A syntactic study of the inter-language of Kikuyu learners of English as a second Language
Mwaniki, Isaiah N
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The objective of this study was to identify as well as analyse and describe both quantitatively and qualitatively the emerging IL syntax of a sample of Kikuyu Learners of English as an L2. The cross-sectional study which used a sample of 864 learners of English from the Northern Kikuyu dialect was specifically designed to examine the extent to which Kikuyu contributed to the formation of non-target syntactic constructions. The learners comprised four hierarchically organised groups of English learners with four varying levels of English proficiency. Group four in Form Two had the highest English proficiency level while the next higher level of English proficiency was in group three in Form One. The next lower level of English proficiency was in group two in Standard Eight while the lowest level of English proficiency in this study was in group one in Standard Seven. ) The research instrument consisting of a battery of grammatical judgement tests and composition production tasks suitable to each proficiency level was administered to the groups. The composition responses were marked in a mini-conference of experienced teachers of English using error analysis approaches for compliance with target language norms and in terms of comprehensibility, intelligibility as well as frequency. In the course of the interpretation and analysis of the subjects' responses using conventional error analysis methodology, a detailed typology of the syntactic deviations was established and each type of syntactic deviation was discussed as to its definition, sources and implications for language learning. It was assumed that such at analyses would contribute a better understanding of IL and give better insights into the strategies and processes that are employed by L2 learners of English as well as reveal the status of IL syntax of KLE with respect to learners linguistic competence in English. Comparison of the different syntactic deviations with the processes and strategies which are presumed to be responsible for IL formation showed that there was some relationship between formation, distribution and frequency of NTL constructions and the five processes proposed in Selinker. As a result of the observed deviations and NTL constructions in the IL syntax of KLE, the performance in English and the ability to pursue studies in the English medium by KLE tended to be lower in relation to the expectation of the prescribed syllabus. The findings confirm the allegations broached in the statement of the problem and provide answers to the research questions of this study. The research reported here is organised as follows: -">, Chapter one is the introduction in which we present the background of the study by delineating and specifying the linguistic situation, the research problem, objectives, the hypotheses, rationale and the scope of the study. Chapter two provides the theoretical framework while chapter three reviews the literature and explores the insights as well as the theoretical and methodological avenues which forms the basis and approaches which this study adopted. Chapter four is the research design and methodology while Chapter five presents the data analysis and findings. Chapter six is the discussion of findings while Chapter seven is the conclusion in which we provide the study summary, conclusions recommendations and implications. The Bibliography shows the works consulted while the appendices contain the questionnaires and the data of NTL syntactic. constructions.
SponsorhipThe University of Nairobi
Department of Linguistics and Languages