4 Records out of 22207 Records

Use of scientific language in instruction and performance in chemistry : a study of selected secondary schools of Kabarnet Division, Baringo District, Kenya

Author: Chesang, Chepyegon

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MEd

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Kabarnet Division, Baringo District ; Chemistry ; Secondary schools ; Jargon ; Language ;


The language barrier could account for the difficulty that learners and teachers find within science education leading to low performance in the science subjects at the secondary school level. The language used by chemistry teachers when presenting science concepts, principles and skills during the process of instruction may attract students to the study of chemistry ( swing towards chemistry) or may discourage them (cause a swing away from chemistry). Thus, the use of language of instruction deserves careful attention. This study was therefore conducted to determine teachers' ability to highlight and explain the meaning of scientific terminology related to chemistry. The primary focus of the study was to establish the relationship between teachers' professional training and experience and their ability to highlight and explicitly explain scientific terms encountered during instruction. The study was also interested in finding out if students grasped a number of selected scientific terms the teachers used during instruction and if there was a difference between boys' and girls' performance in Chemistry in relation to scientific language. The study employed a cross-sectional survey design. The target population from. which the sample for the study was drawn comprised all public secondary schools in Kabarnet division of Baringo district, Kenya. A total of twenty seven (27) chemistry teachers, six of whom took part in lesson observation sessions, and two hundred and seventy (270) Form three chemistry students participated in the study. Chemistry Teachers' Questionnaire (CTQ) and Lesson Observation Schedule (LOS) were used to solicit information regarding, teachers' professional training and experience and their ability to highlight and explain scientific terms related to chemistry. Students Interview Schedule (SIS) and the Chemistry Achievement Test (CHAT) were used to obtain information on students' understanding of scientific terms encountered during instruction and to determine if there was a significant difference with respect to boys' and girls' performance in chemistry regarding scientific language. Boys' and girls' performance in the CHAT was analyzed using the mean and the t-Test whereas the relationship between teachers' professional training and experience and their ability to highlight and explain scientific terms were analyzed using frequency distribution and chi-square (,i) test. The study revealed that chemistry teachers' professional training and experience has no direct relationship with their ability to highlight and explain scientific terms related to chemistry. Similarly, boys' and girls' performance in chemistry did not differ significantly. Based on the results of this study, the findings raise questions pertaining to the inconsistency between chemistry teachers' professional training and experience and their ability to emphasize scientific terms that label a range of concepts; students' inability to grasp meanings of scientific terms of chemical nature; and whether or not the skill to learn scientific terms is actually developed in the context of content delivery.

A study of pupils performance in the use of mathematical terminology and the related concepts in primary schools of Eldoret Municipality,Kenya

Author: Mulwa, Ednah Chebet

Awarding University: Moi University, Kenya

Level : MPhil

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Moi University Margaret Thatcher Library ;

Subject Terms: Mathematics ; Jargon ; Eldoret, Kenya ; Primary school students ;


This study was set to examine the proficiency of students in using mathematical terminology and the related concepts. The need to carry out this study arose from the concern by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) and the general public over the perennial poor results in mathematics. Therefore, the objective of the study was to investigate the extent to which meanings of some mathematical terms are understood and/or confused by students for whom English is a second language. The basis for the study is the constructivist theory by J. Bruner and the cognitive flexibility theory of R. Spiro, P. Heltovitch and R. Coulson which advocates for teaching learners to construct their meanings of mathematical terms. The descriptive survey utilized written tests as the main data collection instrument. The target population was standard eight pupils within Eldoret Municipality. Public schools were ranked according to performance in last year's K.C.P.E results. Systematic random sampling technique was used to sample out 9 of the 38 public schools. Simple random sampling was then used to select a study sample of 270 pupils. Four non-participating schools were used for the pilot study to ascertain the reliability and validity of the research instruments. Data analysis involved the use of both descriptive and inferential statistics such as the frequencies and the means. The Analysis Of Variance (AN OVA) was used to test the hypotheses. The findings of the study showed that students have difficulties in using mathematical terms and the related concepts. Suggestions of possible ways of teaching these terms so as to generate more meaning to the learners were also made. This is hoped to assist mathematics teachers, curriculum planners, and textbook authors of a contributory factor to the poor performance in the subject.

An approach to code elaboration and its application to Swahili (Kenya, Africa).

Author: Marshad, Hassan Ahmed

Awarding University: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 1984

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Swahili language ; Grammar ; Jargon ;


The purpose of this dissertation is to propose a theoretical model which makes it possible for languages like Swahili to acquire technical registers. A two prong approach is suggested to build up the necessary terminology, and at the same time, cultivate the essention technical rhetoric to support the terms generated. The first two chapters are designed to provide background information. Chapter i has an outline of the basic structure of Swahili needed in order to familiarize the reader with relevant portions of the grammar of the language. Chapter ii focuses on language issues in Kenya where English is the official language and Swahili the ceremonial national language. Chapter iii provides a framework for viewing Language Planning (LP) activities. Components of LP considered are: orthography, morphology, syntax and lexicology. Under each, recommendations are given that will, to a certain extent, contribute to the strengthening of Swahili as an effective communicative tool in the scientific domain. Chapter iv concentrates on the proposed approach to code elaboration. It is suggested that registers in Swahili can be developed in two phases. The first phase involves liberal adoption of terms from English. Arguments are given to show that this is a pragmatic way to acquire rapidly and at a minimum cost a systematic growth of these registers. The objective of the second phase is indigenization of some of the terms relevant to primary and secondary school curricula. For this phase, a conceptual framework is developed in order to facilitate the process of creation of viable indigenous technical registers. Chapter v treats the technical rhetoric aspect of registers. Swahili, like any other language, has the necessary rhetoric elements (conjuctives, logical elements, special purpose verbs). But, like it is in all developing languages, these elements need to be made more rigorous and precise. For this, cluster analyses and semantic grid techniques are proposed as a method for charting the semantic field of these elements. By the use of such techniques, local lexical elements can be standardized and thus be matched precisely with those from an international source; and in this way, translation of scientific texts from any international source will be facilitated. Chapter vi consists of a summary and implications of the proposed model.

The modernization of Swahili technical terminologies : an investigation of the linguistics and literature terminologies

Author: Mwansoko, Hermas

Awarding University: University of York, England

Level : DPhil

Year: 0

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Linguistics ; Swahili language ; Jargon ;


It is now more than a decade since `planned' modernization of Swahili technical terminologies for use in specialist communication was begun in Tanzania. But during all this period there has been no clear model of Swahili terminology expansion; the procedures involved in preparing and formally approving the terminology lists have been very cumbersome and time-consuming and are not based on any particular terminology theory. Terminology expansion in any language is only likely to succeed if it is based on a theoretical model designed to generate the required terminologies following the specific needs of the prospective register users. The present thesis is an attempt to fill the `theoretical gap' which is being experienced in the course of modernizing the Swahili technical terms in Tanzania. The thesis examines the theoretical and methodological aspects of terminological modernization as laid down by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and their implementation in the language modernization programmes of various countries, thereby providing a motivated framework for the study of terminology expansion in Swahili. The study discusses the ways in which Swahili technical terms are being coined, standardized and disseminated to the target populations. It critically evaluates these processes and their limitations and, on the basis of the ISO's terminology theory and the register users' attitudes towards the Swahili terminological modernization programme, proposes a more systematic approach to Swahili terminological modernization which reduces the time factor in the code elaboration process, facilitates a quicker and more effective dissemination of the terms and improves their chances of acceptance by the register users.