Learning English Language by Radio in Primary Schools in Kenya

Odera, Florence Y
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One of the objectives of teaching English in primary schools in Kenya is to enable the learners to communicate fluently, independently and accurately in English Language in every day life. (Kenya Institute of Education Primary syllabus vol, 2002). This means that at the end of Primary Education course, all pupils are expected to have acquired a sufficient command of English in spoken and written forms to enable them to communicate fluently, follow subject courses and textbook, and read for pleasure and for information. Being an integral subject in the curriculum, a declining standard of performance in English at primary level should worry many teachers and stakeholders in education sector, because when primary children join secondary schools with poor English language they will continue with poor knowledge of the language. Even though some researchers and linguistics (Ngonga 2002, and Bett 2008) have dedicated a considerable amount of time to unravel the cause of poor performance in English language, there is an urgent need for us to reflect on the causes and possible remedies to avert this situation. They noted that some of the factors as attitudes, lack of adequate resources, the growth of ”sheng”as well as use of mother tongue. Sheng was originally a slang language that blended Kiswahili and English, created by the children of Nairobi City living in Eastland area. Gradually this language incorporated other ethnic Kenyan languages. The interference of “Sheng” a street slang continues to havoc on the English language acquisition in primary and secondary schools and the children face a lot of problem with spoken English. At the beginning, “sheng” was confined to urban centres but it slowly infiltrated rural areas. // The process of language acquisition entails learners to practice all the four skills in all contexts so as to grasp how to manipulate it. Spoken English has been overridden by “sheng” as most learners are comfortable using it than English. The use of sheng must be discouraged at all costs. For these reasons, the Kenya Government introduced schools radio lessons to enhance the teaching and learning of English language by reinforcing the teachers work, and to help them develop efficient communication skills in English language. It was also hoped that the use of radio lessons would help to improve students spoken and written English and also to set up a uniform standard of English in all schools in Kenya. Therefore, all primary schools were expected to incorporate radio lessons in teaching and learning English language. // However, despite all the government effort to improve English language proficiency in primary schools through a policy of school radio Broadcast to schools pupils graduating from primary schools cannot communicate effectively in English language. It was therefore necessary to find out the extent of implementation of school radio program government policy in primary schools.

Language Education,Primary Education,Languages,Radio in Education