Effect of grades one and two language of instruction on performance in Mathematics among grade three pupils in Rulindo district, Rwanda


Adidja Nyiramafaranga
Helen Omondi Mondoh
Jacinta S.A. Kwena
Fred Wafula Namasaka
J. Francois Maniraho


Introduction: Prior research has indicated that poor performance in Mathematics may be attributed to the inability of candidates to express ideas in English. There has been little focus on the effect of language use on the learners’ performance in Rwanda schools, where the Language Policy for Education has changed drastically since the country’s independence in 1962.

Purpose: This paper sought to find out how the language used for instruction at Grade One and Grade Two could be used to envisage subsequent performance in Mathematics at Grade Three.

Methodology: A causal comparative research design of Ex-post facto nature was adopted. The study involved 188 pupils and 6 Mathematics teachers randomly selected. A Mathematics Achievement Test and teachers’ interview guide were used to collect data. Data was analysed using a One-way ANOVA and thematic analysis.

Results: The study revealed that pupils whose Language of Instruction was English from Grade One and Grade Two performed significantly better in Mathematics at Grade Three than their counterparts whose Language of Instruction was Kinyarwanda at Grade One and Two.

Conclusion and Recommendations: The Language of Instruction at Grades One and Two was the origin for the gap existing among Grade Three pupils who went through the same learning experiences.  The findings of this study could help teachers, The Ministry of Education as well as the schools’ management to focus on suitable Language of Instruction to improve the quality of learning. The results of this study could also serve as a springboard for further study in the same area.


How to Cite
Nyiramafaranga, A., Mondoh, H. O., Kwena, J. S., Namasaka, F. W., & Maniraho, J. F. (2024). Effect of grades one and two language of instruction on performance in Mathematics among grade three pupils in Rulindo district, Rwanda. Journal of Educational Research in Developing Areas, 5(1), 19-31. https://doi.org/10.47434/JEREDA.5.1.2024.19


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