Language of the TIMSS - Like Test and Student Performance in General Science
Language is a spoken code that enables human beings to communicate with each other. In the Philippines, Filipino people are typically multilingual which is now creolized among small elite. Language development and communication are integral components of science learning, and in turn science experiences provide a meaningful experience base that children want to write, talk, read, and construct new meanings .One of the major issues facing policy makers and the implementations of education in general and science education in particular is the low performance of Filipino students at the basic level of education. In the IEA preliminary report, which presented data for seventeen (17) countries, the Philippines ranked 15th and 17th for grades 5 and 9(third year high school) respectively. This ranking did not improved in the Philippines participation in the TIMSS conducted in 1994. TIMSS-R in 1998 features the translation of the English version of the test items in Filipino language for Filipino participants, for which only 15 schools or 10% of the total schools sampled chose to take the Filipino version of the test . In their study, two questions remained unanswered; does the language of the test make significant difference in performance? Would Filipino students perform better if the students themselves were made to choose the language of the test? In this connection, this research were materialized for the purpose of looking into, whether the languages use in the TIMSS-like test affects student performance in general science. Specifically it investigated the extent of the students’ performance I the TIMSS –like test using English language test, Filipino language test and their preferred or choice language in the test which are either Filipino, English or Meranao language.
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