AN APPRAISAL OF MOTHER TONGUE EDUCATION AND ITS INFLUENCE ON SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN LOWER CLASSES IN SELECTED PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NANDI COUNTY

AN APPRAISAL OF MOTHER TONGUE EDUCATION AND ITS INFLUENCE ON SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN LOWER CLASSES IN SELECTED PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NANDI COUNTY, KENYA.

JOSEPH PATRICK KITUR
REG NO. ML21/2017/13
A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONFERMENT OF THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN APPLIED LINGUISTICS OF LAIKIPIA UNIVERSITY.

JANUARY, 2018
DECLARATIONThis project is my original work and has not been presented for examination in any other University.

NAME: JOSEPH PATRICK KITUR
Signature…………………………. Date……………………….

Approval by the supervisors
This project has been submitted with our approval as supervisors
NAME: DR. ELIUD K. KIRIGIA
Signature……………………… Date:……………………..

NAME: DR. FLORENCE MWITHI
Signature…………………….. Date………..……….……..

ABSTRACTThis study sought to appraise Mother Tongue Education in Nandi County, Kenya. For over three decades, Kenya has employed an 8-4-4- system, where learners go through eight years of primary school, four years of secondary school and then four years in the University. However, with recent transformations in Education, the Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) has been incorporated as part of the education system. This is especially being felt as Kenya transits to the 2-6-6-3 system that is currently at an advanced stage in its implementation. On the contrary, this system has included the ECDE as part of the education cycle, which means ECDE is now getting the attention it deserves. Claims had been made from several quarters that Mother tongue Education in Kenyan primary schools had been given a lip service since it was never taught with the seriousness it deserved. The extent of the problem, however, was not well known. The main objective of the proposed study was to appraise Mother Tongue Education in Nandi County with a view to proposing possible intervention measures. The study was guided by the following objectives: To find out the extent to which mother tongue is used as a medium of instruction on second language learning in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi county; to establish the challenges faced in use of Mother tongue on second language learning in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi County and; to examine and recommend L1 strategies that can be used to facilitate learning of L2 in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi County. The study adopted the theory of language acquisition and a qualitative study design. A stratified random sampling technique was used for sampling respondents. A sample of 60 Head Teachers, 60 Lower Primary School Teachers, and 20 officials from the County Education office participated in the study. As well, a total of 40 parents were interviewed and 120 Primary school Pupils in standard 4 were tested for their Mother Tongue proficiency, 20 drawn from each of the six constituencies in the county was used. Data was analyzed qualitatively in the form of explanations, tables, charts and graphs. It is hoped that the findings will benefit educationists, policy makers and applied linguists. This is because the study is expected to give a fresh impetus to the implementation of the language policy especially in the new dispensation as the new system of education in Kenya is being rolled out.

LIST OF TABLES.Table 5.3 sample size…………………………………………………………30

TABLE OF CONTENTS TOC o “1-3” h z u DECLARATION PAGEREF _Toc517625090 h iiABSTRACT PAGEREF _Toc517625091 h iiiLIST OF TABLES. PAGEREF _Toc517625092 h ivTABLE OF CONTENTS PAGEREF _Toc517625093 h vLIST OF ABBREVIATION/ACRONYMS PAGEREF _Toc517625094 h viiiOPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS/VARIABLES PAGEREF _Toc517625095 h ixCHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc517625097 h 11.1 Background Information PAGEREF _Toc517625098 h 11.2 Statement of the problem PAGEREF _Toc517625099 h 41.3 Objectives of the study PAGEREF _Toc517625100 h 41.4 Research questions PAGEREF _Toc517625101 h 51.5 Significance of the study PAGEREF _Toc517625102 h 51.6 Scope and Limitation of the study PAGEREF _Toc517625103 h 6CHAPTER TWO
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW PAGEREF _Toc517625104 h 72.1.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc517625105 h 72.2 The extent of mother tongue use in Learning of L2 in lower classes PAGEREF _Toc517625106 h 72.2.2 Rationale for mother tongue education: A global perspective PAGEREF _Toc517625107 h 82.2.3 Review of best practices in use of mother tongue in learning L2 PAGEREF _Toc517625108 h 102.2.3.1 A case of inclusion in multilingual societies PAGEREF _Toc517625109 h 102.2.3.2 Development of mother tongue/indigenous languages PAGEREF _Toc517625110 h 132.2.4 Language policy (LP) in Kenya PAGEREF _Toc517625111 h 142.2.5 The use of English and Kiswahili in Kenya PAGEREF _Toc517625112 h 152.2.6 Challenges faced in use and application of mother tongue education in Kenya PAGEREF _Toc517625114 h 152.2.6.1 Language use and attitude PAGEREF _Toc517625115 h 152.2.6.2. Teachers PAGEREF _Toc517625116 h 162.2.6.3 Instructional materials PAGEREF _Toc517625117 h 182.2.6.4 Language-in-education policy and planning PAGEREF _Toc517625118 h 202.3 Theoretical framework PAGEREF _Toc517625119 h 212.3.2 Relevance of the theory to the study PAGEREF _Toc517625120 h 23CHAPTER THREE
3.0 RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc517625121 h 243.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc517625122 h 243.2 Research design PAGEREF _Toc517625123 h 243.3 Study area PAGEREF _Toc517625124 h 243.4 Sampling procedure PAGEREF _Toc517625125 h 253.5Data collection instruments PAGEREF _Toc517625128 h 273.5.1Questionnaire PAGEREF _Toc517625129 h 273.7 Data collection procedure PAGEREF _Toc517625130 h 273.8 Data analysis PAGEREF _Toc517625131 h 27CHAPTER FOUR4.0 DATA ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION AND PRESENTATION PAGEREF _Toc517625133 h 284.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc517625134 h 284.2 Demographic Information of the Respondents PAGEREF _Toc517625135 h 284.2.1 Ages of the Respondents PAGEREF _Toc517625136 h 284.2.2 Gender of the respondents PAGEREF _Toc517625139 h 294.2.3 Category of respondents PAGEREF _Toc517625140 h 304.2.4 School type PAGEREF _Toc517625141 h 314.3 Findings related to the objectives of the study PAGEREF _Toc517625142 h 324.3.1 Language of instruction (LOI) in Lower classes PAGEREF _Toc517625143 h 324.3.2 Challenges faced in use and application of mother tongue education PAGEREF _Toc517625144 h 33CHAPTER FIVE5.0 DISCUSSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION PAGEREF _Toc517625146 h 345.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc517625147 h 345.2 Discussion of the study findings PAGEREF _Toc517625148 h 345.2.1 The extent and use of mother tongue in learning L2 PAGEREF _Toc517625149 h 345.2.2 Challenges faced in use and application of mother tongue education PAGEREF _Toc517625150 h 365.2.3 Strategies of enhancing mother tongue education PAGEREF _Toc517625151 h 395.3 Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc517625152 h 405.4 Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc517625153 h 41REFERENCES PAGEREF _Toc517625154 h 42APPENDICES PAGEREF _Toc517625155 h 44APPENDIX A: QUESTIONNAIRE PAGEREF _Toc517625156 h 44
LIST OF ABBREVIATION/ACRONYMSLOI-Language of Instruction
MT- Mother Tongue
MOE-Ministry of Education
LP- Language Policy
ECDE-Early childhood Development & Education
UNHCR-United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

