Effects of Pupil Attributions, Motivation, Attitudes Teacher Competence, Home Environmental Factors on English Language in Tanzania Primary School
Lema, Vincent Israel
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A number of studies done in Tanzania have observed that very few primary school leavers are able to use the English language. The purpose of this study was to investigate some factors that influence pupil performance in English language in Tanzania primary schools. Specifically, the study focused on differences in pupils' performance in English in relation to the following variables • Pupils Attribution of their Performance: Internal and External Locus of ControJ. • Expectations: High and Low Expectations. • Type of Motivation for Learning English Language: Instrumental Motivation, Integrative Motivation and Compulsory. • Attitudes towards English Language: Positive and Negative Attitudes • Status of English Language: High and Low Status on English . ••Teacher Competence: High and Low Competence. • Parental Educational Level: High and Low Parental Education Level ••Perceived Patental Expectations: High and Low Perceived Parental Expectations • Learning Opportunities: High and Low Learning Opportunities ••Gender of the Pupil: Boys and Girls. • Location of the School: Urban and Rural. 111e subjects for the study were 732 Standard Six pupils and their teachers in 26 primary schools in Tanzania. Of these pupils 360 were boys and 372 were girls, and 349 were from rural schools and 383 from urban schools. In addition to the pupils, 72 Standard Six teachers constituted the teacher study sample. The schools were purposely selected ill urban and rural districts, and pupils were randomly selected from the Standard Six classes. Pupil and teacher questionnaires, each with three Pfu--LS, vvere used to elicit data all the L.'ldependent variables. iUl English language test was constructed and used to determine the pupil performance. The data was computer analysed using the statistical package for social science. (SPSS) At-test was used to determine the differences between the variables the hypotheses. A chi-square test was also used for further analysis of the results . The major findings of the study shows that: ~.Pupils with internal Iocus of control had a significantly better performance than pupils with external locus of control. Pupils with high expectations had a significantly better performance than pupil with low expectations. Pupils with instrumental motivation had a significantly better performance than pupil with integrative motivation. Pupils 'with instrumental or integrative motivation had a better performance than pupils who learn English language because it is a compulsory subject c Pupils with positive attitudes towards English language had a significantly better performance than pupils with negative attitudes. Pupils who accorded high status to English language had a significantly better performance than pupils who accorded low status to the language. Classes of highly competent teachers had a significantly better performance than classes of low competent teachers. Classes of teachers 'with high expectations of pupils had a significantly better performance than classes of teachers with low expectations. Pupils whose parents had a high level of education had a significantly better performance than pupils whose pm'cnts had a 10v. level of education. , Pupils who perceived that their parents had high expectations of them had a significantly better performance than pupils whos parents had low expectation of them Pupils who had higher learning opportunities had a significantly better performance than pupil who had low learning opportunities Boys had a significantly better performance than girls. However the difference between boys and girls in urban schools was non-significant. Pupils in urban schools had a significant better performance than pupils in rural schools. More pupils in urban schools than in rural schools had high learning opportunities, positive attitudes, high status of the language, and high expectations, from the findings it was concluded that c~ausal attributions; pupil. Expectations; attitudes and status of the language; teacher competence and expectations; parents' level of education; pupils' perceived parental expectations; learning opportunistic, location of the school and gender of the pupil have an influence of pupil performance in English language in Tanzanian schools. This study has implications for policy makers in relation to selection, training and placement of primary schools English language teachers. The study also had implications for teachers 111 terms of their expectations of pupils and the learning environment of their classrooms. Finally, the study has implications for researchers in order to determine the most influential factors among those studied. Therefore, the following recommendations have been made: the State should train competent language teachers for primary education.The teachers should point out the functions of English language to pupils in Tanzania, provide learning opportunities outside classrooms to the pupils and create atmosphere that facilitates high expectations of the pupils sufficient learning opportunities positive attitude towards the language, Further studies should be conducted to verify this study and determine which variables are most strongly correlated to pupil performance.