An investigation into the cause of pupils' errors in kiswahili composition writing in upper primary classes of Bugoma municipality Bungoma district.
Salim, Rukia N.B.
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The intention of this study was to investigate the causes of pupils' errors in Kiswahili composition writing in upper primary classes of Bungoma Municipality, Bungoma district. Kiswahili is the national language of Kenya and also a Lingua franca over a considerable part of the African continent. This makes its function, particularly its written form, increasingly important. The investigation involved an attempt to identify the errors committed by pupils and to investigate the conditions leading to the making of such errors and preventing their elimination. Data were collected by scrutinising of compositions written by class seven pupils and by way of questionnaires administered to twenty (20) teachers and thirty six (36) pupils. Informal interviews was used with the head teachers of the schools involved to reinforce the data collected by the questionnaires. Data from thirty six (36) compositions written revealed that pupils commit errors in practically all aspects of good composition writing ranging from careless spelling mistakes to structural errors, inappropriate use of vocabulary and inappropriate use of ideas. Data collected from the questionnaires administered to all participants further revealed that most teachers, although academically well qualified, mostly depended on a single text for the teaching of composition writing. They had also to cope with large classes for which small group work would have been an ideal approach to composition writing. This approach was however not followed and instead only individual assignments given. Many instructional materials are lacking in schools. Those available, such as radios, are not fully utilised in the teaching of Kiswahili. The teachers listed many problems affecting the teaching of Kiswahili composition writing ranging from overcrowded classes to limited teaching and learning materials. While some of the problems like overcrowded classes are beyond the ability of the teacher to solve, most could be solved by teachers' resourcefulness and commitment so as to minimize the errors committed by pupils in Kiswahili composition writing.