UNESCO-United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization
LI- First Language
L2- Second Language
DfID-Department for International Development.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS/VARIABLESMother tongue-is a term used to refer to native language and is used to indicate the language spoken at home by the parents
Language policy- refers to the language practices, beliefs and management decision of a community that determine which languages should be labeled, ‘official’ ‘local’ or ‘national’.

Mother tongue education- refers to a curriculum that teaches learners in their mother tongue as opposed to using the mainstream language
Second language – Is a term used to refer to any language that a person uses other than a first or native language (L1).The second language can be a foreign language that’s being studied in school.

CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION1.1 Background InformationFor over three decades, Kenya has employed an 8-4-4- system, where learners go through eight years of primary school, four years of secondary school and then four years in the University. However, with recent transformations in Education, the Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) have been incorporated as part of the education system (Gacheche, 2010; Basic Education Act, 2013). This is being felt as Kenya transits to the 2-6-6-3 system that is currently at an advanced stage in its implementation.
On the contrary, this system has included the ECDE as part of the education cycle, which means ECDE is now getting the attention it deserves. Pre-primary education is 2 years made up of pre-primary 1 and pre-primary 2 and for children aged between 4 and 5 years old to be taught language activities, mathematical activities, environmental activities, psychomotor ; creative activities and religious education activities whereas lower primary will be 3 years. Subjects to be taught will include all pre-primary activities, language activities, literacy and hygiene and nutrition. Middle school will run for 6 years made up of upper primary and lower secondary whereas senior school will run for 3 years. In Upper Primary, grades four to six, learners will be exposed to subjects inclusive of creative arts, with pupils allowed to study an indigenous language or foreign language such as Chinese, Arabic, French and German (http://www.hakijamii.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-New-Education-Curriculum.pdf). This means that the need for an appraisal in Mother Tongue is critical at this point in time.

Kenya is a multilingual and multiethnic country with an estimated 40 million people who speak about 50 languages and dialects, though estimates range from 30 to 70 (Gathiora, 2008). However, according to the 2009 National Population Census, the population in Kenya was estimated at 38.6 Million people; languages and dialects identified were 40. As Gathiora (2008) notes, dialects boundaries tend to be obscured when culture or ethnicity is used as a criteria for demarcating the difference between language and dialect, rather than linguistic criteria of structure or typology. That is people with common culture may end up grouped as speaking a similar language but with different dialects as opposed to them being grouped as having different languages (Gacheche, 2010).

According to Gathiora (2008) the Abaluyia in Kenya share common culture, beliefs and practices and being identified as speakers of the luhyia language, but yet they in fact speak a cluster of closely related, estimated to be 16 to 26, rather than the same language. Other examples include the Kalenjins, who are identified as a single community yet comprise about ten different ethnic groups. – Kipsigis, Nandi, Pokot, Marakwet, Keiyo, Tugen, Sabaot, Terik, Sengwer, each with its own dialect and some, mutually unintelligible. Also the Mijikenda community is made up of nine different ethnic groups – the Kauma, Chonyi, Jibana, Giriama, Kamabe, Rabai, Duruma, and Digo (The UN refugee council (UNHCR, 2003).

Language Policy (LP) gives standards of languages used in a country. In Kenya, the language policy in Education is based on the Ministry of Education (MOE) policy of 1976 which stated that the language of instruction in classes 1-3 should be the language of the school’s catchment area until class 4 after which English would be the main language of instruction (LOI), (MOE, 1976). The policy recommended that learners should be taught in the language they speak at home; and those in mixed ethnic background be taught in Kiswahili. The benefits of using a child’s home language are acknowledged as useful for the establishment of basic language skills which can then be transferred to the learning of English and Kiswahili. This was a constructivist approach, as the policy intended to help learners make sense of new information and skills by utilizing previous knowledge (Baker, 2001; MOE, 1976).

Although the benefits are clear, implementation of mother tongue programmes can be complex (Tolhurst, 2007). Practical issues include the absence of suitable materials, the fact that teachers are often not proficient in the local language, the presence of more than one language group in the same classroom (Kishindo, 1998).

A cross –sectional survey by the Ministry of Education in 2013 conducted in Nandi County shows that very few schools in the county are using Mother Tongue as the language of instruction (LOI) in the early school years. The factors cited for non-conformance to the Language Policy (LP) and which are yet to be authenticated include: lack of instructional materials of mother tongue; negative attitude of parents to mother tongue education due to ignorance and mix of language/dialects in the county (MOE, 2013, Nandi County).

Fig 1. Map of Nandi County
Nandi County includes the Nandi dialect spoken by the majority. However the other Kalenjin dialects are also represented including Terik, Kipsigis, among others. There are also speakers of non-Kalenjin languages including Abaluhya, Kisii, and Kikuyu among others.

In Nandi County, implementation of mother tongue education is perceived to have been a difficult task but no appraisal of mother tongue education has ever been carried outin this County. In addition, some areas in the county are inhabited by a mix of ethnic groups such as Kapkangani, Serem, Kapsengere, and other areas inhabited by different language communities including Luhya, Abagusii, Kikuyu, Somali, among others, making implementation of mother tongue education difficult
1.2 Statement of the problemIn Kenya, as with a number of other countries across Africa, a majority of its children go through an education process that sometimes fails to provide instruction in the child’s mother tongue and the language the child understands best. Most schools implement a form of submersion that teaches children in second language rather than the language they speak at home and has been compared to forcibly holding a child under water. In this scenario children first have to gain familiarity with the new sounds in the second language before they can master the symbol. Such cognitive development takes time. Reports cited in Nandi County point to nonconformity to the mother tongue policy in Kenyan schools. The reasons given are far from clear and research is needed to authenticate these claims. In addition, casual observations indicate that Nandi county primary school leavers could hardly read and write in the Nandi language. This was because mother tongue is discouraged in schools and children were severely punished if they used it. The extent and severity of the problem had not been documented in a credible research.

