The effects of prohibiting mother tongue speaking upon the development of learners’ language skills: a case of Luganda in selected secondary schools in Kira Sub-County, Uganda
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In spite of Luganda being a curriculum subject in Uganda, students are not allowed to speak it at school. It was anticipated that prohibiting the speaking of Luganda may affect learners’ language skills in Luganda. The study aimed at achieving the following objectives: 1. To establish the reasons why Luganda speaking is prohibited in schools. 2. To find out the methods used by school authorities to prohibit Luganda speaking. 3. To examine the effect of prohibiting Luganda on the development of language skills in Luganda. The study was conducted in four purposively selected secondary schools in Kira Sub-county, Wakiso district. It adopted a cross-sectional research design which enabled the researcher to collect data in a couple of weeks. Primary data were collected from 120 respondents (students, academic and administrative staff) using questionnaires and interview guides. Results revealed that speaking Luganda was not allowed because of three main reasons. The first reason was that speaking Luganda affects students from mastering English skills. Secondly, examinations are not set and answered in Luganda but in English. Thirdly, Luganda can not unite students and teachers from different ethnic backgrounds. The practice of disallowing the speaking of Luganda is carried out by demoralising speakers or intending speakers of Luganda and by using punishments in other cases. It was also established that the existence of prohibitive measures to the speaking of Luganda, significantly affected the development of skills in Luganda for those doing the subject.