Pre-primary school teachers’ competences for enhancing early oral language development In Luweero District.
Kabajaasi, Joy Byenkya
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This study assessed the effect of pre-primary school teachers‟ competences on enhancement of oral language development (OLD) in Luweero District. It was based on three objectives and line questions-to establish the influence of pre-primary school teachers‟ use of instructional approach on OLD, influence of pre-primary schoolteachers‟ interaction with learners on OLD and the influence of pre-primary school teachers‟ organization of the learning environment on OLD. A correlation and cross sectional study design was adopted for this study and questionnaires, interview guide and observation guide were used to obtain data from a sample of 178 respondents structured into 28 head teachers and 150 teachers of ECD centers. Regression analysis was used to establish the influence of instructional approach, interaction with learners and organisation of classroom learning environment on OLD. According to results, instructional approach has positive and negative influence on OLD. Positively, it enables provision of feedback to children, slows rate of speech and thus eases understanding, and it enhances use of symbols to reinforce language acquisition. However, instruction creates much time for children to respond yet it is not used constructively to develop the children‟s oral language. In addition, results revealed that interaction between pre-primary school teachers and learners creates an environment where children are able to beg pardons for unclear ideas and the teacher uses repetition to convey the communication they want to pass on. Further still, interaction can attract children‟s attention and builds confidence in them since they are made center of the lesson. The organization of the classroom learning environment by the teachers too, affected OLD. The classrooms lacked cognitive stimulating environment such as absence of learning centres and lack of task oriented displays as well as simple readers. This was associated with lack of creativity among the teachers. Conclusively, the pre-primary school teachers‟ competence related to the appropriate use of instructional strategies, interactive and child-centred methods and authentic classroom learning environment are core to OLD in pre- primary schools. However, much as this is so, not much is expressed on ground thus leaving their critical benefits in theory.