Factors influencing pupil's academic performance in English language in public primary schoolsin Mwingi central sub county, kenya
Simba, Racheal Kathini
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English language has a crucial role in not only as one of the official languages in government institutions but also the language of instruction in schools in Kenya. Students’ success in school is to a large extent dependent on one being proficient in the language of instruction. However, despite the government effort to ensure that all youth achieve literacy and numeracy, some public primary schools in Mwingi Central Sub County have been posting very dismal results in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). The factors that lead to poor performance in English as a second or foreign language are many but cannot be universal since teaching and learning of the language are conducted in different contexts. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the school language policy, the availability of instructional resources, the teacher instructional techniques and the teacher evaluation practices in public primary schools in Mwingi Central Sub County, Kitui County, Kenya. The study was anchored on the Interlanguage theory by Selinker. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The study targeted all the head teachers and class eight English subject teachers from the 94 public primary schools in the sub county. Through simple random sampling, 76 English subject teachers and 23 head teachers were selected to participate in the study. Data was collected through teachers’ questionnaire and head teachers interview schedule. Piloting was conducted in the adjacent Sub County in order to check the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Two university supervisors were also used to ensure the instruments content and construct validity. Reliability was estimated by use of test-retest technique where a Pearson coefficient of 0.77 was obtained. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the collected data. Specifically, frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations, charts and histograms were used to summarize and present the findings. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the study’s four formulated hypotheses. Qualitative data was analysed as per the four objectives of the study. The study found that all the schools had a language policy but its implementation was weak. Most schools lacked audio and audio visual teaching and learning resources denying learners great opportunities to improve in listening and speaking macro skills. Further, only very few schools embraced pupils ‘self-assessment techniques that could greatly enhance pupils’ competence in writing macro skill. The most significant relative predictor of pupils’ academic performance in KCPE English language was the evaluation techniques (β = 0.438, t = 5.271, p < 0.05). The study recommended that teachers should explore and adapt various pupils’ self-assessment techniques in order to not only nurture student writing achievement but also to easily manage the large classes.
Africa Nazarene University