The implementation of the French subject curriculum In its influence on performance in public secondary Schools in Siaya County, Kenya
Owino, Christine Achieng'
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The study was based on the fact that students joining universities with grade A had (and still have) difficulty expressing themselves in French since these results are usually a reflection of concerted efforts between the learners and the teacher and do not therefore always reflect the true level of communicative competence of the learner. The objectives of the study were to fmd out determinants of the selection of the French subject by students, instruction strategies used by teachers, challenges facing the implementation of French subject curriculum and to suggest solutions to these challenges. The study was based on Gardner's socio-educational model of language learning motivation and Vvgotsky's sociocultural theory of learning. The study adopted both the descriptive survey design and ex post facto design and targeted 1,300 students and 13 teachers of French. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. A pilot study was conducted to establish the reliability and validity of the instruments. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses were employed. Quantitative analysis involved derivation of statistical descriptions and interpretation by use of descriptive statistics such as tables, pie charts and bar graphs. The study revealed that students do not choose French due to negative attitudes towards the subject, perceived difficulty of the subject and aversion to learning three languages in schools. The study also revealed that teachers were using a number of instruction strategies to varying degrees. They include translation method, rote instruction, grammar is an instruction, participatory approach, use of songs, use of audio visuals, use of read alouds, shared reading, use of guided reading, reading in small groups, independent reading and the chalk and talk instruction strategy. It was further established that most schools did not have adequate class texts and other resources such as audio and video cassettes, necessary to the teaching and learning of French. In addition, none of the schools has embraced the use of modern technology (internet resources) in teaching of French. The study recommended that the government should introduce a policy where students must study one foreign language during their fouryear secondary cycle. The Ministry of Education should provide in-service training for teachers of French on the instruction strategies to use so as to enhance curriculum delivery. Teachers training curriculum should be modified to emphasise more on various instructional strategies. The government should encourage the teaching and learning of French in public secondary schools through building of French resource centres wellequipped with other learning materials such as French magazines and electronic media. Its purpose would be to introduce an informal environment where students can learn French and to reduce teacher dependence among students. Exchange programmes with francophone countries be increased, even within the African continent. As the setting of this study was limited to seven schools in only one county the researcher felt that a similar study should be conducted in more counties or countrywide for a more dependable result. The researcher also suggests that further research be carried out in Kenya, in the following areas: Factors that influence student interest in learning languages, teacher affect in students' foreign language achievement and effectiveness of learning resources in performance ofKCSE French. XlV