Interpretations of English Nominal Elements by Form One Students in Selected Schools, Kitui County, Kenya

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Kilonzo, Nicholas
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Kenyatta University
The English language is, by far, recognized as one of the most invaluable language and the most used language in the world both spoken and written. The overall strength of this fact can be seen in Kenya. As an official language, English serves all intranational purposes: it is the major language used in the Education system, administration and judicial system, science and technology, business and commerce and creative work. This makes English an important language for study and the need for competence in this language cannot be overemphasized. Notwithstanding, a number of reviewed second language based research in this study has cited below average knowledge among the learners. Guided by the tenets of UG, we carried out a study to test knowledge/competence of form one students in nominal elements given the inherent UG principles and the professional teaching and learning of the nominal elements since early primary school and form one level. The first objective of the study was to describe the knowledge of nominal elements by the form one students; second, we examined knowledge in interpretation of nominal elements and the last objective was to evaluate how form one students use nominal elements. This follows the need to shade more light from the inconclusive results in interpretation of nominal elements by both native and non-native children as discussed in the literature review and the gap to describe the competence in interpretation of nominal elements by L2 students who have been exposed to professional teaching of nominal elements as the external data. Our sample population was sixty students systematically selected; this was done purposely from two schools out of thirty two schools in Kitui-West Sub County. We used Mixed method design due to our qualitative and quantitative nature of our data with both judgment test and essay writing used as data elicitation tools while inferential statistics were used to analyze the data majorly one –way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) because the study goes beyond the immediate descriptive data and makes inferential conclusion beyond the sampled population. We found that there was evidence of UG among the form one students but the comprehension skills made the students performance vary from their competence in comprehension and interpretation of the nominal elements. The evidence of the abstract linguistic principles by form one students was judged by the ability to use nominal elements in their spontaneous essay writing. The study falls in the list of the researchers calling for emphasis in acquisition of lexical information as the external data among the L2 learners to enhance the resetting of innate core linguistic endowment majorly by the teachers and curriculum developers. This is in addition to change in mode of testing that reflects competence in natural way in the classroom as opposed to comprehensional tests which prove to be ambiguous to learners. This may help change the findings by L2 researchers who find performance of L2 on lexical items below chance level despite the existence of UG.
A Project Submitted to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Master of Arts of Kenyatta University, May 2021
Interpretations, English Nominal Elements, Form One Students, Schools, Kitui County, Kenya