Chinyanganya and Muguti
Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 3 (2), pp. 046-052, April 2013
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 @ yahoo.co. 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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