1.3 Objectives of the studyThe main objective of the study was to conduct an appraisal of mother tongue Education and its influence in second language learning in lower classes in selected primary schools in Nandi County.

Specific Objectives
To find out the extent to which mother tongue is used as a medium of instruction on second language learning in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi county
To establish the challenges faced in use of Mother tongue on second language learning in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi County.

To examine and recommend L1 strategies that can be used to facilitate learning of L2 in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi County
1.4 Research questionsWhat is the extent to which mother tongue is used as a medium of instruction on second language learning in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi county?
What are the challenges faced in use of Mother Tongue on second language learning in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi County?
What recommendations and L1 strategies can be used to facilitate learning of L2 in lower classes of selected primary schools in Nandi County?
1.5 Significance of the studyThe study is of great significance to policy makers in Kenya as it is going to give fresh impetus to the implementation of the language policy. Firstly, the findings of this study will be useful to the Ministry of Education in providing up to date data on the progress and challenges faced in implementing mother tongue education in regards to acquisition of second language. The information will be useful in policy review especially in this transition to the new curriculum. The study will also benefit scholars in the area of language pedagogy and applied linguistics. This is because the study seeks for ways of streamlining Mother Tongue education for learning of second language by coming up with interventions for enhancing mother tongue education. This will also add to the body of existing knowledge hence filling up the existing gaps in the topic of study. The study will also benefit teachers, students, parents and other stake-holders and parents who have an interest in language education. Finally, the study findings will be useful to international bodies such as UNICEF and UNESCO in reporting, comparing data and developing innovations in education that are not only up to date but also tailor made to suit conditions in Kenya and Nandi County in particular.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the studyThe study was limited by a number of shortcomings/limitations. The study examined mother tongue education in lower primary school. Upper primary classes were not examined. Mother tongue education was limited to the majority language in Nandi that is Nandi language. Mother tongue in Luo, Gikuyu, Luhya, Kisii or any other minority language was not examined. Due to the wider geographical area in Nandi County, it was difficult to reach to all the targeted schools. In addition, the state of roads in remote areas hindered accessibility in some areas. In addition some respondents were unwilling to participate in the study. However, the researcher used a number of ways including sampling, and using convenient means of transport such as motorcycles to ensure that data collection became a success. Finally the researcher made clarifications on the purpose of the research to allay any fears from the respondents. The study was carried out in selected schools in the County.
1.8. Premises
The study had the following premises: That mother tongue is commonly used in homes in Nandi County; That Kalenjin was the dominant language in rural areas, while Kiswahili is the dominant language in urban areas; and that the major challenge that faced mother tongue education was lack of instructional materials CHAPTER TWO2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 Review of past studies: Theoretical review of related literature2.1.1 IntroductionThis chapter gives details of literature review. This is a body/collection of data collected from various secondary sources including journals, books and other forms of academic literature. As such, the literature discusses details of the extent of mother tongue use in Learning of L2 in lower classes; review of best practices in use of mother tongue in learning L2; Language policy (LP) in Kenya; and theoretical framework among others.

2.2 The extent of mother tongue use in Learning of L2 in lower classesThe origin of the term “Mother Tongue” is drawn from the fact that linguistic skills of a child are developed by the mother and therefore refers to the language spoken by the mother would be the primary language that the child would learn (Bloomfield, 2001 cited in Mackenzie, 2006). In some countries such as Kenya, India and various East Asian Countries, Mother Tongue or native language is used to indicate the language of one’s ethnic group. Mother tongue can be used interchangeably with the words like native language, first language, or mother language (UNESCO, 2006).

Besides, mother tongue is defined by UNESCO as the language which a person acquires in early years and which becomes their natural instrument of thought and communication (UNESCO, 1968 as cited in Kobia, 2007). In Kenya, the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE), defines Mother Tongue as the first language a child is expected to learn or the language of the school’s catchment area (KIE, 2002). Furthermore, Mother Tongue education is a curriculum that teaches students in their mother tongue or first language rather than using the mainstream language, which may be unknown to pupils (Shrestha, & Eastman, 2002). According to UNESCO, Mother Tongue education is education which uses its medium of instruction as person’s mother tongue i.e. the language a person has acquired in early years and which normally has become his/her natural instrument of thought and communication (UNESCO as cited in Kobia, 2007).

In general, mother tongue can be defined and classified based on the following: based on origin, that is the languages one learnt first; based on internal identification, that is, the languages one identifies with/as a speaker of ; based on external identification, that is the language(s) one is identified with /as a speaker of, by others, based on competence, that is the languages(s) one knows best; and based on function; the languages one uses most (Bloomfield 2001 as cited in Mackenzie, 2006).To the researcher all the above definitions meet the minimum expectations of the understanding of mother tongue education in the context of the study.

2.2.2 Rationale for mother tongue education: A global perspectiveThe 2010 Education for All (EFA) report on reaching the marginalized, states that children who are members of an ethnic linguistic minority (or) an indigenous group enter schools with poorer prospects of success and emerge with fewer years of education and lower levels of achievements (EFA, 2010). The report advises that they effectively teach around 221 million children worldwide who speak a different language at home from the one used for instruction in schools, there is need to first teach them in home language (L1) while gradually introducing the national or official language, L2 (EFA, 2010).The researcher agrees with this argument to a greater extent since Mother Tongue education supports learning in other languages i.e. English as the second language will stand a better chance of being mastered faster as opposed to learners who have not mastered their mother tongue.

Most developing countries are characterized by multilingual societies yet foreign languages of instruction pervade a majority of education systems. A system where instruction is carried out in a language children do not speak is referred to as submersion, as it is comparable to forcibly holding a child under water (Skutnabb-kangas, 2000). However, research has shown that Mother Tongue-based schooling significantly improves learning (Benson 2004b; UNESCO, 2006; Young 2009). The use of familiar language to teach children literary skills is more effective than a submersion system as learners can employ psycholinguistic-guessing strategies to learn how to read and write, (Benson, 2004a). This means children can already speak the language they learn to associate sounds with the symbols they see, thus facilitating understanding. When literacy skills, such as reading, are taught in a foreign language, the children first have to gain familiarity with the sound before they can master the symbol. Such cognitive development takes time, which is a luxury that submersion does not allow. This forces learners and teachers to resort to rote teaching and learning, where children merely memorize what the teachers says without necessarily understanding the meaning (Gacheche, 2010).This study seeks to reinforce the premise that the use of a familiar language (Mother Tongue) is more effective than a submersion system. This is also in line with the Kenya Language Policy of 1976.

