School-based Factors Influencing Students’ Performance In English Language At Kenya Certificate Of Secondary Education In Kaplamai Division, Transnzoia County, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to establish the school-based factors influencing students’ performance in English language at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Kaplamai division, Trans-Nzoia County in Kenya. Specifically the study sought to establish the influence of teaching and learning methods, students’ attitude towards English language, school’s learning facilities and professional competence levels of teachers on the performance of students in English language and the challenges that students face while learning English language in school. The study adopted descriptive survey design of the public secondary schools in Kaplamai division. It employed proportionate sampling technique in selecting the sample size for the students and census for the head teachers and teachers of English giving final sample sizes of 15 head teachers, 54 teachers and 243 students. The data for the study was obtained using interview schedules from the head teachers and questionnaires from both the teachers and students. After the data collection, the researcher coded the data using computer softwares and analyzed it using descriptive and inferential statistics. The output was presented in form of tables and charts for interpretations and discussions. The study concluded that group discussions is the method that is mainly used in teaching because it is participative and involves all the students specially the weak students who may need extra emphasis on difficult areas. The students have a positive attitude towards English and as such they have consistently improved on their performance since 2008. The study found out that public secondary schools in the division are well equipped with classrooms and libraries. The teachers of English have been adequately trained with the basic requirements to teach English and are receiving regular inservice trainings especially through the NES and Ministry of Education. The major challenges facing students in learning English are, frequent use of mother tongue by students, uncooperative teachers, misunderstanding of concepts like grammar, spelling, pronunciation and poor writing skills. The study recommends that to improve on the students’ performance in English, the schools should regularly organize seminars and workshops for teachers, avail well equipped libraries with relevant books in the schools, provide adequate learning resources and facilities. Students’ performance could further be improved by having positive attitude towards English subject by both students and teachers. The study further recommends that language policy should be strengthened in schools and schools heads should ensure that the syllabus is completed on time. The schools should have professionally, qualified and adequate teachers of English as well as good will from the parents and school administration to support the English department.