The Philippines' linguistic diversity poses a constant challenge in education. At the primary level, there exists a never-ending argument over which language should be used in educating Filipino students particularly in science and mathematics education, which are mainly taught in English. Past and recent studies in some regions indicated that primary students perform better when using their first language.
The study aimed to know the students' language preference, their extent of use of the local, the national and academic languages in learning science concepts.
The study was conducted in the Region 5 or the Bicol region. It involved Grades 3 and 4 elementary Bicol-speaking Filipino students from one of the six provinces of the said region. To achieve the objectives, the researcher developed and incorporated the use of survey questionnaires which were translated into the Filipino language to determine the students' language preference in learning science concepts. Each item in the survey questionnaire solicited responses about the students' use of the local and academic languages in science learning.
The findings show that most students use their mother language, Bicol, in and outside their homes, and use the Filipino and English languages at school. The results also indicate that the respondents prefer using the Filipino language in science classes particularly in exams, homework, class recitations and in following their teacher's instructions during science class activities.