecting Gap Closure in National Language Programmes …………………… 46
2.5 Impact on Students‘ Achievement in Science: English as a Medium of Instruction ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 58
2.6 Retention and its value in Learning Basic Science and Technology ………………….. 64
2.7 Mother Tongue Instructions and Achievement in Science ……………………………….. 67
2.8 Implications of Literature Reviewed on the Present Study ………………………………. 83
CHAPTER THREE : METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 86
3.2 Research Design ………………………………………………………………………………………. 86
3.3 Population of the Study …………………………………………………………………………….. 87
3.4 Sample and Sampling Procedure ………………………………………………………………… 88
3.5.1 Instrumentation ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 89
3.5.2 Validity of the Instrument………………………………………………………………………….. 91
3.5.3 Pilot Testing ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 92
3.5.4 Reliability of the Instruments …………………………………………………………………….. 93
3.5.5 Difficulty Index of the Test Items ……………………………………………………………….. 93
3.5.6 Discriminating Index ………………………………………………………………………………… 95
3.6 Administration of Treatment ……………………………………………………………………… 96
3.7 Data Collection ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 96
3.8 Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 97
CHAPTER FOUR : DATA ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 99
4.2 Data Analysis and Results …………………………………………………………………………. 99
4.2.1 Impact of Kanuri Language on Academic Achievement of Basic Science Pupils Taught Soap Making……………………………………………………………………… 100
4.3 Null Hypothesis……………………………………………………………………………………… 102
4.4 Summary of Findings ……………………………………………………………………………… 106
4.5 Discussion of Results ……………………………………………………………………………… 107
CHAPTER FIVE : SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………… 117
5.2 Summary of the Study …………………………………………………………………………….. 117
5.3 Summary of Major Findings …………………………………………………………………….. 120
5.4 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 121
5.5 Contribution to Knowledge ……………………………………………………………………… 121
5.6 Recommendations ………………………………………………………………………………….. 122
5.7 Limitations of the Study ………………………………………………………………………….. 125
5.8 Suggestions for Further Studies ………………………………………………………………… 126
References ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 128
Appendices ………………………………………………………………………………………………

CHAPTER ONE
THE PROBLEM
1.1 Introduction
Language is one of the most effective means of communication at any level by man. It is also a channel through which culture is passed from one generation to another and serves as a tool for instruction. According to Adeyebe and Nwodobi (1991), language is a means by which thoughts, ideas and knowledge are passed from one person to another in written or oral forms. The target language that is spoken by the parents of the child is variously called the mother tongue of the child, the first language or (L1), the vernacular etc., of the child. According to International Opinion on Language Issues – Mother Tongue is the key to Education Knowledge, Science, and Learning (http://www.antiessays.com/ International-Opinion-On-Language-Mother-695782.html). Mother tongue plays tremendously useful role in the education of child, as it has great importance in the field of education such as:
 Medium of Expression and Communication and formation of social groups: Mother tongue is the best medium for the expression of one‘s ideas and feelings and formation of social groups
 Easy to Learn: best medium for acquiring knowledge: Of all the languages, the mother-tongue is the most easy to learn, facilitating thinking, as an instrument of acquiring knowledge, therefore, training in the use of mother-tongue, the tongue in which a child thinks and dreams, becomes the first essential of schooling and the finest instrument of human culture (Ballard, 1941).
 It brings about Intellectual Development: Intellectual development is impossible without language. Reading, expressing of oneself, acquisition of
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knowledge and reasoning are the instruments for bringing about intellectual development; and all of these are possible only through language, most especially, the mother-tongue of the child.
The above constitute only a few among a broad range of the application of mother tongue in education.Therefore, the mother tongue must be given an important and prominent place in the school curriculum. This may be why many nations, such as China, Japan, Russia, India, the Arab Nations, etc., have achieved such huge technological and scientific advances on their own using the mother tongue as their thrust engines.
Science as a concept is a process that is geared towards problem solving in order to enhance the living standard of man. Nwagbo (2005) defines science as intellectual activity carried out by man and designed to discover information about the natural world in which he lives as well as to discover the ways in which the information can be organized to benefit the human race. Some scholars consider science as a body of organized knowledge and a process of acquiring knowledge (Jegede & Brown 1980). They further view science as a work of man trying to explain the happenings of the world around him and how such can be harnessed for the benefit of mankind. Shaibu (1992) sees science as a complex human activity that culminates in the production of body of universal statements which serve to explain the observable behaviour of the universe or part of it. From these observations, science could be seen as a discipline of enquiry or systematic study of phenomenon that can be examined, tested and verified. From earlier beginning, science has developed into one of the greatest and most influential fields of human endeavour. Similarly, the Microsoft Encarta Reference Library (2005) defines science to consist of the systematic observation of natural events and conditions in order to discover
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facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts andorganizethe body of knowledge that is derived from such observations that can be verified or tested by further investigation.