Yet despite the poor learning outcomes associated with submersion education, it is wrongly regarded the fastest way to teach children the L2 (Trudell, 2005; Young 2009). Baldauf and Kaplan (2004) noted the prevalence of myth that the more time spent educating a child via a language of wider communication, the more they master it. But in most cases, such practices tend to push children out of schools as learners fail to find meaning in what they are hearing, and intellectually disengage. This makes it much harder to regain their attention later on, or even retain them in the schooling system beyond the primary level. Teaching in child’s home language however means that the learning of new concepts to negotiate meanings together, thus competency in L2 is gained through mutual interaction rather than memorization and rote learning (Gacheche, 2010).This study seeks to demystify the belief that the use of L2 in learning especially in early school years is being civilized and proper. Instead, mother tongue education should be popularized. For instance, it is common to find most parents and other education stakeholders in Kenya are in support of using English and Kiswahili as the LOI even in baby class because they perceive the use of mother tongue in school as backwardness or primitivism.

Cummins (1979) proposes the interdependence theory to explain the positive transfer literacy skills from L1 and L2. He argues that the level of literacy competence in L2 that a child attains is partially a function of the level of competence the child has in L1 at the time L2 teaching begins intensively. Thus, if an education system submerges learners in L2 without first trying to further develop the skills they already have in L1, the schools negatively impacts the way children learn to think, thus interfering with their cognitive development. Therefore, when an education system imposes foreign language on children, disregarding their initial content with language and pattern of processing new information, it inhibits their development of cognitive functions (Gacheche, 2010).The researcher supports the argument by these scholars, that, for effective cognitive development, then use of mother tongue is a must in early school years and that the initial content is paramount.

An educational model that encourages mutual learning rather than submersion is referred to as immersion. Here the teacher is familiar with the child’s language and cultural background and can therefore respond appropriately to his/her needs. The immersion child’s L1 is never denigrated by the teacher (Cummins, 1979). Such positive reinforcement decreases rates of repetition, failure and dropouts and provides long-term benefits like higher self-esteem, greater self –confidence and higher aspiration for schooling and life (UNESCO, 2006). The researcher supports these findings since the immersion system offers learners an opportunity to ask questions and relate what they have learnt to their home environment.

To adequately express their experiences and articulate their knowledge, children require an environment that uses the languages they speak. Submersion in a foreign language denies children the opportunity to articulate their world (Obama, 1995) .The above citations are relevant to this study since a child’s experiences are important for successful teaching and learning.

2.2.3 Review of best practices in use of mother tongue in learning L22.2.3.1 A case of inclusion in multilingual societiesA learner’s ethno-linguistic heritage which refers to the ethnic and speech community the child is born into, determines the degree to which they will have interacted with and have access to the language or the dominant group (Benson, 2004 b). An education system that fosters instruction mainly in the language of the dominant group greatly disadvantages minorities and marginalized communities, denying them their right to a quality education. An L2 dominant education system therefore allows the elite unequal access to the language of education, governance and other official domains (UNESCO, 2005). UNESCO further notes that over 50 percent of citizens of low-income countries work in the informal sector and these activities do not usually expose either children or adults to the dominant official language that would help them in school, (UNESCO, 2005).The researcher similarly argues that teaching and learning in a dominant language disadvantages minority learners. To cushion them, the teachers in such areas should be trained on the languages spoken by these minority groups.

An L1 based system, however, presents the opportunity to level out the playing field and improve access to education for all sectors of society, which can improve the growth and development of a country. As evidenced by Lin and Martin (2005), mother-tongue based learning has been found to help rural or poor urban working –class school children to acquire global standard of languages and literacy for wider communication and socio-economic mobility. Unfortunately, policy decisions about which language to teach in schools are rarely made based on the needs of the majority but rather favor the dominant class. Semali (2009) notes that the language question is about power, that is redistributing power, privilege and resources internationally something dominant groups are resistant to. This often means the needs of the vulnerable and marginalized population, even if they form the majority, are likely to be ignored as decision makers cater to the elite, (Semali, 2009). The above citations are in tandem with the study. For instance most schools in urban centers use Kiswahili as the Mother Tongue, being a policy recommendation in the language policy. However, this has been found to disadvantage most learners who are not native speakers of Swahili.

Trim (1999) notes that the central aim of language in education is to help people articulate and be concisely aware of the full range of their experience, knowledge and understanding, which is aided by a mother tongue based education system, especially in communities where access to the dominant language is limited. When a foreign language dominates instructions, learners are bound to have questions, doubts and hesitations that remain unexpressed, which could lead to dangerous resentments. In agreement with this, Shotton, (2002) acknowledges that as education is structured, especially, for the poorest and weakest, all it does is disregard the experience of learners, censor their knowledge and confirm them as objects of manipulation (Shotton, 2002).It is expected that by the end of this study, the above sentiments will have been brought out clearly through the findings from the field study.

As the UNESCO paper entitled, ‘Education in a multilingual world’, urges that schooling systems should strike a balance between enabling people to use their languages and providing them with access to literacy in the national language (UNESCO, 2003).This has also been found to be a common problem in Kenya especially with the 2007 post-election violence that rocked parts of the country. It is therefore expected that such sentiments will come out in this study being a challenge in the implementation of mother tongue education in study area.

The use of Mother Tongue also elevates indigenous languages’ status and usefulness, which has the potential to improve social relations and political participation as well as education, thus reducing competition between ethnic groups (Benson 2004). The potential to improve the status of indigenous languages is important as in several countries; local languages come to be associated with primitiveness. Ngugi (1986) notes that during the colonial times, African children learnt to associate their mother tongue with stupidity, humiliation and low status, and the language of the colonizers, English, with intelligence and success. This legacy of undermining local languages and placing foreign ones on a pedestal still prevails in several developing countries. A Mother Tongue-based education system, however, enables the development of local languages thus increasing their value (Gacheche, 2010). It has been argued that some indigenous languages are in danger of facing extinction and if there is continuous use of foreign languages, then such languages will be no more. The researcher supports the use of mother in order to elevate local languages and its usefulness in a society.

