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Teaching and learning resources. Implications on availability and use in the performance of the English language in Kenya

by Dr. Joshua Gichaba Manduku (Author) Clement Nyawara (Author) Joseph Kosgey (Author)

Research Paper (postgraduate) 2017 18 Pages

Education - Reading Instruction

Excerpt

Contents

ABSTRACT

1. Introduction
1.1 Statement of the Problem
1.2 The Purpose of the Study
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.4 Research questions

2. Theoretical Framework
2.1. Conceptual Framework

3. Results
3.1. English Textbooks
3.2. Other Learning English Resources
3.3. Borrowing materials
3.4. Availability of English teaching materials

4. Summary of the Main findings

Conclusions

Recommendations

REFERENCES

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of teaching and learning resources on the performance of English Language in lower Primary Schools in Baringo central Sub-County, Baringo County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to: establish whether the availability of qualified teachers of lower primary English, affects English performance; to find out whether the class size affects performance in lower primary; to find out whether the availability of English textbooks affects English performance in lower primary schools and to examine whether the availability and use of teaching aids in lower primary affects English language performance. The study used descriptive survey research design. The study was carried out in Baringo Central Sub-County, Baringo County. The study was grounded on the learning theory. The target population was 3,200 pupils 39 Head teachers and 39 Subject teachers. The sample comprised 273 pupils, 39 Head teachers and 39 subject teachers. Purposive and simple random sampling was employed to sample the respondents. The research instruments were pre-tested in Baringo North Sub-County with a selected pilot sample identical to the actual sample that was used for the study to check any deficiencies in the research instruments. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews and analyzed using descriptive statistics in particular measure of central tendency and the results were analyzed with the aid of Spreadsheets and Word processing software. The study concluded that most pupils had limited/ insufficient access to learning materials, most teachers are overloaded and lack English language specialization. The findings are expected to assist head teachers and policy makers to establish equipped resource centers with a variety of English related learning resources.

1. Introduction

Globally teaching/learning of English language as a second language to pupils in lower primary is for the noble reason that learners will be able to communicate effectively and build a future career. In Norway, in the first year of primary school, the students spend most of their time playing educational games, learning social structures, the alphabet, basic additional and subtraction, and Basic English skills. In grade 2 through to grade seven, they are introduced to the learning of English language.

In the African view “English is like American dollars; you can use them once in China, UK and Spain, but you cannot go there with shillings or Rwandan Francs. This is the same with English in comparison to other languages; it is a global one” Mathias, Education Minister, Ruanda also insisted that teaching in the child’s mother tongue is not only a local issue but a universally accepted practice. The Rwanda Education Board (REB) allows English at lower primary level only as a subject; this is in agreement with the Kenyan language policy.

When Kenya attained her political independence in 1963, English was recognized as the official language of communication in the country. Since then, English has continued to occupy a dominant position in both the curriculum and public life in Kenya (Robert, 2000). The Gachathi Commission (1976) cited by Henry (1985) recommended English to be taught as a subject, taking over as a language of instruction from the fourth year of primary school at which it remains a subject. In order to enhance concept formation and articulation in linguistic communication, the Koech Commission’s Report (1999) concluded that children should continue to be taught in their mother tongue or the dominant language of the school environment until the end of lower primary (standard three). During this period, English and Kiswahili, the official and national language respectively, should be taught vigorously as subjects. In upper primary, when the child has mastered English and Kiswahili, English should then be introduced as the medium of instruction.

The high priority given to language in schools comes as no surprise. This is because language is central to education for, in addition to being studied in its own right, it exerts a powerful influence on learning and teaching in every area of the curriculum (Wittich & Shuller, 2007). English is a core academic subject and the official medium of instruction from upper primary level to the university level; except in the Kiswahili subject. Therefore, a student’s achievement in it highly depends on his/her ability to use the language effectively, both in written and spoken forms. This is by having a good command of its form (usage) and function (use). English is used in teaching other subjects in the curriculum. The trend of poor performance in English has become so acute that it affects the performance of other subjects, more so, those that require students to express themselves. Therefore, the lack of competence in English also affects performance in other subjects. Students need to be well drilled in the English language to be able to listen to it, speak, read and write it well.

During a workshop for Baringo Central Sub-County English teachers, teachers voiced their dissatisfaction in their students’ performance. The District Education Officer sought to know from the teachers the factors they associate with the wanting performance and the following factors were noted: lack of enough text books causing students to share or do without, too much content in the syllabus which hinders syllabus coverage in some schools or worse still, unsatisfactory coverage of some areas, mainly those that the teachers lack competence in or they deem too difficult for their students to grasp. Some schools also have very large classes which make individual students’ attention by teachers difficult. The quality of language spoken around a student, for instance ‘sheng’ the student’s attitudes towards English also affects their performance. Teacher’s individual performances in his/her teaching as well as the lack of adequate teaching manpower were also brought up as contributors to poor foundation in lower primary schools.