From these definitions, science can be seen as not just a mere acquisition of facts but rather the active involvement of pupils through activity–based methods such as, demonstration method, discussion method, project method, fieldtrip method, discovery method, etc. These teaching methods along with a good language for communication make the teaching and learning of science more meaningful in such a way that pupils would be able to unfold concepts by themselves as a means of achieving one of the objectives of the National Policy on Education, (FME, 2004). Students‘ interest in science should, therefore, be aroused at the primary school level by teaching them using a language they can comprehend. This will give them a good understanding of the subject and as such prepare them for further studies in science courses at the secondary school level. Okoronka (2004) asserted that science is instrumental to technological and socio-economic growth across the globe. Oludipe, (2003) argues that science occupies unique position among other subjects because of the numerous applications to which its concepts are being put to improve man‘s environment. The teaching of science should, therefore, reflect the processes and methods of modern science, which could enhance technological development. According to Hermann (2005), the effectiveness of teaching any subject could be measured in terms of the knowledge of what to teach, how to teach it and when to teach it. The ―how‖ of teaching constitutes what is called teaching method. That is why National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, (2002) stated that teachers should use several methods of teaching when effective teaching and learning is desired. The language used is equally important, as no proper communicationcan be
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made where language used is difficult for learner to understand. The fundamental significance of science in the pursuit and development of knowledge justify its inclusion in the lower and middle basic education curriculum. Basic education is defined as the education given in an institution to children aged 6-11 years. In Nigeria today the current 9-3-4 system of education, the Basic Education is the first nine (9) years in school from primary 1to JSS 3. Of the first nine years the first three years of schooling is calssifeid as the Lower Basic, the next three years is further classified as the Middle Basic and the JSS 1-3 is classified as the Upper Basic. The major objectives of the Basic Education as documented in the Universal Basic Education (UBE) include among others, ensuring unfettered access to nine (9) years of formal basic education for every Nigerian child of school going age, drastically reducing the incidence of drop-outs from the formal school system through improved relevance, quality and efficiency; and acquisition of appropriate levels of literarcy, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life-skills as well as ethical, moral and civic values for laying a solid foundation for life-long learning. Science is taught at the lower and middle basic levels as Basic Science and Technology and later at the Upper Basic (Junior Secondary) School level separated into Basic Science and Basic Technology, and then taught as separate subjects. Jegede & Brown (1980) observed that ―it has become necessary to teach science right from primary school‖. They further advanced the following reasons why learning of science is inevitable at the primary level using Nigeria languages some of these reasons include:-
 Changes that are affecting the life style of an average Nigerian;
 The massive number of primary school drop-outs, who may have only that opportunity to come into contact with science.
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 Scientific development and national development go hand in hand; hence the teaching of science at the lower and middle levels will help in the achievement of national objective.
In view of these reasons, Basic Science and Technology has been made a core subject in the National Curriculum for all Nigerian pupils. Every child is thus expected to have some level of learning of science before completing primary school (Isyaku, 2009). Harlen (1992) also provided additional justification for the inclusion of Basic Science in the school curriculum when she cited the UNESCO Report (1983) on the incorporation of science and technology in the primary school curriculum as follows:
 Science can help children to think in a logical way about everyday events and solve simple practical problems as such intellectual skills will be valuable to them wherever they live and whatever job they do.
 Science and its applications in technology can help to improve the quality of people‘s lives. Science and Technology are socially useful activities with which we would expect young children to become familiar.
 As the world is increasingly becoming more scientifically and technologically oriented, it is important that future citizens should be equipped to live in it.
 Science if well taught can promote children‘s intellectual development.
 Science can positively assist children in other subject areas, especially language and mathematics.
 Middle basic school is terminal for many pupils and this is the only opportunity they may have to explore their environment logically and systematically. ―Terminal‖ in the sense defined by Fafunwa and Bliss (1976), Jegede and Brown (1980) who pointed out that for many pupils,
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primaryschooling is terminal in the sense that the pupils are unable to continue beyond this point due to ill-health, inability to pay tuition fees, and other multifarious reasons. For such the knowledge of science they acquire at the primary level remain usefull to them in their future endevour.
