Speech Acts' Analysis of the Language of the Mentally Handicapped Children of Karatina Special School, Nyeri
Kago, Beatrice Muthoni
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The study set out to describe speech acts found in the spoken language of the mentally handicapped children. It looked at the manifestation of speech acts in the mentally handicapped children's spoken language and described the categories of speech acts found in their language. In addition, the study suggests what can be done by the trainers to help the mentally handicapped children use language effectively. In line with the stated objectives relevant literature was reviewed to establish how much had been done in this area Enough data were collected through audio-taping .observation .use of questionnaires and note taking during the five sampled interactions. The sample from which data were collected was arrived at through different stages. Purposive sampling was done because not all mentally handicapped children posses "speech .The best class in the school was chosen which consists of 9 pupils who belong to the mild category among the categories of the mentally handicapped according to American Association on Mental Retardation. Simple random sampling method was used to select the pupils from whom the data was collected. Qualitative research design was used for this purpose. Data was analysed through transcription, sorting out, categorizing the speech acts and later suggesting what can be done by the trainers to help the mentally handicapped children use language effectively. Data analysis was done using speech act VI theory advanced by Austin J. L and Searle. Qualitative data analysis was done where it was established that MHC. spoken language have speech acts manifested in their language which can be classified into various categories of speech acts. The study also realized that some categories of speech acts have higher occurrences than others. In addition, trainers can do something to help improve the language of the mentally handicapped children. The findings have implications for setting up strategies by policy makers in the Ministry of Education on how to teach languages in special schools. The dissertation is divided into five chapters. Chapter one gives preliminary information on the background to the study. It also deals with research objectives, questions and assumptions which guided the study all through. Finally, the chapter looked at justification of the study, scope and. limitations. Chapter two gives a review of related literature and theoretical framework used to analyze data. Research design and methodology are covered in chapter three whereas data presentation and discussion is in the fourth chapter. Fitudfy, chapter five consists of conclusion of the findings and recommendations.