Improving Refugee Students' Communication Skills to Support their Classroom Participation in Secondary Education in Uganda: A Case Study of Kampala High School.
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This study examined how refugee students in secondary school can improve their communicative skills to support their effective participation in education in Uganda a case study of Kampala High School. The research was motivated by the desire to have all students actively participate in their education and this can only happen if there is effective communication. The study was grounded on Dell Hymes communicative competence theory. It was guided by three objectives thus; to establish the English language challenges which refugee students face while communicating in classroom, to explore the language challenges that teachers of English face while supporting refugee students to communicated in the classroom and to establish the guidelines based on communicative competence theory that can be used to support refugee students’ active participation in secondary education. Following the case study design of a single case, Kampala High School, data was collected using interview guides, documentary checklists among others. Three teachers and five refugee students participated in this study. Major findings were that refugee students face challenges of misspellings, mismatch in languages, limited vocabulary, ungrammaticality, poor writing skills and inefficient speaking skills. Teachers also face challenges of misinterpretation, poor comprehension skills and lack of interest by the refugee students. Some of the guidelines which were fronted in the study based on the theory are; the remedial classes, speaking sessions, reading sessions and vocabulary exercises. The study made the following conclusions; refugee students’ English language skills are poor so they need extra assistance from teachers, these students may be disinterested because of age discrepancy and different communicative competence theory activities can support these learners to communicate. The study recommended that, teachers should be sensitized on how to handle refugee students, refugees should be given remedial language sessions and school administrators should provide enough reading materials to these students.