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Title:Language use in Standard Three science instruction in urban and rural Kenyan schools
Authors:Abagi, Jared O.
Cleghorn, Ailie
Merritt, M.
Periodical:Kenya Journal of Education
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:science education
language usage
Abstract:This article uses lessons on 'air' taught in Standard III science at three primary schools in Kenya to illustrate the variety of language use that can be found in Kenyan primary schools. Despite efforts to equalize instructional input by following the primary school syllabus and its suggested examples, what is actually taught varies markedly from school to school and from teacher to teacher. English was the language of instruction of the first school, an urban school. In the second school, located within the City of Nairobi limits, but rural in character and with Kikuyu as the local language, both English and Swahili were used in the lessons. Swahili was used in particular to induce greater participation, to translate ideas first stated in English, and for admonishment and advice. In school three, located in a rural part of western Kenya, the local language Luo dominated as the medium of instruction. Although the lessons in all three schools reflected the content of the school syllabus, they differed according to the way in which various languages were used to explain key concepts. Bibliogr.