However, the use of local languages in schools means that members of a community can play a more active role in the education of their children, discussing concepts and ideas negotiated in the classrooms. It also provides an opportunity for community members to participate in preparing instructional materials for learners thus preserving cultural heritage (Young, 2009). A Mother-Tongue based system also allows parents greater social control over what teachers do and what decision schools make (UNESCO, 2005). Mother tongue education also provides the opportunity for parents to express their needs, making schools more responsive to the community’s needs (Trudell, 2005).The arguments by these scholars are true since experiences from the researcher’s background confirms them.

In Ghana, over 100 linguistic and ethnic groups have been identified with these groups maintaining a sense of ethnic identity (Akramov ; Asante, 2009). Due to the similarities in the various dialects and the increasing mobility of the population, a typical Ghanaian understands at least one of five major languages— Akan, Nzema, Dagbane, Ga, or Ewe as well as English, which is the official language of the country. The language of education in multilingual societies has always been complex and of concern to educators and educational planners due to the multi-ethnic and multilingual situation (Ouedraogo, 2000). The situation is more compounded when the official language of the nation is different from any of the indigenous languages as in many African countries.

As observed by Toku et al (2015), in such situations, there is always controversy over which language to use in school especially at the lower primary level in multilingual societies. In 2002, a law was promulgated in Ghana that mandated the use of local languages as the media of instruction from primary one to three to replace English language as the medium of instruction. Due to the criticisms from sections of academicians, politicians, educators, traditional rulers, and the general populace, the Ghana Education Service (GES) decided to implement the program “National Literacy Accelerated Programme (NALAP)” on a pilot basis in twenty districts in Ghana for the 2009/2010 academic year aimed at building on the language and experiences already familiar to children. Under the NALAP, teachers in the lower primary levels, that is, from kindergarten one to primary three, are to use the mother tongue of the children to teach them. Eleven local languages have been approved so far by the GES for the NALAP. These local languages include Asante Twi, Akuapem Twi, Nzema, Ga, Dangme, Ewe, Dagaare, Gonja and Kasem. To this point, the program is evidenced to have recorded tremendous improvement in learning abilities of the children under the programme (Ouedraogo, 2000).
2.2.3.2 Development of mother tongue/indigenous languagesThere has been reservation about the lexical capacity of indigenous languages to express the realities of modern science and technology and thus be effective in classroom instruction. Critics also note, local languages limited geographical significance, lack of standardization and orthography of most of them and the proliferation of dialects (Prah 2009); Herman, 2009).In considering the use of local languages for instruction, however, their subjective and objective characteristics must first be considered, in line with Stern. (1983).

However; L1s can be developed to satisfy these criteria (Gacheche, 2010).The researcher contends that it is the adoption of mother tongue education that will lead to the development and standardization of the local languages just as in the case of Kiswahili which has been developed and standardized since its adoption as an official as well as the national language in Kenya.

Lexical capacity of indigenous languages can be increased, and that even with dialectal differences, most languages have similar structures that can be standardized. An education that utilizes L1 enables the development of agreed autography in order to transmit curriculum content of learners. These agreed-upon writing and spelling systems will however need to accurately represent speech patterns acceptable to speakers of the language and be easy to transcribe in order to produce reading materials. This requires collaboration between linguists, educators, publishers and local community members (Young, 2009).The researcher acknowledges that the lexical capacity of most languages has not been worked. However, some earlier documentations such as translation of the bible in local dialects as well as the books written by past scholars in native languages including Dr.Taaita arap Toweet’s publications provide a solid foundation for such development.2.2.4 Language policy (LP) in KenyaLanguage policy (LP) refers to all the language practices, beliefs and management decisions of a community or policy (Spolsky, 2004). Language, therefore, determines which languages should get status and priority in society by being labeled, standard; official “local” “national”, and so on. LP has the potential to legitimize marginalized languages and therefore manipulates and imposes the language behavior (Shohamy, 2006).Formal education was started in Kenya by missionaries in 1846 with the setting up of a school in Rabai, a town along the coast. Early language policies in education encouraged the use of mother tongues as local languages were used in the communication of religious messages, missionaries were convinced people better understood if it was taught in vernacular languages (Bogonko, 1992).

However, the official language policy in Kenya was set by the Ministry Of Education in 1976. The policy stated that the languages of instruction in classes 1-3 should be the language of the school’s catchment area until class 4 after which English would be the main LOI (MOE, 1976). The MOE notes that the policy would work as follows: learners who come from a common ethnic community within the neighborhood of the school be taught in the language they speak at home; those with mixed ethnic background are taught Kiswahili as their mother tongue. Further to this, Kiswahili has been given the status of the national language in Kenya’s new constitution promulgated in 2010) Constitution of Kenya, 2010). The LP also stated that those schools in urban areas should use English as their LOI as it would be used widely where such learners were from (MOE, 1976).

The 1976 national language policy warns that should the country not fully implement the policy, it risks; high repetition rates; lack of national unity as some communities will feel marginalized; alienation of learners from their heritage culture, home, community and parents, higher rates of crime, alcoholism and suicides, underutilization of human resources; and loss of linguistic and cultural diversity, among others. The 1976 language policy is still Kenya’s current official language – in-education policy of Kenya (MOE 1976, Baker 2001). The researcher agrees with the policy and the consequences that come along when mother tongue education is ignored. It is the feeling of the researcher that an in-depth study is needed in this area, i.e. the impacts of lack of adoption of the Mother Tongue education in Kenya in terms of repetition, dropout rates, alienation of learners from their culture etc.2.2.5 The use of English and Kiswahili in KenyaKenya’s constitution aptly states that the national language of the republic is Kiswahili while the official languages of the republic are Kiswahili and English. In addition, the constitution shall promote and protect the diversity of the language of the people of Kenya and promote the development and use of indigenous languages, among others (Constitution of Kenya, 2010). The researcher supports this argument especially since the constitution, being the supreme law in the land, supports 2.2.7 Challenges faced in use and application of mother tongue education in Kenya. 2.2.6 Challenges faced in use and application of mother tongue education in Kenya2.2.6.1 Language use and attitudeAttitude to a language is particularly important in the learning process because it affects the outcomes of education. As Baker (1992) states that attitude is considered both as input and output. For example a favourable attitude to mathematics or to language learning may be a vital input in mathematics or languages achievement. In this sense, attitude is predisposing factor or affecting the outcomes of education. Indeed, values and attitudes are some of the basic components of motivation in any given situation, language use included. Motivation in this case refers to what Keller (as cited in Omulando, 2004) describes it as the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid and the degree of efforts they will exert in that respect.

