English Language Competence and Mathematics Performance among Secondary School Students in Bungoma East Sub-County, Bungoma County, Kenya.
Wafula, Amos Wanjala
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Mathematics is the foundation of scientific and technological development of the nation. It is used as a basic requirement for entry into the prestigious courses such as Medicine and Engineering. Despite the importance of the subject in the society, there has been poor performance in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The study investigated English language competence of the students and the performance in Mathematics in Bungoma East Sub-County. The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of students' English language competence on Mathematics performance. The target population of students was 13328 and 399 teachers. The study used descriptive survey method. The study randomly sampled 400 Form two students to sit English language competence tests and Mathematics word and nonword problem tests. The sample of students represents 10.78 per cent of all Form two students in the Sub-County. On the other hand, forty Mathematics teachers were randomly sampled to fill a questionnaire. The sample of teachers represented 10 per cent of the teachers in the Sub-County. Content and construct validity of English and Mathematics tests were ensured as the students' test items were adapted from Kenya National Examinations Council past papers and a pilot study was conducted while reliability coefficient was determined by Kuder-Richardson formula (KR-20). The data were analyzed using descriptive methods such as percentages and means. Inferential data analysis was carried out using student Hest and Pearson Correlation Coefficient. Students Hest was found by comparing students' mean scores of Mathematics word and non-word problem tests while Pearson product correlation coefficient was used to determine the influence of students' English language competence on Mathematics performance. Students performed better in non-word problem test compared to word problem test. The study found that there is positive correlation ( r = 0.9649,a = 0.05 ) between English language competence and Mathematics performance in secondary schools in Bungoma East Sub-County. It was also found that boys performed better than girls in Mathematics competence tests. It was, therefore, concluded that there is a strong positive correlation between English language competence and Mathematics performance in secondary schools. It is recommended that students learn English language effectively and teachers of Mathematics and the Kenya National Examinations Council use simple English language to improve the performance of students' in Mathematics.