Basic Science and Technology at the lower and middle basic school can be real fun as children everywhere are intrigued by simple problems, either contrived or real ones from the world around them. If science teaching can focus on such problems, exploring ways to capture children‘s interest through the use of language they understand very well i.e. ―catch them young‖, no subject can be more appealing or exciting to these young children than Science and Technology. Helen (1992) further asserts that, children‘s ideas of the world around them are being built up during the primary years and that the development of concepts and knowledge is not independent of the development of intellectual skills; unless children are helped to expand their ways of gathering and processing information through the use of language they understand ―scientific approach‖ may be difficult to achieve. Children‘s attitudes to science are formed earlier than are their attitudes to most other subjects. This study thus intends to teach the concepts of soap making and its uses in Basic Science and Technology to primary five pupils using Kanuri language as medium of instruction. The aim is to determine whether the use of Kanuri language, the mother tongue of the pupils in the area of study would aid performance as well as retention among the pupils.
Performance is a measure of the outcome of education ie the extent to wich a student has achieved the educational set goals. According to Ward et al (1996), academic performance is the outcome of education-the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. That academic
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performance is usually measured by examinations or continuous assessment, but that there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important-procedural knowledge, such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts. In the context of this study, academic performance is the ability of the learner to undertake an academic task successfully using his or her own knowledge and skill to meet the standard expectation formally set by the teacher, or by other appropriate performance measuring authorities. The overall poor academic performance in science among primary school pupils raises doubt as to the efficacy of the teaching methods as well as the medium of instruction used by teachers to impart knowledge (Eta, 2000). The achievement momentum of pupils in the classroom teaching and learning of science varies according to certain factors such as: pupils‘ background, teaching method, etc. and the child‘s developmental level in terms of chronological and cognitive maturity. Such variations lead to labeling pupils as ―under-achievers‖ (limited learners), ―slow learners‖ and ―dropouts‖, all being descriptions of weak and low ability groups, and the ―talented‖ generalized as high-ability group (Oxenhorne, 1992; Ali, 1998; Nkwo, 2003).
This current movement towards the direction of low achievement in science learning could likely suggest that tomorrow‘s scientist may be bereft of techno-science competencies required for further development. From examination records from the schools for the past four years (4 years), the science subjects‘ results were generally poor. The reasons identified for those anomalies by the head teachers and subject teachers include factors such as lack of infrastructure and suitable environment, shortage of qualified teachers, the perception of science by learners as very difficult subject, lack of opportunity for the learners to have direct experience
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with learning materials and most fundamentally, the instructional medium used in teaching basic science. Of these factors, the most related one to this study is the factor of instructional medium (Ali, 1998; Nkwo, 2003). Iroham (1991) observed that the present method of teaching science whereby teachers use lecture method does not in any way provide for sequence of learning experiences. Lecture method is a method of teaching in which the teacher delivers pre-planned lesson to pupils with little or no instructional aides. In using this method, the teacher talks about science while the pupils read about it, (Gbamanja, 1991). Lecture method, traditionally referred to as didactic approach, is defined as a technique in which a person, usually the teacher, presents a spoken discourse on a particular subject (Atadoga & Onaolapo, 2008). Lecture is used to elaborate; simplify, clarify and discuss new materials to learners .The materials may include facts or views on issues and problems related to the learners, which provide an aesthetically stimulating experience. Effectiveness of lecture method depends on the type of the learner, circumstances of the class, the subject, educational purposes and the teacher‘s own characteristics and skills. According to Adesoji (2009), many academics have accepted lecture methods as a proper way of imparting knowledge since our educational system puts so many premiums on external examinations. This, however, is a detriment to pupils‘ learning, since one of the objectives of science education is to develop pupils‘ interest in science and technology as today‘s society depends largely on development in science and technology. The teaching and learning of science concepts should, therefore, be done using teaching methods that are activity-oriented such as discussion method, demonstration method, project method etc. (Okebukola, 1997, 2004). Demonstration method will be used in this study to teach both experimental and control groups.
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Demonstration method: means showing by reason or proof, explaining or making clear by use of example or experiment. In teaching through demonstration, pupils are set up to potentially conceptualize class material more effectively because it is learner-centered. Demonstration method often occurs when learners have a hard time connecting theories to actual practice or when learners are unable to understand application of theories. Science educators like Jegede and Taylor (1998), Okebukola (2002), Tsui and Treagust (2002) revealed that teaching methods are activity-oriented which involve the learners taking active roles in the teaching/learning process that results in meaningful learning of science concepts. However, teachers in schools resort to the use of lecture method which, as several studies pointed out, only encourages rote learning and as such does not enhance academic performance and positive attitude towards science among both male and female pupils (James, 2000; Usman, 2000; Bichi, 2002). Therefore, in this study the influence of Kanuri Language as medium of instruction was used to see whether their academicperformance and retention level could be enhanced using demonstration method as instructional strategy. Retention, is the ability to keep learnt things in the mind, especially, the preservation of the aftereffects of experience and learning that makes recall or recognition possible. Retention is one of the variables tested in this study. This is to determine whether using Kanuri language as a medium of instruction to teach the concept of soap making would aid learnig.
