Linguistic Variation in a Multilingual Setting: Evidence from Kenya, Africa
Njoroge, Martin C.
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The research on which this book is based set out to: identify and describe both phonological and grammatical variations in the English spoken by teachers at primary school level in Kenya, Africa; determine how these variations depart from the British standard variety; correlate the linguistic variation observed with the social variables of ethnicity, gender, educational level and rural-urban dichotomy; and discuss the implications of the emergent sociolinguistic patterns for pedagogy in Kenya and by extension, in other non-native multilingual contexts. The general finding is that the English spoken by teachers at primary school level in Kenya varies from the British standard variety - the model that is supposed to be used at all the education tiers in Kenya. This variation cuts across all the social variables investigated. The study argues for the consideration of the sociolinguistic reality of English in Kenya and adoption of a local variety of English, a variety that will be close to other standard varieties, thus making it possible for Kenyan speakers to maintain mutual intelligibility with international speakers of English while maintaining their Kenyan identity.