A Comparative Analysis of Boys’ and Girls’ Spelling Errors in Kiswahili Functional Writing in Secondary Schools in Kenya

Charles Nyandoro Moochi

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The purpose of this study was to establish whether or not there were gender specific spelling errors committed by boys and girls in Kiswahili functional writing. The study adopted a triangulation approach in its theoretical framework. As a result, three theories were used: Error Analysis by Corder, (1976), Interlanguage by Selinker, (1972) and Gender Social Role by Eagly, (1987). The study was carried out in Nyamira County, Kenya. The sample comprised 326 Form Four participants of equal gender distribution drawn from eight public secondary schools. Simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used to select the study participants. The participants wrote a Kiswahili functional essay whereby spelling errors were identified and typified for comparison guided by proportion study criterion. The data for this study were analyzed qualitatively using measures of central tendencies that involved use of means, frequencies and percentages. The study revealed that there were no gender specific spelling errors. The finding would be central to curriculum developers in underscoring teaching of phonological awareness phonemic understanding, and phonics to both genders. The finding also necessitates mounting of remedial phonological information, phonemic awareness, and phonics for the boys using information and communication technology systems and appropriate gender destereotyping instructional methods to bridge gender spelling gaps. Finally, boys should be taught nonsense words with a view to improving their spelling ability.




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