Influence of Teachers’ Competence on Use of Music to Enhance Pupils’ Language Skills in Lower Primary Schools in Kiambu County, Kenya
Mutua, Gideon Wambua
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Children require language skills to cope with tasks in schools and entire life. In contemporary society, early childhood period has been associated with school completion rate and personal living patterns in future. However, research to show the impact of music in promoting children’s language skills is inadequate despite the notable developments that music sounds encourage listening and develop children’s interests to learn meaning of sounds. The purpose of the study was to establish the extent to which teachers use music to enhance children’s language skills in lower primary schools in Kiambu County, Kenya. The study was anchored on teachers’ competences to use music to promote children’s language skills. The theory of Vygotsky was used to guide the study and inform its conceptual framework. Survey design was used. The researcher adopted a descriptive survey methodology to gather quantitative and qualitative data. The dependent variable was use of music to enhance language skills in pupils. Independent variables included teachers’ music skills, teaching experience in music and teachers’ attitude towards use of music to enhance language skills in pupils. The study participants were teachers for standard one and pupils in public and private primary schools in Kiambu, County. Stratified random sampling was used to select the sample for the study. Data was collected using observational checklists and a questionnaire. Pilot study was conducted to enhance validity and reliability of the instruments. The result of the study showed that majority of teachers 73.1% used music in teaching. However, teachers still needed effective training and stronger attitude to extensively use music to enhance language skills in learners. The sampled consisted of 15% of teachers in the sub-county. Ruiru Sub-county has 93 lower primary schools both public and private, hence, the researcher stratified the schools into public and private and systematically selected fourteen schools. Based on the variety of songs used during lesson delivery and teachers positive responses, the study concluded that majority of teachers actively used music during language instruction. The study also observed that teachers’ training directly influenced their ability to use music to enhance language skills. Majority of the teachers who used music had adequate training skills to integrate it to language development and specific language needs for individual learners. Further, it was noted that teachers’ teaching experience influenced their use of music to teach language skills.