Modes of Instruction’s Influence on Performance in English Language in Special Primary Schools for the Deaf in Kisii County, Kenya
Gwoki, Zipporah Kerubo
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The purpose of this study was to examine the modes of instruction and their effect on academic performance in English among learners with hearing impairments in special Primary schools in Kisii County, Kenya. Descriptive survey design was used as it was appropriate for exploring the existing status of two or more variables in a given situation. The study was guided by the social development theory as analyzed by Lev Semyonovich Vigotsky. The theory stated that a difference existed between what a child could do on his/ her own and what could be done or learnt with an assistance of another person who was more experienced. The theory was relevant as it showed that when pupils were well monitored, supported and directed their academic performance went up. The target population of the study constituted two head teachers, twenty two subject teachers and two hundred and forty pupils with hearing impairments from special primary schools. From that population, a 10% sample of pupils was selected using stratified random sampling. A 55% sample of twelve teachers and two head teachers were also selected using purposive sampling. The questionnaires, interview guides and documentary analysis schedules were used in the collection of data. To ensure validity and reliability of the instruments, pilot study was carried out at Kiamate primary, a regular school with special unit, which was not included in the actual study. Both quantitative and qualitative data were generated. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze quantitative data; graphs, tables and percentages. Qualitative data were organized according to study themes and presented descriptively on the basis of study objectives. The key findings of this study revealed that teachers could not understand all the pupils’ responses during the teaching activity. The use of manual modes of instruction was perceived moderately useful. Comprehending passages and communication difficulty was a challenge to teachers. Demonstrating and translating new words and vocabulary to hearing impaired learners was a challenge. The major conclusion is that the use of manual modes of instruction in English contributed to poor academic performance. Learners to be equipped with digital hearing aids and cochlear implants. Adaptation of the syllabus, refresher courses for the teachers, skilled staff to teach in pre-primary for laying a good foundation and teachers of English to embrace the use of intervention measurers. The major recommendation is the use of Signed Exact English in the teaching of English at all levels. Teacher training colleges therefore to be inclusive of oral skills. It is believed that the findings of this study may help the teachers and the ministry of education in improving the performance in English language among learners with hearing impairments in special primary schools in Kisii County, Kenya.