First language influence on Kiswahili composition writing: the case of Babukusu students from Kanduyi division, Bungoma district
Were, Elizabeth Achieng
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of one's first language on Kiswahili composition writing. The setting of the study was Kanduyi division, Bungoma district. The respondents consisted of 120 Form Three babukusu students and thirteen Form Three Kiswahili teachers. Data was collected through questionnaires, tests and interviews. The study sought to find out to what extent grammatical, spelling and vocabulary errors in Kiswahili composition writing were influenced by the learners' first language (L1) and the teachers' intervention strategies. The results of the study revealed that, in grammar, spelling and vocabulary, there was a tendency to over generalize, that is to directly transfer rules from one's first language to written Kiswahili and thus errors occurred. The intervention strategies suggested by the interviewed teachers included, among others, the need for correct language usage across the curriculum, that is, a need for all teachers to be concerned about the learners' language use, cross cultural intake in schools and the need for frequent Kiswahili seminars and in-service courses. On the basis of the research findings, the researcher recommended, among other things, a compulsory linguistic course for all teachers in teacher training colleges, exposure of learners to a variety of Kiswahili literature, the use of teaching aids in Kiswahili composition writing lessons, regular Kiswahili seminars and in-service courses and emphasis on remedial work to curb first language influence at primary level before the errors become persistent through uncorrected repetition. The thesis was organized in five main chapters. Chapter One, which was an introductory chapter, dwelt on, among others, the background to the study, the purpose of the study and the theoretical framework used in the study. Chapter Two reviewed literature related to the study. The review related to the theoretical framework stated in Chapter One. Chapter Three dwelt on the methodology used in the study. This included details such as the sampling procedure, research instruments, data collection and data analysis procedures. Chapter Four analysed and presented data, while in Chapter five the findings of the study were summarized. Conclusions and recommendations were then made by the researcher, based on the findings in Chapter Four. The chapter closed with suggestions for further research.