- School administration

Teacher Factors That Contribute To Poor Performance In English Language In Kenya

Kenya is a country in east Africa. It is a multilingual state recognizing the presence of English, Kiswahili and ethnic languages. In Kenya, English plays an important function in national affairs since it’s the language in which most governmental and judicial business are conducted. In addition it is the language used as the medium of instruction in the education system and it’s a compulsory subject at primary and high school levels. It functions as a service subject.

A common complaint among businessmen, parents and employers in Kenya is that the standards of English seem to be deteriorating. Many students use slangy unpunctuated and ungrammatical expressions. A number of scholars have pointed at the English language teacher to explain this situation.

First, it has been noted that the English language teacher uses wrong methods for teaching some aspects of the language such as pronunciation. In the Education Handbook the teacher is expected to provide the students with skills for distinguishing the pronunciation of particular English vowels. Secondly, the language teacher has little or no assistance from his colleagues. He is the only one who stresses accuracy on expression, spelling and punctuation. While the other teachers who use English as their medium of instruction don’t care on correcting these mistakes. So, they help to fossilize them in the learners.

Thirdly, some teachers skip the content areas where they are not competent and this leaves gaps in the knowledge of the language by the learner which are revealed when it comes to actual use of the language.

Fourthly, teachers are not motivated to teach by both the school administration and the ministry of education. The administration does not avail the necessary course books and set books. The ministry of education on the other hand does not motivate the teachers through its inspection section by providing the necessary professional guidance. Thus students are not effectively and efficiently taught.

Finally, some policies in Kenyan schools have contributed to poor performance in language. Some policies, such as maintaining silence within the school compound have denied the learners the forum to practice the language where they can get corrected by their fellow learners and improve their masterly of the language. These policies are enforced by teachers.

Therefore, many students leave school without the ability to speak or read English effectively or efficiently. They cannot hope to gain entrance into institutions of higher learning or get into meaningful formal employment.