Analysis of strategies used in teaching speech and language: a case study of Machakos School for the deaf, Kenya
Laki, Peninnah Mbaluka
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The aim of this study was to investigate how learners with hearing impairments acquire speech and language skills. The learners with speech impairments are found in developed and developing countries. In developed countries, advanced technology of speech and language training has been in use for a long period compared to developing African countries. As such, speech and language skills among the HI in those countries were well-developed. This study was carried out in Machakos School for the Deaf, Machakos County, Kenya which caters for learners With hearing impairment not only from Kenya, but also from other countries of East Africa. Data was collected from teachers' experiences, levels of training in the field of special education, on job-trainings and parental involvement. The objectives of the study were: specialized qualifications of teachers who taught speech and language to learners with the hearing impairment, the strategies used in teaching speech and language to learners with hearing impairment, the equipment and facilities available in the school to teach speech and language to learners with hearing impairment, the assessment of speech and language readiness for learners. with hearing impairment, the role played by parents in speech and language acquisition for their children with hearing impairments and the challenges faced by headteacher, teachers and parents in training speech and language to learners with hearing impairment. Target population was 89 subjects. The research adopted mixed method approach design. Machakos School for the Deaf was purposely selected for the study because it was used by the MOEST for pilot study on total communication in 1988. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected using questionnaires and interview guides from pupils, teachers, headteacher and parents respectively. A pilot study was carried out to establish the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Descriptive statistics in SPSS such as frequency tables, percentages and graphs were used to analyse quantitative data while thematic texts were used to analyze qualitative data. Data was then analysed to generalize conclusions on the findings of the study. The study showed that the standard two teacher was more conversant with various speech and language strategies of teaching the learners with hearing impairments. However, they preferred using sign language that is indicating a limitation on teachers' competence to meet the diverse needs of learners with hearing impairment especially the hard of hearing category who are good at speech training skills. Thus, it is recommended that teachers for learners with hearing impairment should be in-serviced and trained to equip them with knowledge and skills on speech training. Further research should be done to determine the effectiveness and competence of teachers in educating learners with hearing impairment in special schools for the Deaf.