Malawi's recent education statistics show that a high percentage of pupils does not achieve their study goals and drop out of school. The study examines underlying reasons, yet the main focus rests on the language of instruction. Learners in three different language areas in Malawi participated in a picture-based test to find out whether the development of problem-oriented logical thinking is influenced by the instruction in the mother tongue in early primary school. Answers were given to that question with the help of tests, observations during the tests as well as interviews with teachers, parents and decision makers.
Dr. Anja Langer finished her Masters in African Science, Journalism and German as a Foreign Language at the University of Leipzig in 2002 and is at present working as a Programme Manager in Malawi. Her main interest is on education with a focus on language policy. She carried out her PhD research in 12 primary schools in Malawi in 2006.