A survey of the teaching of reading in English in lower primary classes of Gatundu division in rural Thika district
Mberia, Hellen Kiende
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This study was done to investigate how teachers conduct reading lessons in English in the lower primary classes of Gatundu division of rural Thika district. The survey involved an attempt to determine the methods used by teachers in teaching reading in English and to expose pupils to varieties of reading materials. It also involved an identification of the methods they followed while assessing pupils' reading levels and the readability of materials; the instructional materials they use and the factors that influence their choice. The data was collected with the aid of questionnaire, actual classroom observation and informal interviews with the teachers. Eighteen (18) lower primary teachers were selected. The teachers were selected from six (6) randomly selected primary schools out of the fifty six (56) primary schools in Gatundu division. The sample of 18 teachers revealed that teachers are aware of, and employ the various methods of teaching reading in English. However, they do not provide basic prerequisite activities that would prepare and aid pupils when reading in English. It was further discovered that both in terms of quantity and variety instructional materials that are essential for effective instruction in reading in English were inadequate in Lower primary classes. The findings also established that teachers did not know that there were formulas for assessing readability of materials exposed to learners. The findings revealed further that teachers mainly followed the syllabus recommendations when choosing reading materials for pupils. It was also discovered that teachers do not seem to be aware of, and hardly make use of the techniques recommended for evaluating reading in English. The most common methods used to evaluate reading skills are by use of tests and examinations. The study also established that teachers of reading in English have to grapple with such problems as lack of textbooks, lack of pupils' motivation and interest, mother tongue interference and inadequate instructional materials.