Kimeru Proficiency among Primary School in Meru Central District
Ntalala, Godfrey Safari
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The critical role that literacy plays in the everyday lives of people in Kenya as elsewhere around the world is indisputable. Literacy is intimately connected to language. Literacy presupposes language; one becomes literate in a language or languages. Pupils who have not fully acquired literacy skills in their first language have limited background skills to bring to the task of learning a second language. Furthermore, when a language is reduced in its function, which happens in case of a shift towards the majority language(s), generally speakers will become less proficient in it. This study focused on assessment of the levels of Kimeru proficiency among lower primary school pupils in Meru Central District. It sought to identify the factors affecting these levels of proficiency, how it relates to language use and its impact to the task of learning other languages. The study was conducted in five primary schools in Meru Central District using a descriptive research design. The target population comprised of thirty standard four pupils from three public primary schools and twenty teachers from both public and private schools while the research instruments were Kirneru proficiency tests, focused group discussions and questionnaires. Data was analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods. The analysis was presented using descriptive statistics such as tables, percentages and graphs. The study found out that due to several factors, there are low levels of Kimeru proficiency among primary school pupils in Meru Central District. Given the role of L1 in learning other languages, the pupils will have difficulties learning English and accessing the curriculum. This work is presented in five chapters. Chapter one introduces the study, chapter two reviews related literature while chapter three examines the research methodology employed. Chapter four focuses on data presentation and analysis while chapter five gives a summary of the findings, conclusions and recommendations.