Challenges other Languages Spoken in Upper Primary Schools have on the Teaching and Learning of English in Kenya

  • Joseph Komenn Kabellow School of Education, Moi University
  • Peter L. Barasa School of Education, Moi University
  • Carolyne A. Omulando School of Education, Moi University
Keywords: multilingualism, mother tongue, challenges, other languages, learning of English

Abstract

This paper examines the influence Kiswahili and local languages have on the instruction of English. Specifically it examines how languages exposed to the learners in public primary school setting influence the manner in which they learn and use English. These are the underlying issues that emerge out of a research that was conducted in Marakwet District of Kenya, 2010 -2011. The study adopted Vygotsky‟s (1978) social constructivism theory. It postulates that people use language influenced by various social factors and that the adult is a major facilitator and determiner in language acquisition and use. The study used the mixed method approach and descriptive survey design to collect qualitative and quantitative data. The study focused on public primary schools because they use mother tongue as the medium of instruction in lower primary, while English is used in upper primary as required by the Kenyan language policy. Simple random and purposive sampling was used to select 21 public primary schools from 70. Twenty standard seven pupils and one teacher of English were randomly selected from each of the sampled schools. The interview schedule and questionnaire were used for data collection. Data was coded and analysed with the help of SPSS through descriptive statistics, presented in frequency tables and thematically discussed. The study established that other languages: Kiswahili and mother tongue find their way into the classroom discourse, other languages used in school affect the learning of English, pupils‟ use of other languages other than English affects their pronunciation, finally other languages spoken cause incompetence in spoken and written English. The study recommends: teachers as role models should strive to use English all the time in their interaction with learners; teachers promote language proficiency among pupils in order to enhance the learning of English; schools should formulate school language policies to allow for meaningful learning of English.

References

Barasa, L P. (2005). English Language Teaching in Kenya: Policy, Training and Practice. Eldoret: Moi University Press.

Brown, P., (1987). Politeness: Some Universals in Language use. Cambridge: C.U.P

Cohen, L. & Marion, L., (1992). Research Methods in Education (T hird Edition) New York: Routledge

Conner-Linton, J & Fasold, R. W. (2008).(eds) An Introduction to Language and Linguistics. New York: Cambridge University Press

Cozby, P. C.(2001). Methods in Behavioral Research (10th Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education International Edition

Crystal, D., (1987). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cummins, J. (1984). Bilingualism and special issues in assessment in Psychology. Clerendon, Avon: Multilanguage Matters

GOK, (2010). The Constitution of Kenya: Nairobi: Government printers.

GOK. (1976). Report on the National Committee on Educational objectives and Policies.Nairobi: Government Printers

Government of Kenya (1964). Kenya Education Commission (part 1). Nairobi: Government Printers

Kamwangamalu, N. M., (2000). Language in contact. In Webb & Kembo–Sure (2000) (Eds) African Voices: An Introduction to anguages and linguistics of Africa (pp. 287-302) South Africa: Oxford University Press

Kembo, J. A., (1997). ―Inferencing in a Second Language: how far is Language proficiency factor?‖ Unpublished D.phil T hesis, University of Reading.

Kembo-Sure, E. (2013). Literacy, Language and Liberty: The Cultural Politics of English as Official Language in Africa. Eldoret: Moi University Press

Kembo-Sure, E., (1994). Language Attitude use and Proficiency. A Sociolinguistic study of English in Kenya, Unpublished D. Phil T hesis, Eldoret: Moi University

Kerlinger, F. N. & Lee, H. B., (2000). Foundation of Behavioural Research, (4th Edition). New York: Harcourt College Publisher

Masinde, R. (2005). First language transfer and its implication on leaning of English: A Case of Form Two Kalenjin speaking
Students in Secondary Schools in Marakwet District. Unpublished M.phil T hesis, Eldoret: Moi University

Mugenda, G. A., & Mugenda, O., (2003). Research Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Approach . Nairobi: Acts Press

Obura, A. (1986). Trilingual Kenyans. Our classrooms and resources. In Kembo-Sure, E., (1994) Language Attitude use and Proficiency: A Sociolinguistic Study of English in Kenya, Unpublished D.Phil T hesis, Eldoret: Moi University

Omulando, C. (2002). The effect of Kiswahili on the use of English as a Medium of Instruction and Language in Kenyan Secondary Schools. Unpublished M.Phil T hesis. Eldoret: Moi University.

Saxena, M. (2009). Construction and Deconstruction of Linguistic Otherness: Conflict and Cooperative Code -switching in English Bilingual Classrooms in Brunei Darussalam. Journal of English Teaching Practice and Critique, 8 (2) 167-187. University of Warwick, UK. Retrieved from http:/education.waikato.ac.nz/research/files/etpc/files/2009vart8.pdf

T annen, D. (2008). Language and Culture. In J. Conner-Linton, & R.W. Fasold. (2008) (eds) An Introduction to Language and Linguistics. New York: Cambridge University Press

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Webb, V. & Kembo-Sure, E., (2000 ) (Eds), African Voices: An Introduction to the Languages and Linguistics of Africa. South
Africa – Cape T own: Oxford University Press
Published
2018-08-27
How to Cite
Kabellow, J., Barasa, P. L., & Omulando, C. A. (2018, August 27). Challenges other Languages Spoken in Upper Primary Schools have on the Teaching and Learning of English in Kenya. African Journal of Education,Science and Technology, 1(2), pp 46-52. Retrieved from http://ajest.info/index.php/ajest/article/view/159
Section
Articles