The way teachers feel about the languages they are exposed to within the school setting influence to within the school setting influence how they use these languages during classroom instruction. How they use these languages also influence how their learners use the languages. Basically, when an individual is confronted within more than one language, it leads to a consideration of linguistic attitudes of the individual (Omulando, 2004) the attitude towards a language, the value placed on a language determines the way a language is received and used by individual or group of individuals. It can therefore be concluded that the higher the value of language, the warmer the reception and the more patronage of the language the lower the value the colder the reception and the less patronage of the language (Khejeri, 2014).

Therefore, in relation to the languages teachers are exposed to evidence from past studies show that the value placed on English in relation to mother tongue by teachers has a bearing on the attitudes they have towards mother tongue and English (Khejeri, 2014). Baker (1992) points out that the status value and importance of a language is most often and most easily measured by attitudes of the language. In most cases, mother tongue is disregarded for its lack of instrumental motivations, while English is preferred for both its instrumental and integrative motivations (Khejeri, 2014). The researcher supports the arguments by the above scholars that attitude greatly affects how a language is perceived. In Kenya, English is given much value and therefore has a wider preference and use as compared to the local languages.

2.2.6.2. TeachersOne of the issues that predominates discussion on the effectiveness of Ll-based systems is the ability of teachers to efficiently and effectively transmit cognitive skills and values in the learners’L1 (International Institute of Educational Planning (HEP) 1997). However, most education systems that attempt to institute policies that encourage learning through a child’s home language suffer from an acute shortage of teachers who speak or have access to these home languages, yet one of the criteria for effective usage of local languages for instruction is that there must be enough teachers to teach in it (Fasold 1984, p. 292; Thomas 2009, p. 90).

Benson (2004b, p. 117) found that when teachers are not native speakers of the a child’s LI or lack sufficient training on how to carry out mother tongue-based teaching, they avoid the ‘unknown good’ and regress to the ‘known bad. That is, teachers revert to old systems of teacher-controlled interactions, where pupils are merely required to repeat content after the teacher and given little room to ask any questions or express hesitations they may have. In L2-dominant systems, this interaction characterizes all years of primary schooling, making the experience unpleasant for children.
Bunyi’s (2005, pp. 140-147) ethnographic study of Kenyan lessons showed that classroom interactions in an L2-dominant school are dominated by safe talk – where the teacher makes little demand on learners, encourages choral answers, repetition of phrases and copying of notes from chalkboards or textbooks, undermining efforts to bring up a new generation of teachers. When teaching becomes mechanical and stifling, pupils are likely to want to distance themselves from primary school as soon as possible. Thus, without adequate support for an Ll-based language policy, schools end up encouraging an orientation towards error-free regurgitation of curriculum content rather than the expression of ideas and interaction with new information (Stenhouse 1971).

One of the reasons cited for teachers regressing to the ‘known bad’ is that they often fail to implement “the child-centered teaching strategies in which they were trained – and reportedly believed in – because of the pressure of high-stakes examinations for their students” (Capper 2000, p. 18). This means teachers are more likely to focus on acquisition of the L2, which in most cases is done through submersion, as it is the language of examination even though the language policy advocates use of LI. In Kenya, the Ministry of Education sent out a memo in 1976 to all schools to inform them of the new LiE policy, but within a few years of inadequate support for the development of local languages and poor accountability structures, the policy was soon ignored. Most teachers, motivated by the fact that English would be the language of instruction in higher classes and of examinations, chose to teach in English as opposed to the mother tongue, in the mistaken belief that the earlier it is introduced as the LOI, the faster pupils are likely to attain competency in it (Muthwii 2002, p. 5; Bunyi 2005).

This reaction received little protest from parents and learners as many believed that submersion in the L2 would help pupils gain speedy access to greater socioeconomic opportunities (Trudell 2005; Benson 2004a; Maeda 2009). But perhaps such opinions are expressed because local languages have not received sufficient attention, making Ll-based programmes ineffective. And as Benson (2004a, p. 7) found, parents tend to favour L2 learning only when governments present diem with an either-or choice for their children’s schooling — either an Ll-dominant system or an Ll-dominant system.
Another challenge that must be addressed as concerns teachers is the wrong assumption that if teachers can speak a child’s LI then they can teach in it, which makes education ministries lax about providing specific training for LI teachers. Benson (2004b), however, notes that without specific formal training on multilingual strategies and practices, instruction is likely to be ineffective. An editorial in Kenya’s Daily Nation (2009) notes primary school teachers, who undergo a two-year training course after completing their secondary education, are trained in over 10 subjects, which include all subjects taught in primary school plus professional pedagogical courses. Such a system can be ineffective as it fails to equip trainees with intensive, specialist knowledge in a few subjects and instead gives them a general idea about everything. This kind of training means that teachers lack the opportunity to gain the necessary competence and specific training in mother tongue-based teaching and how to use it as a bridge to competency in L2.

The ideal situation for a mother tongue-first education system is to “identify teachers who are fluent in the language, familiar with the local culture and respected by others in the community” (Young 2009, p. 129). In communities with an insufficient number of trained teachers, the use of community assistants – speakers of the local language who can receive some training to help trained teachers communicate curriculum content – can help bridge gaps between the teacher and learners. Also, as Young (ibid.) documents of Malaysia, teachers who are speakers of the indigenous language can be trained in LI instruction and they can then train other teachers in their district or in the community, which enables continuous in-service training and builds up networks among multilingual teachers and the community. Training workshops for community assistants and LI teachers also provide an opportunity to enrich indigenous education as community members share their knowledge about the local language and culture, which can provide tutorial strategies, (Young, 2009). The researcher feels that this is the way forward in overcoming the challenges facing implementation of mother tongue education and will sufficiently address a number of impediments on the implementation of mother tongue education.

2.2.6.3 Instructional materialsThe lack of instructional materials also hinders transmission of content in local languages. The HEP (1997) notes that up until the 1980s many of the indigenous languages in Kenya did not have a written form. However, later attempts to provide reading materials have proved challenging as the issue of providing instructional materials in local languages is heavily influenced by donor interests, evangelical motives, strong economic interests from overseas publishing companies and global power relations (Brock-Utne 2000, p. xviii; Brock-Utne 2005, p. 174; Waruingi 2009, p. 30). Brock-Utne (2000) gives examples of the British and French governments’ roles in advocating for the use of their languages in schools in their former colonies through bilateral aid to support language acquisition. The aid, which comes through school texts written in French or English or money to support literacy in these languages, makes it difficult for cash-strapped governments to focus on local language development.

