A study of English Language usage in standard five classrooms of M/M West Meru Central District
Kithinji, C. K.
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The researcher in this study tried to establish the level of English language usage in standard five classrooms of Meru Central District. The study sought answers to the following questions: (i) Were the levels of English language usage attained by the standard five pupils in the selected schools at par with the syllabus expectations? (ii) How did the teachers facilitate English language usage by the pupils as per the level of the class? (iii) Was the 1st term's syllabus content covered 7 (iv) Where there problem areas for the teachers and pupils in English Language usage? The study involved 254 pupils from six primary schools, and two teachers of English from two of these schools. Data Were collected through administration on various language abilities expected to have been, taught by the 1st term of standard five and lesson observation schedules in which two teachers were observed. Methods of analysis included calculation of percentages, means and median of the test scores. Description of what was observed was also done. The results obtained were presented in tables and analysed before conclusions were established. The results of the study revealed that the pupils of standard five in rural schools were not at par with the 1st term's syllabus expectations. Their language usage was poor and that some of their teachers did not have the expected knowledge of English language to enable them to teach the subject and deal with unexpected possibilities of language usage in the classroom. The findings also revealed that the syllabus was too wide and congested, consequently the time allocated for teaching was not enough. Also that teachers teaching English in the rural areas kept code switching and that slowed down English language learning and subsequent usage. It was recommended that the primary English syllabus be riversed to put into consideration amount of work to be covered and appropriate material to be taught at class levels that can handle them. That the authorities concerned with curriculum development should receive continued feedback from teachers of English on books, the syllabus and other materials; and that training of teachers in primary teacher colleges be more intensified to ensure that the teacher's knowledge of English language was good enough to teach at the primary school level. It was suggested that further studies in this area should consider suitability of the course books in relation to the mastery of language usage; extent to which the primary teachers of English should be prepared to enable them to handle the subject competently and the level at which the language that is to be used as a medium of instruction should be introduced in the education institutions.