The Koech report (MOE, 2001) asserts that the primary school curriculum is viewed as the foundation upon which the mastery of formal learning skills must be planted. In this regard, the skills of reading, writing, arithmetic, creativity and communication skills of listening and self-expression must be taught to satisfactory levels to provide smooth transition to secondary education. According to Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), English language papers test the candidate’s knowledge of the language. They test the candidates’ ability to comprehend the input, mainly the written word, their mastery of grammar and communicative skills, elicited in their written work as well as their ability to respond to literary cues and to express response in writing.

MOE (2001) has also noted that in some schools, students are hardly able to communicate in English, yet they are expected to write their examinations in it. It is appalling to neither find students in form four who can neither speak nor write English properly. Students fail examinations these days, not because they are stupid, but because they cannot express themselves well especially in subjects which involve essay writing (source). All secondary schools inherit this problem from lower primary schools where the foundation is not well laid. It is against this background that the present study focuses attention on the investigation of the use of teaching and learning resources, on performance of English language in lower primary schools in Baringo Sub-County, Baringo County, Kenya.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Several studies have highlighted the problem of poor performance in English Subject as a National burden, Ndirangu (2004), has shown the dismal performance of English Language in other Counties and that primary school learners of English do not attain the expected performance level in KCPE examinations (KNEC, 2005). It is worrying that a core subject such as English is poorly performed, despite the fact that it is the medium of instruction, the trend and consistence in poor performance is evident. In Baringo Central Sub-County, English performance has been overly discouraging. The mean grade in this subject is generally hardly above D+ (plus). According to the K.C.P.E examination analysis report, a major drop has been noted in the last five years (2009-2013). The D.E.O, (2014) noted with concern during a District prize giving day on 23rdMay, 2014. This trend has caused worry in many schools and more so, to teachers of the subject. He insisted that this trend is traced from the foundation of English language teaching and learning in lower primary. Very good performance in English is attainment of grade A, A- or B+ on the pass mark. A fail or low pass in English is attainment of grade E, D-, D, and C-. Despite its crucial role, students’ performance in English is dismal (KNEC 2013). While the available literature suggests that the use of resources in teaching and learning English language is significant to the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process, the question is whether or not and to what extent these resources are actually available, accessible and used in classroom teaching and learning in English in lower primary schools in Baringo Sub-County. This study therefore sought to investigate the availability and use of teaching and learning resources, on performance of English language in lower Primary Schools in Baringo Central Sub-County.

1.2 The Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the availability and use of teaching and learning resources on performance of English language in lower Primary Schools in Baringo Central Sub–County, Kenya.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The Specific Objectives of this study were:

(i) To examine the effect of availability and use of teaching and learning resources in lower primary on the English language performance in Baringo Central Sub-County.
(ii) To establish the effect of availability of qualified teachers on English performance in lower primary schools in Baringo Central Sub-County
(iii) To assess the effect of availability of English textbooks on English performance in lower primary schools in Baringo Central Sub-County
(iv) To determine the impact of class size on English performance in lower primary in Baringo Central Sub-county.

1.4 Research questions

i. What is the effect of availability and use of teaching aids in lower primary on the English language performance in Baringo Central Sub-County?
ii. How does availability of qualified teachers affect English performance in lower primary schools in Baringo Central Sub-County?
iii. What is the effect of availability of English textbooks on English performance in lower primary schools in Baringo Central Sub-County?
iv. How does class size affect English performance in lower primary schools in Baringo Central Sub-county?

Significance of the Study

From the findings of this study, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (K.I.C.D) may locate the problems encountered by English teachers in innovating the teaching resources that are not available and give advice on how to innovate, and to highlight to school heads on the need to establish a well equipped resource centre /library in school with a variety of learning resources. At the same time, the school inspectors may use the findings to advice the teachers. The findings will draw attention of teachers to the factors to consider in acquisition, utilization, maintenance and storage of these resources at the same time, teachers may use the category used in the study for choosing the resource while the TAC Tutor may use the findings to know the state of affairs as concerns resources in the zone. Furthermore it may help scholars interested in furthering research to do studies on the effects of the variables analyzed on other disciplines.

Using the findings of the study, trainers in various institutions particularly teachers training institutions can be at a position to advice trainee teachers on how to select, use and improvise whenever resources are not available. The findings are expected to awaken the commercial producers as to the type of resources in demand and produce them. The study will also add literature to the few studies carried out on factors influencing performance in English by availing information based on reliable sources to other researchers.

Methodology

The study utilised the mixed methods approach where both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were used and employed an ex-post facto and descriptive survey research designs. The target population was130 Public primary schools which comprised of 3,200 standard two (2) pupils, 130 Head teachers, 130 English subject teachers .The sample respondents were (39) lower Primary schools English teachers , 960 standard two (2) pupils, (39) head teachers, and 39 English subject teachers. Respondents were selected purposively and through simple random sampling. Validity and reliability of instruments were ascertained. After the test-retest, the instruments attained a reliability coefficient of 0.70 using the Cronbach alpha coefficient which was considered high enough to continue with data collection.

2. Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this study was derived from theory of learning developed by lee Vygotsky (1998) .He believed that language development occurred in the context of social interaction as children interact with their peers, adults and other siblings. This indicated that language acquisition and development was interactive, that adults mediated language through interactions designed to elaborate and extend meaning (Winman, 2004).

In his theory he believed that the development of memory, attention and reasoning involved learning to use the inventions of society such as language, mathematical systems and memory strategies. In one culture this might consist of learning to count with the help of a computer in another, it might consist of counting on one’s fingers or using beads.

This theory is relevant to the study in that knowledge is not generated from within the individual but rather is constructed through interaction with other people and objects in the culture, such as books. This suggests that knowing can best be advanced through interaction with learners cooperative activities

This learning theory is related to Jerome Brunner theory of language learning. Brunner saw language learning was promoted through instances of social interaction. As a cognitive psychologist, he focused on the process of thinking, memory and organizing and storing of information. Supporting the concepts of scaffolding, Brown (2003) supported discovery learning. He said that when learners discover something on their own, they typically give more thought to the processing of that information or skill. Children achieved greater conceptual understanding when they have opportunities to explore and manipulate their environment fast hand. He added that when learners see something as well as hear and read about they can encode long term memory, visually as well as verbally. He argued that learners understand concrete experiences more easily than abstract ideas.

2.1 Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework for this study was adapted from Educational Production Function (E.P.F). Educational Production Function assumes that the effect attained from the use of educational resources in teaching and learning English language was significant to the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process, on performance occurs due to the provision of adequate and quality educational resources, and proper utilization of the same in the teaching learning process. This relationship can be illustrated as in figure 1

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

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Fig. 1 a model showing the interaction of independent, intervening and dependent variables in the study

The dependent variables for this study was English performance in primary schools while the dependent variable were teacher qualification, textbooks, teaching aids and class size the intervening variables were social economic status IQ, age and gender.

This framework showed that the intervening variables together with dependent variable either positively or negatively affected the performance of English Language in primary schools

3. Results

3.1 English Textbooks

The study sought to find out from pupils if they possessed English textbooks; results are shown in the figure below.

Figure 2: English textbooks

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From the chart, 160 of the pupils had textbooks which are equivalent to 59.1%, while 110 of the learners did not possess textbooks. Implying that majority of the pupils had textbooks.

3.2 Other Learning English Resources

The study had to find out what other learning resources pupils in Baringo Central sub-county used, apart from text books in the learning of English

Figure 2: Other Learning English Resources

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Figure 2, shows that 200 (74.1%) of the pupils used wall charts as a learning resource, 50 (18.3%) used radios, while only 20(7.6%) used television as a resource in the learning of English. This implies that most schools use wall charts apart from textbooks in the learning of English, for clarification and illustration of vocabulary and sentence pattern (Richard,2003).

3.3 Borrowing materials

On finding out if pupils were allowed to borrow materials from the English room, pupils had the following results as shown in the fig below.

Figure 3: Borrowing materials

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Figure 4: New English Teaching Resource

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Figure 4: Indicates that majority of the English teachers( 42.9% ) get to know about new teaching resources in the market through circulars from the ministry, 21.4% from K.I.C.D catalogue, (14.3%) from bookshops, 10.0% from radios, 7.1 from sales representatives while 4.4% from news papers. Results imply that teachers mostly know about new teaching resource of English circulars from the ministry.

It is seen from the results in fig 4 shows that 200 (74.1%) were not allowed to borrow learning materials, 70 (25.9%) were allowed to borrow learning materials revealing that primary schools in Baringo Sub-County do not allow pupils to borrow learning materials from the library. Hence the learners lack reference material when given home work.

3.4 Availability of English teaching materials

The study sought to find out from the head teachers if the availability of English teaching materials in the school were enough to enable adequate utilization by all the teachers and pupils

Table 1: Availability of English teaching materials for Teachers

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The findings as shown from figure 10 shows that English language teaching materials are not adequate for utilization by all the teachers. 3(8.12%) used newspapers and magazines, 20(8%) charts, 4(11%) used models, 2(5.4%) used resource people, 6(16.2%) used library and, 2(5.4 %) used radios. English learning materials are not available /adequate enough for utilization by all teachers hence are not able to deliver the content well.4.9 Purchase of English Material

The study inquired who decides English materials to be purchased in schools

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Figure 5: Schools own a library

Figure 5 depicts that ten pupils indicated that their schools had a library, while two hundred and sixty revealed that their schools did not have libraries. Majority of the schools in the Sub county did not have library hence it influenced their English language performance.

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Details

Pages
18
Year
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668485747
ISBN (Book)
9783668485754
File size
824 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v366609
Institution / College
University of Kabianga – Education
Grade
8
Tags
teaching implications english kenya

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Title: Teaching and learning resources. Implications on availability and use in the performance of the English language in Kenya