Influence of classroom management on pre-school children's performance in language activities in Kuresoi district Nakuru county
This study, using descriptive survey research design, assessed the influence of class management on the performance of pre-schoolers in language learning. Specifically the study sought to explain the aspects of class management that contributed towards enhanced performance of leamer's language skills. In this regard the study examined use of teaching resources, instructional approaches, and the use of space as elements of class management that impact on language learning in preschool. The study reviewed relevant literature to establish research gaps and determine the current underlying factors and performance levels of preschoolers in regards to language learning. This review also identified symbolic interactionism as the most appropriate theory for informing this study. This theory assumes that human behaviour is to be understood as a process in which the person shapes and controls his or her conduct by taking into account the expectations of others with whom s/he interacts. In this study it was used to understand the goings-on in the classroom as the teacher interacted with instructional materials and resources and learners and how slhe organized their class for effective language observation checklists and individual interview guides from 14 pre-schools in Kuresoi District, 14 head teachers, 28 teachers and two (2) DICECE officers. The study confirmed that indeed class management has a positive influence on the performance of pre-schoolers in language learning. Speciiicauy and from a symbolic interactionist perspective, teachers expend a lot of energy in \')re\')aration and interventions, through managing the \eaming resources, c\ass time, class space, and adopting appropriate teaching approaches that help the learners perform well in language learning. Preschool teachers sampled for the study used child-centred methods and the thematic approach to teaching language. This was useful in strengthening language skills the children were acquiring across different activity areas beyond language. In other words, teachers observed often adjusted and controlled their conduct in ways that helped learners perform better in language skills. Learners on the other hand also responded to their teachers by adjusting their conduct in ways that promoted the development of language skills. Effective classroom management depends also on the quality of teaching, which teachers achieve through using teaching management strategies. The study established that teachers used various learning resources including pictures, charts, models and flashcards the most. Moreover, the study established that charts, pictures and blocks were the most frequently used learning aids. Furthermore, the study found out that text books were not used due to their unavailability as a result of financial constraints. In spite of this challenge, the use of alternative teaching aids played an additive, not diminutive, role in improving learners' skills in language learning. The pupils were often observed interacting with the instructional materials on the walls when teachers left the classrooms. Further, the study established that classroom space became a problem when class size increased. To get around the space problem, teachers considered the use of space in their instructional plans. Teacher planning ensured that most classroom space was used in ways that maximized interaction between the teacher and learners and among learners themselves. Teachers interviewed reiterated that it was what you did with the space that made a difference in learning, including language learning. They emphasized that learners learn language best when given ample opportunities to interact with each other and with the materials as well as being given opportunities to discuss about the materials they were manipulating. The study recommended that more in-service training for preschool teachers be organized to hone their class management skills and to provide a platform for sharing best practices in classroom management.