Gender, another important variable of concern in science education is the issue of gender-related differences in performance. The findings of science educators have revealed under-representation of girls in science, mathematics and technical subjects at both primary/secondary school levels (Yoloye, 1994 & Fakorede, 1999). In
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addition to under representation is also the under achievement of girls in science and science related courses, Lieberrnan (1998), James (2000), while Nwosu (2001) stated that there was no gender difference in their performance in science. This study was carried out to find out the influence of Kanuri Language as a medium of instruction on academic performance and retention among lower basic pupils in Basic Science and Technology. The study also attempted to find out the impact of gender on academic performance and retention in Science and Technology, when the concept of soap making was taught using Kanuri language as medium of instruction.
Some science educators like Ivowi (1983), Adeyebe (1991) and Otuka (2006) considered that in a teaching-learning situation, language is central to communicating ideas. These studies revealed that students‘ achievements in science are retarded in understanding scientific concepts, laws, theories and formulae if the means of communication is defective. They unanimously reported that a child could internalize any given own language or any language of the immediate environment which he is familiar with. This view is supported by Bruner (1979), who argued that, a language that you have never been happy in, never been angry in, never made love in, cannot be advocated for the a child. Atadoga, (2007), argued that the child‘s mother tongue or language of his immediate environment is the best and most effective language to give him meaningful instruction. Rabiu (2000) also argued that the first year of the child‘s experiences with science is crucial as it can affect the child‘s attitude to science for the rest of his/her life. If a child does not have satisfactory understanding of the basic concepts taught in primary school, he/she may find it difficult to assimilate further concepts appropriately. The primary school teachers shoulderthe responsibility of producing children who also have well-formed basic concepts and who are able to use these basic concepts to further their knowledge in science. In
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order to achieve these, the teachers must have a good understanding of the concepts to be taught, as well as being able to communicate these concepts to the child in a language that would aid understanding. The teacher must aid the learner to understand as well as apply these concepts to develop further concepts. According to Rabiu (2000), use of language of the immediate environment of the learner aids learning. The language of the immediate environment of the learner is usually the mother tongue of the learner. In the same vein Fafunwa (1990) and Atadoga (2007) have shown that mother tongue aided learning as concepts in science are easily assimilated. This study therefore used demonstration strategy to teach the concept of soap making to primary pupils using Kanuri and English language as media of instruction, to determine the effects of these media on performance and retention of the the science concept taught.
1.1.1 Theoretical Framework
The study is premised on the cognitive theory of learning especially as propounded by Bruner (1966) and Vygotsky‘s (1978) socio-cultural theory. Bruner‘s theoretical framework is premised on the theme that learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon existing knowledge. Learning is an active process. Facets of the process include selection and transformation, decision making, generating hypotheses and making meaning from information and experiences. Bruner‘s theories emphasize the significance of categorization in learning. He posits that ―to perceive is to categorize, to conceptualize is to categorise, to learn is to form categories, to make decisions is to categorise‖. Therefore, interpreting information and experiences by similarities and differences is a key concept. Bruner, early in his works introduced the ideas of readiness for learning and more importantly the ―the spiral curriculum‖. Bruner believed that any subject could be taught at any stage of development in a way
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that fit the child‘s cognitive abilities. Spiral curriculum refers to the idea of revisiting basic ideas over and over, building upon them and elaborating to the level of full understanding and mastery. It is his assertion that any subject could be taught any child in a way that fits the child‘s cognitivedevelopment that Bruner significantly departs from Piaget. He posits that development is continuous process not a series of stages. Bruner states that, the development of language is a cause not a consequence of cognitive development.
