Morphosyntactic errors in the written English of standard eight hearing impaired pupils
Ayoo, Eva Akoth
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This is a study which focuses on the morphosyntactic errors in the written English of standard eight hearing impaired (HI) pupils. This research seeks to identify and categorise the morphosyntactic errors in the HI pupils' written English, and compares the errors of the partially deaf on the one hand, with those of the profoundly deaf on the other. Error differences are also determined between the pupils using Signing Exact English and those using Kenyan Sign Language. The study similarly investigates the possible causes of these errors, and explores Total communication as a pedagogic approach that is designed to enhance language competence of the hearing impaired pupils. The data comprises free compositions written by standard eight pupils taken from four schools for the deaf. The sample of scripts for investigation was obtained by categorising the compositions, firstly according to readability, then into the type of sign language used, and finally, according to the degree of hearing impairment. These scripts are analysed using the Error Analysis theory. From the final subcategory, a sample of 8 scripts is examined out of a total of 38 scripts. The remaining 30 scripts are further categorised into two subcategories, 2 and 3, with the initial sample of 8 being category 1. Category 1 scripts contain analysable scripts. Category 2 mainly comprises scripts that display the KSL word order structure. This category recorded the highest number of scripts, 26 in total. Category 3, a total of 4 scripts are those with English and non-English words put in no discernible order. The findings of this study reveal that the written English of the hearing impaired has various morphosyntactic errors, especially concerning the verb. The study also shows that the partially deaf have better English than the profoundly deaf. Based on the literature reviewed, the study recommends that Total Communication, which advocates for the use of any and all means of communication by and with the hearing impaired be adopted. The role of Signing Exact English in the learning process is also emphasised. These findings will be useful to the Kenya Institute of Education, as it prepares teaching and learning materials for language programmes for the hearing impaired, and to the educationists involved in the field of the hearing impaired. This research may contribute to the current studies based on performance language data of Kenyan learners of English. This thesis is organised into five main chapters. Chapter one is composed of the background information introducing the study. Chapter two investigates other research findings that relate to this current one. Chapter three is the analysis and presentation of data. Discussions on the causes of errors, interpretation of findings and pedagogical implications make up chapter four. To conclude the thesis, chapter five presents a summary of the entire work, and identifies gaps requiring research in this field.