Nature of spoken interaction between the teacher of english and the learner in class four in selected schools of Bungoma South District
Sifuna, Maurice W.
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The main purpose of this study was to analyze the nature of verbal interaction in class four where we have transition from mother tongue as the language of instruction to English, describe the methods that teachers of English employ to promote interaction, describe problems that confront the teacher of English in establishing and maintaining spoken interaction in class four and make recommendations on how to improve on the methods used by the teacher presently. Four schools using Lubukusu as the language of instruction in the first three years of primary were selected through purposive sampling. Two teachers in each of the four schools were interviewed. Data were also collected through classroom observation, tape recording and semi-structured interviews. Verbal discourse was audio-recorded in the classroom. Audio recording was used to enable the researcher capture the real verbal discourse that takes place in the lesson. Semi-structured interviews were administered to the English language teachers. These interviews were used as a check list of what was recorded in the classroom and brought out the teachers' attitude towards pupils' verbal interaction in class. The interviews, therefore, complimented classroom observation data. The analysis of the data collected revealed that verbal interaction in the classroom was teacher centred such that the teacher dominated the classroom talk with little emphasis on the pupils' response. Teachers employed different methods to establish and maintain verbal interaction. These included question and answer, group discussions, debates among others. The study also establishes difficulties that confront both teachers and pupils in establishing and maintaining verbal interaction in the classroom. Such difficulties include large class sizes, lack of facilities, lack of motivation and support from teachers teaching other subjects and mother tongue interference. The study recommends that teachers undergo frequent in-service training on how to increase verbal interaction and pupil talk in class. This would lead to a change and an improvement on teaching methodology to those that encourage pupil participation.