Teaching Science in Mother Tongue: Balancing Compliance with Self-Efficacy

Authors: Jerah Gumalal and Aurelio Vilbar

Educational policies show that multilingual education, which utilizes the mother tongue (MT) in instruction, can open extensive educational opportunities. However, teachers from multilingual contexts have struggled to comply with the policy due to lack of useful MT-based materials and difficulty in the translation of science concepts into the MT. This correlational study aims to determine how elementary science teachers in Cebu City, Philippines develop self-efficacy in teaching science despite the lack of MT instructional materials. It determined a correlation between self-efficacy in teaching science and self-rating in using the MT in science. Findings also showed that the use of the MT may hinder the science teaching self-efficacy of teachers. Focus-group discussion, however, established that the teachers were able to address MT-related problems by focusing on their self-efficacy through their openness to code-switching and enthusiasm to use new teaching methods, production of practical teaching tools, and commitment to creating meaningful learning relationships with their students. It is recommended that administrators provide teacher training on essential skills to teach subjects in the MT and that the Department of Education strive to create more instructional materials to promote the goals of MTB-MLE.

Mother tongue-based multilingual education, self-efficacy, science teaching, science teaching efficacy belief.


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APA Citation
Gumalal, J. and Vilbar, A., 2020. Teaching Science in Mother Tongue: Balancing Compliance with Self-Efficacy. Philippine Journal for Language Teaching, 52(1), pp.25-31.


About Philippine Association for Language Teaching, Inc. (PALT)
The association primarily devotes itself to the promotion of excellence in language teaching, language education research, and professional development. It does not only concern itself with the teaching of English but also with the teaching of Filipino, local languages, and for some time, foreign languages such as Spanish.