Greener Journal of Educational Research

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Chinyanganya and Muguti

Greener Journal of  Educational Research Vol. 3 (2), pp. 046-052, April 2013

 ISSN: 2276-7789 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 011613381


Taboos and the pragmatics of teaching HIV and AIDS at primary school: Views from selected primary school teachers in Chipadze, Bindura


*1Taurai L. Chinyanganya and 2Jonah Muguti


1Lecturer in the Languages and Media Studies Department

Zimbabwe Open University

2Lecturer – Zimbabwe Open University


*Corresponding Author’s Email: chinyanganyatau @ uk


This study was conducted in the context of Shona culture, where discourse on sex and sexuality is regarded as taboo. Sex and matters related to it cannot be mentioned freely, more so to primary school going pupils. HIV/AIDS being largely contacted through sex, it was theorized that classroom practitioners face problems in communicating about and teaching HIV/AIDS/STI information. The study, carried out in a number of Bindura Primary Schools in Zimbabwe, sought information on how educators develop and use linguistic strategies to inculcate HIV/AIDS knowledge to the young ones without breaching social expectations and taboo limits. Data were collected, through the use of a questionnaire, from a random sample of 60 teachers, selected from four primary schools. The study throws some insight into the strategies by which teachers teach about sex and sexuality without being offensive to social expectations. It also reveals the effect these strategies have on the meanings of the messages conveyed by teachers, in the effort to reduce the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in our schools.
Keywords: Language taboos, pragmatics, HIV/AIDS education.

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