Recently we discussed the Department of Basic Education’s plans to have school textbooks translated from English into isiZulu. Issues with non-English speaking learners struggling to get to grips with learning a second language at the same time as trying to grasp difficult new concepts introduced in class have been identified as a major stumbling block to improving education in South Africa. One of the areas where this is most noticeable is in mathematics, where many of the terms used will confuse even fluent English speakers.
The Cambridge Mathematics Dictionary for Schools was created to help learners aged between 10 and 15 years old understand the complicated terminology used in maths, with strong visuals and South African-specific examples used to reinforce the explanations. The dictionary is currently available in the form of an android mobile app for isiXhosa speakers. Learners can switch between the English and isiXhosa definitions by swiping left and right on their phones. The app looks fantastic, and hopefully we’ll soon seen an isiZulu version being released, but in the meantime a hardcopy isiZulu version of the dictionary is available for sale at Exclusive Books.