Group discussions, if properly harnessed, can help learners to own the learning process, communicate their thoughts, feelings, ideas or information freely and efficiently in their environment. Group discussions can also provide opportunities for self-learning, rather than having learners to sit passively to memorize and repeat what the teacher gives them. In the twenty-first century, teachers need to focus on empowering learners to create, interpret, legitimize and disseminate knowledge. Therefore, this paper examines the influence of speaking anxiety on the effectiveness of group discussion as a learning strategy in Kiswahili language classrooms. The theoretical framework of the study that informed this paper was drawn from the Communicative Language Theory (CLT). The study involved a sample of 21 public secondary schools purposively sampled from a total of 206 public secondary schools in Bungoma County, Kenya. Three hundred and seventy-eight Form Two learners formed the study sample. The study adopted a correlation study design and used students’ questionnaire and a semi-structured interview schedule for data collection. Analysed data was presented using frequencies percentages and histograms. The research findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between speaking anxiety and effectiveness of group discussion as a learning strategy. Subsequently, this paper recommends that teachers of Kiswahili should focus on reducing the levels of speaking anxiety among learners in Kiswahili language classrooms. This strategy will improve their participation in group discussions. They should also increase the use of group discussions to help reduce the levels of anxiety because group discussions cannot be conducted successfully with students who have high levels of social anxiety.
Effect of Instructional Strategies on the Teaching and Acquisition of Listening Skills in Kiswahili Language (Published)
The research investigated the influence of the instructional process on the teaching and acquisition of listening skills in Kiswahili language. Informed by the study, this paper explores how the instructional strategies used influence the teaching and acquisition of listening skills in Kiswahili language in Kenyan secondary schools. The study used a sample of 13 secondary schools purposively selected from a total of 41 secondary schools in Wareng’ District, Kenya. Thirteen (13) teachers of Kiswahili and 130 Form Two learners of Kiswahili formed the respondents. The research was a descriptive survey since it set out to discover, describe and interpret existing conditions focusing on secondary school teachers of Kiswahili and Form Two learners. To collect data an interview schedule and an observation schedule were used. The 13 teachers were interviewed, the 130 learners participated in a Focus Group Discussion while 13 Kiswahili lessons were observed and tape-recorded. Analysed data was presented using frequency tables, percentages, graphs and charts. The study found that poor teaching strategies used in the teaching of listening in Kiswahili language is one of the main causes of the poor levels of language acquisition. In view of the findings, this study recommends that teachers of Kiswahili should build into their classrooms listening activities that have as much of the characteristics of real life listening as possible. One of the research implication of this study is that a study should be conducted in teacher training institutions to determine the effectiveness of teacher education programs in preparing teachers of Kiswahili in the teaching of listening skills.
Teaching of Listening Skills in Kiswahili Language: Instructional Strategies Used By Secondary Schools Teachers in Wareng Sub-County, Kenya (Published)
This study investigated the influence of the instructional process on the teaching and acquisition of listening skills in Kiswahili language. Based on the study, this paper examines the type of instructional strategies used by secondary school teachers in the teaching of listening skills in Kiswahili language. The study was based on two theories, the theory of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) as advanced by Widdowson in 1978 and the Top-down theory propounded by Mendelsohn in 1995. A sample of 13 secondary schools was purposively selected from a total of 41 secondary schools in Wareng’ Sub-County. Thirteen (13) teachers and 130 Form Two learners of Kiswahili formed the study sample. The study was a descriptive survey since it set out to discover, describe and interpret existing conditions focusing on secondary school teachers of Kiswahili and Form Two learners. The research instruments used to collect data were two sets of interview schedules and an observation schedule. The 13 teachers were interviewed whereas the 130 learners participated in Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Moreover, 13 Kiswahili lessons were observed and tape-recorded. Tape-recording was used to record data during observations while note taking was used during the focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews. Analyzed data was presented using frequency tables, percentages, graphs and charts. The study revealed that poor teaching strategies used in the teaching process contribute heavily to poor levels of acquisition of listening skills. In view of the findings, the study recommends that teachers of Kiswahili should build into their classrooms listening activities that have as much of the characteristics of real life listening as possible. In particular, there should be a purpose for listening that should be known before the listening activity commences. This paper is significant in that it seeks to provide impetus for Kiswahili language educators, teacher trainers, curriculum designers and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) to re-examine their policies on teaching listening skills.
CULTURAL FACTORS HINDERING MASTERY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS: A CASE OF KILIFI COUNTY, KENYA (Published)
This study examined the various cultural factors hindering the mastery of English language in Kilifi County. A sample of 236 respondents representing Students, pupils, head teachers, teachers, parents, religious leaders, Pwani University Language specialists, Ministry of Education officers was drawn from Tezo Location. The proposed study was a descriptive survey, and both qualitative and quantitative data was collected by means of self administered questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions, and scheduled interviews. Qualitative data was analysed by thematic analysis while quantitative data was analysed by simple descriptive statistics and ranking by participatory methods. The study identified the cultural practices that hinder good mastery of English as frequent usage of Kiswahili and Mother Tongue when speaking at home, the declaration that English is a foreign language and the belief by the local community that speaking in English at home is a sign of pride and disrespect. Based on the findings, recommendations were made on how to promote good English mastery in Kenyan Schools.