There are four features of Bruner‘s theory of instruction, namely, predisposition to learn: this feature specifically states the experiences of which move the learner toward a love of learning in general, or of learning something in particular. Motivational, cultural, and personal factors contribute to this. Bruner emphasized social factors and early teachers and parents‘ influence on this. He believed learning and problem solving emerged out of exploration. Part of the task of the teacher is to maintain and direct a child‘s spontaneous explorations. The second is the structure of knowledge: it is possible to structure knowledge in a way that enables the learner to most readily grasp the information. This, he realizes is a relative feature, as there are many ways to structure a body of knowledge and many preferences among learners. Understanding the fundamental structure of a subject makes it more comprehensible. Details are better retained when placed within the context of an ordered and structured pattern.The discrepancy between beginning and advanced knowledge in a subject area is diminished when instruction centres on a structure and principles of orientation. This means that a body of knowledge must be in a simple enough form for the learner to understand it and it must be in the form recognizable to the student‘s experience. The modes of representationis and visual, words and symbols the next.The last is effective sequencing- no one sequencing will fit every learner, but in general,
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increasing difficulty. Sequencing or the lack of it can make learning easier or more difficult. Bruner also postulated three stages of intellectual development: the first stage he termed “enactive‖ when a person learns about the world through actions on physical objects and outcomes of these actions. The second stage he termed “iconic” where learning can be obtained through using models and pictures. The third and final stage he termed “symbolic” in which the learner develops the capacity to think in abstract terms. Based in this three- stage action, Bruner recommended using a combination of concrete, pictorial and then symbolic activities will lead to more effective learning. Some of the significant implications of Bruner‘s theory for learning process are that instruction must be appropriate to the level of the learners. For example, being aware of the learners‘ learning modes (enactive, iconic, and symbolic) will help the teacher to plan and prepare appropriate materials for instruction according to the difficulty that matches the learners‘ level. Teachers must revisit materials. Building on pre-taught ideas to grasp the full formal concept is of paramount importance. In other words, in line with the principle of ―spiral curriculum‖, the teacher is at liberty to re-introduce vocabulary, points of grammar, and other topics now and then in order to push students to deeper comprehension and longer retention. In addition, materials must be presented in a sequence giving learner the opportunity to transform and transfer his learning. Teachers should assist learners in building knowledge, as in providing a scaffold; this assistance should fade away as it becomes unnecessary.
Vygotsky‘s sociocultural theory perceives language as a tool for developing thoughts, and believes that all learning is social; it also takes into consideration the role of social interaction in learning and development. Schrum &Glisan, (2000), opine that, socio-cultural theory sees learning and development as cognitive and social
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processes that occur as a result of interaction between ―experts‖ (more capable) and ―novices‖ (less capable). In the context of our study, the experts are the teachers and the novices are the learners who have to be assisted to get to a higher level of development by means of interaction through language. For effective learning to take place collaborative interaction between the expert and novice is necessary. There are three concepts involved in learning in the socio-cultural theory, namely, the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), mediation and scaffolding and scientific concepts (Freeman &Freeman, 1994; Schrum & Glisan, 2000). Vygotsky‘s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) assumes that the learner brings two levels of development to the learning task: (1) what the learner can do or the actual developmental level, (2) what the learner should be able to do in the future or potential developmental level. As the learner interacts with others, he /she progresses from the actual developmental level to the potential developmental level. The distance between these two developmental levels is referred to as the Zone of Proximal Development (Nomlomo, 2007).
For learning to take place, instruction must occur in the learner‘s ZPD (Freeman & Freeman, 1994). In other words, the learner must be guided by an adult, the teacher in this case, to reach his/her potential developmental level. The ZPD or the learner‘s attainment of his potential level has implications for the teaching approaches that the teacher employs in the lessons, as well as the kind of interactions that occur in the classroom between the teacher and the learner, and between the learner and his peers. Schrum & Glisan (2000), see problem-solving under the teacher‘s guidance (or parent or more capable peer) as one of the effective strategies of achieving the ZPD. Collaborative or interactive learning in the form of group work is also essential as children learn from each other. Ohta, (2000), opined that effectiveness in the ZPD
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depends on a number of factors such as the expertise of the helper, the nature of the task, the goal of the task, and the developmental level of learner. For instance, if the helper is not more knowledgeable than the learner, (e.g. i+1), or the task is too easy, or there is too much resistance, the development of the learner may be negatively affected. Within the socio-cultural paradigm, learners make sense of the world around them by means of certain tools. Such tools include the language used in social interaction, visual materials, learning activities, direct instruction or teacher assistance, etc. These tools mediate between the learner and the world. In simple terms, mediation can be defined as a way of assisting the learner to make sense of what is being learned by making use of various tools. Therefore, the influence of Kanuri Language as medium of instruction in teaching Science and Technology will give support for pupils to strengthen connections between new concept and prior ones, and build up their knowledge of Science hence perform better. Based on these it is assumed that Kanuri Language as a medium of instruction will assist learners to form their own concepts and consequently enhance academic achievement and retention in Science.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The use of English as the language of classroom instruction has become significant, especially, in the third-world countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and some African countries like Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, etc., Bilingual schools exist incorporating the use of English and National language in the teaching and learning environment especially in mathematics and sciences. Bilingual education is defined as ―the1 (2)

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