A Comparison of Descriptive English Composations of Visually Impaired and Sighted Students in Kenyan Secondary School
Ombati, Jane Monyangi
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The purpose of this study was to compare descriptive English compositions written by visually impaired and sighted students. The study specifically investigated the descriptive characteristics found in the students' English compositions. Further, it also sought to establish the descriptive characteristics that were likely to disadvantage the visually impaired students. The study was carried out in S.A Thika High school for the visually challenged persons and Broadway high school. Both schools are in Thika district in central province, Kenya. Both qualitative and quantitative research designs were used. The population of the study comprised visually impaired and sighted students all of form three, and their teachers of English. The students were asked to write a descriptive composition on a given topic and these compositions formed linguistic data for this study. Additional data was collected .from purposively sampled teachers using questionnaires to elicit data on the descriptive features in the students' compositions, and an interview schedule to obtain data on the descriptive characteristics that were likely to disadvantage the visually impaired students. The study findings revealed that visually impaired students used less descriptive terms in total and in all the senses than their sighted counterparts. The study therefore concluded that there is a true correlation between sightedness and descriptive writing. It was recommended that the teachers should provide concrete experiences and additional stimulation to the students. The school should also consider admitting sighted students to learn together with the visually impaired for more linguistic input. KNEe should also consider revising their mode of setting compositions in order not to disadvantage the visually impaired students especially in descriptive writing.