Waruingi (2009, p. 30) notes that the Kenya Book Foundation regularly receives obsolete editions of books “complete with snowballs and snowmen” from Western countries for donation to selected schools, even though they are largely irrelevant to the Kenyan environment and curriculum. Further, Waruingi, who was involved in a UNESCO-run Basic Learning Materials (BLM) Initiative that ran from 1996-2001 in Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Mali and Burkina Faso, adds the initiative did not achieve its aim of providing instructional materials in local languages (2010, personal communication). The reasons he cited are: lack of policy incentives and political will; lack of the skills set required for effective development of BLM, like writers, curriculum developers, publishing and printing infrastructure; and opposition from transnational publishing and commercial interests. Thus, without adequate LiE policy, political will and allocation of resources for the development of local languages, a mother tongue-based education system like the one advocated by the Kenyan language policy has little chance of being successful.

Young (2009, pp. 131-132), documenting good practices in multilingual schools in Southeast Asia, notes that in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Brunei, local community members made excellent teachers if trained before they taught, had regular in-service training and were involved in the production of instructional materials. The communities in these countries worked with linguists and ethnographers to develop LI materials with age-appropriate language and reflecting cultural situations familiar to learners. Involving the community also helped standardize the language used to express curriculum content. However as earlier indicated the researcher acknowledges that the lexical capacity of most languages has not been worked and that materials are lacking. However, some earlier documentations such as translation of the bible in local dialects as well as the books written by past scholars in native languages including Dr.Taaita arap Toweet’s publications provide a solid foundation for such development.

2.2.6.4 Language-in-education policy and planningA mother tongue-based education system with a sufficient number of well trained teachers and adequate instructional materials cannot successfully be implemented if the LiE policy is weak or ill thought-out. The dominant theory in traditional language policy formulation is referred to as rational or positivist and it assumes that “socially efficient policies can be formulated from objective assessments of the needs, processes and outcomes of language relationships” (Canagarajah 2005, p. 195). That is, policy-makers assume that all they have to do is spell out how language is to be used in education, and principals, teachers and learners shall toe the line. All that has happened, however, is that the process has increased tensions between policy-makers’ intentions and the actual outcomes, practices and effects of policy in education.

As Bamgbose (1991, p. 113) notes, Kenya’s policy makes sweeping statements about how language shall be used without specifying how the implementation process will be carried out, and the result is ” the opposite of what is recommended has been going on, without any notice of the contradiction involved. Part of the reason this happens is that the top-down imposition fails to take into account the capacity of education departments to communicate the requirements of the policy (Probyn 2005, p. 160). However, language planning is a constant negotiation process of the interests of various social groups and their changing priorities and should therefore consider language practices first before writing policy.

Therefore, the major concern for policy makers is not so much how to develop languages as which languages should be developed, for what purpose and how and for what ends, and how to develop local, threatened languages amid global, spreading ones (Homherger 2006, pp. 27-
28). As Gregersen (1977, p. 204) notes, despite anti- colonial sentiments, over 60% of scientific and technical publications are in English, making literacy in the language necessary. Kenya’s language policy is however weakened by its assumption that language is a discrete entity whose use can be manipulated. For instance, it states a child’s home language be used only until Class 3, teachers and learners will make the switch without any residual tensions, yet as Lin and Martin (2005, p. 10) note, language cannot be bound to territories and neat categories. When policy lays down strict limits on how language can be used, it neglects the everyday reality of usage between teachers and students and largely becomes irrelevant to them and unresponsive to their needs.

This rigid stance also fails to take into account the kind of language that has emerged as a result of communities’ interactions. Canagarajah (2005, pp. 194-200) notes that communities negotiate the mix of languages, literacy’s and discourse and select those that best suit their interests rather than strictly abide by those government policy promotes. Current approaches to language planning and policy are becoming more cognizant of the fact that the language used by teachers and students does not exist neatly in discrete categories, especially since language is itself a fluid, dynamic construction. Thus language policy research has adopted a more critical approach that “acknowledges that policies often create and sustain various forms of social inequality and that policy-makers usually promote the interests of dominant social groups” (Tollefson 2006, p. 42).

One of the ways to construct more meaningful policy is through collecting and responding to ethnographic data, and moving policy formulation towards a bottom-up approach. In this way, the way language is used by teachers and students and the ideological attitudes and allegiances social groups have towards language informs policy in a more localized context. For instance, Bunyi (2005. pp. 133-150) found while doing an ethnographic study of rural primary schools in Kenya, that the common linguistic practices in the classroom included: code-switching, where teachers and students use different languages to facilitate communication; safe talk, where teachers and students find ways of accomplishing lessons without making too many intellectual or linguistic demands; and, the use of hybrid codes, which are natives versions of official languages, for instance Sheng in Kenya, which is a mix of English and Kiswahili.

These local strategies, some of which have the potential to be successfully developed for better content understanding, are hardly considered in traditional policy models and are thus not accommodated. But research shows that even though most teachers consider code-switching as illicit rather than a valid linguistic tool, it has the potential to give learners the opportunity to participate in classroom discussions and to express themselves, especially if they have not yet fully grasped the L2 (Probyn 2005, p. 163).
2.3 Theoretical frameworkThe researcher will adopt the threshold theory of language acquisition. The theory is discussed below.

2.3.1 The Threshold Theory of Language Acquisition
Tangas and Toukomaa(1976) proposed the threshold level hypothesis which states that only when children have reached a threshold of competence in their first language can they successfully learn a second language without losing competence in both languages. Further, only when a child has crossed a second threshold of competence in both languages will the child’s bilingualism positively affect intellectual development, a state which they called additive bilingualism.

Tangas and Toukomaa developed the threshold level hypothesis after they found that Finnish children who migrated to Sweden and were required to start school using Swedish before they had become sufficiently competent in Finnish showed weaker school performance and lower competence in both Swedish and Finnish. They characterized this low competence in both the first and second languages as semi lingualism, explaining that if the child’s first language is insufficiently developed, the foundation for L2is lacking.In their study, Finnish migrant children who started school in Sweden after they were highly competent in their first language and could continue to develop their first language abilities as they learned their second language attained high levels of competence in both languages and were successful in school. Building on these findings, Cummins (1984) formulated an “interdependence hypothesis” asserting that second language competence depends upon the level of development of L1.
Cummins distinguished between two kinds of language mastery: Interpersonal communication refers to oral communication skills that are used in everyday situations, while cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) is achieved when the speaker can use language in decontextualized ways including writing, permitting the use of the language as a cognitive tool. Cummins argues that if learners have achieved CALP in L1, this competence can be transferred to L2, permitting them to participate successfully in academic learning in L2. If, however, learners have not achieved CALP in L1, both academic learning and second language learning are adversely affected. Accordingly, Cummins recommends beginning general academic instruction in the child’s mother tongue until the child has become highly competent.i.e., has achieved CALP) in L1. teachers to hold children’s understandings of context in a central place in teaching and learning. Indeed, none of the hypotheses reviewed here have been conclusively supported by empirical research. Studies seem to confirm the threshold level hypothesis and the interdependence hypothesis, but existing research is based on small sample sizes. Most children who arrive at school with some competence in more than one language have grown up bilingual or multilingual from their earliest days at home, and have not experienced successive acquisition of second or third languages. Many studies have shown that children can learn three or more languages starting in their early years. Moreover, with sufficient motivation, exposure, periods of formal study, and opportunities for practice, they can ultimately succeed in attaining proficiency in several languages.

