Lexical and phonological errors in the spoken English language of pre-school teachers in classrooms in Kasarani division
Waweru, Martin Mburu
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Many studies done in second language learning and acquisition focus on the learner. The studies done in Kenya show that students leave school with little competence (see Maina, 1991; Nyamasyo, 1992; Njoroge, 1996). However, the English of teachers of these learners who have acquired and learnt the language in a non-native speaking environment (Kenya) has not been studied. The aim of this study was to examine, describe and categorize the lexical and phonological errors in the spoken English of pre-school level teachers in Kasarani division of Nairobi province. Eight teachers were sampled, and tape-recorded while teaching to provide the data for analysis. The identified errors were described using the Error Analysis Approach method (Corder, 1974). The errors in the teachers' English were identified as deviations of the teachers' language from the norm of the target language (English) as described in Quirk et al (1985) for the lexical errors, and Roach (1987) for the phonological errors. The analysis of lexical errors showed that errors were most common in the category of inappropriate use of lexical items. In the phonological errors, errors were most common in the pronunciation of /1/. Finally, the study discussed some possible causes of the errors observed in the teachers' language based on the available literature on Error Analysis and made some recommendations.
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