The study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of mother tongue instruction on the achievement of primary five (V) pupils in literacy and numerical skills in Osun state. It also examined the moderating effect of gender. The Cummins interdependence theory provided the framework, while the pre-test/post-test control group quasi experimental design was adopted. Two Local Government Areas in Osun state were randomly selected. From each LGA, three public primary schools were randomly selected, while an intact class of primary V pupils was selected from each school, totalling 233 pupils. The instruments used were Pupils literacy (α=.82), Pupils numeracy skills (α=.89) Questionnaires and instructional guides. Data were subjected to Analysis of covariance at .05 level of significance. 53.5% of the participants were females. There was a significant difference in the achievement of pupils taught with mother tongue and conventional strategies in literacy and numeracy skills (F(2,232)=27.94; p<.05, partial η2=.20). Pupils exposed to mother tongue strategy had highest post mean literacy and numerical skills (70.47). Mother tongue strategy enhanced pupils’ literacy and numerical skills in primary schools in Osun state, regardless of their gender. Teachers should adopt these strategies to improve pupils’ achievement in literacy and numerical skills.

Keywords: Mother tongue, literacy skills, numeracy skills, primary school, Osun State


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