Phonological basis of misspellings in the written English of Kimeru speaking pupils in public primary schools in Meru.
The study focused on the misspellings made by learners whose first language was Kimeru. This study was carried out to investigate whether the phonology and orthography of Kimeru as a learner’s first language affected their spelling of English words. The study adapted Error Analysis as its theoretical framework. The data for this study was collected from creative compositions and dictation of words written by primary school learners whose first language was Kimeru. Using Error Analysis as the theoretical framework of the study, all the misspelt words were identified and classified into ten categories according to the nature of the spelling errors. The categories were as follows: errors due to silent graphemes, errors due to prenasalisation of graphemes, errors due to homophones, errors due to vowels length, errors due to epenthesis, errors due to absence of the sound in Kimeru, errors due to metathesis, errors due to double consonant graphemes, errors due to the discrepancy between the English sound system and the spelling system and errors due to retention of letter ‘e’ before a suffix. These errors were then described in terms of the relationship between the misspelt word and the phonology of the first language. After description an explanation was provided on the possible causes of misspellings by examining the nature of the misspelt words. Remedial measures that could be instituted to eradicate the spelling errors were also provided. Chapter one presented the introduction of the study which included the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives, hypotheses of the study, rationale of the study, scope of the study, theoretical framework, literature review and the methodology. Chapter Two presented the outline of both Kimeru and English sounds. Chapter Three, which presented the findings of the study, categorized errors according to their nature and also 4 discussed their possible causes. Chapter Four discussed the possible remedies that could be instituted to eradicate the errors identified. Lastly, Chapter Five presented the conclusions to this study and the recommendations for further and more in-depth research on the topic of this study.