2.3.2 Relevance of the theory to the studyThe theory is grounded on the principle that children can learn well if they are taught in the language they understand best before proceeding to other languages. The concept of threshold must first be met before effective learning can take place.

CHAPTER THREE3.0 RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY3.1 IntroductionThis chapter gives details of research design, study area, target population, sample size, data collection instruments, validity and reliability, data analysis and interpretation techniques and presentation methods.

This study therefore sought to provide an appraisal of mother tongue education and its influence on second language learning in Nandi County. The study involved evaluation of understanding of the language policy by the education stakeholders in the county, implementation and application of mother tongue education in early school years as well as identification of challenges faced in implementation of mother tongue education in Nandi County. The study took into account the unique features and contextual issues of mother tongue education in Nandi County.

3.2 Research designThe study adopted a case study design. A case study is a way of organizing educational data and looking at the object to be studied as a whole (Kombo& Tromp, 2006). The design was found appropriate since it describes the variables to be studied in context and holistically hence bringing out the topic of study clearly. In addition, the researcher was able to bring out the unique features of mother tongue education and its influence in second language learning that are specific to the selected schools in Nandi County.

3.3 Study areaThe study was conducted in selected schools in Nandi County. Nandi County is a devolved unit created upon promulgation of Kenya’s constitution that saw the creation of 47 counties in Kenya. The county has a total of six (6) constituencies namely Mosop, Chesumei, Emgwen, Aldai, Nandi Hills and Tinderet. It has a total of 700 Primary schools and 920 ECDE centers.

3.4 Sampling procedureA stratified random sampling technique was used for sampling respondents. A sample of 60 Head teachers, 60 lower Primary School Teachers, and 20 Officials from the County Education office were involved in the study. As well, a total of 40 parents were interviewed and 120 Primary School pupils in Standard 4 were tested for their Mother Tongue proficiency, 20 drawn from each of the six constituencies in the County.

The sample size was constituted as follows:
Table 3.1 Sample size
STRATA No. of schools Total number of respondents
Emgwen Constituency 5 30
Mosop Constituency 5 30
Chesumei Constituency 5 30
Nandi Hills Constituency 5 30
Tinderet Constituency 5 30
Aldai Constituency 5 30
Total 30 180
The schools are as shown in the table below:CONSTITUENCYPRIMARYSCHOOLS SELECTEDTYPE OF SCHOOL1.ALDAI1.KoitabutPublic2.Aldai GirlsPublic
3.KitaorPublic4.Kisorng’otPublic5.IbanjaPublic2.MOSOP1.KipsamoitePublic2.KibigobePublic3.KoisolikPublic4.Kabiyet TownshipPublic5.All Saints Kebulonik Public
3.CHESUMEI1.Nandi PrimaryPublic2.TegatPublic3.KapkutoPublic4.TilalwaPublic5. Faith School.Private4.EMGWEN1.MeswoPublic2.KipsigakPublic3. TiryoPublic4.ArwosPublic5.Merryland AcademyPrivate5.NANDI HILLS1.Nandi Hills TownshipPublic2.SamoeiPublic3.KipsebwoPublic4.KapsiwonPublic5. Griffins academy.PrivateTINDERET1.KipsieleiPublic2.KabirerPublic3.SoisitetPublic4.TaunetPublic5.AIC DigunaPrivateThe schools were chosen on the basis of their accessibility and convenience given the constraints cited above.3.5Data collection instrumentsThe researcher used a questionnaire as data collection instrument.

3.5.1QuestionnaireData collection instruments are tools used to collect the information from the intended target population. The data collecting instrument that was applied was the questionnaires.

In the study the respondents shall be given time to complete the questionnaires before returning them for analysis. The questionnaires contained both the structured and semi-structured questions. This allowed the respondents to give their views freely without the interference from the researcher.
3.7 Data collection procedureBefore collecting the data, the researcher got a permit obtained from the Ministry Of Education. The researchers then made visits with the authority given and administered the questionnaire to the respondents. Some of the questionnaires were filled in the presence of the researcher so that the researcher could give clarification on unclear items in the questionnaires. However, the researcher left some of the questionnaires with the respondents’ to allow them to fill and return.

3.8 Data analysisData was organized and presented using descriptive statistics. This study used tables and percentages to present the information.

CHAPTER FOUR4.0 DATA ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION AND PRESENTATION4.1 IntroductionThis chapter gives details of data analysis, interpretation and presentation. This was done after the actual data collection.

4.2 Demographic Information of the Respondents
4.2.1 Ages of the Respondents
The ages of the respondents were as shown in the table below:
Table 4.1 ages of the respondents
Age bracket Frequency Percentage
20-29 years 36 20%
30-39 years 60 33.3%
40-49 years 45 25%
Over 50 years 39 16.7%
TOTAL 180 100%
FIG 4.1 Ages of the respondents
The ages of the respondents were as follows: 20-29 years (20%); 30-39years (33.3%); 40-49 years (25%); and over 50 years (16.7%). This was significant in revealing that respondents of all ages were involved in the study, hence increasing uniformity and accuracy of data collected.4.2.2 Gender of the respondents
The gender of the respondents who participated in the study were as shown in the table below:
Table 4.2 Gender of the respondents
Gender Frequency Percentage
Male 96 53.%
Female 84 46.7%
Total 180 100.0%

Fig 4.2 gender of the respondents
The gender of the respondents who participated in the study were as follows: males were the majority and accounted for 53% of the total respondents in the study, while females were 47%. This was significant in revealing that both sexes were involved in the study and thereby leading to collection of uniform and accurate data.

4.2.3 Category of respondents
The category of the respondents who participated in the study is as shown below:
Table 4.3 category of respondents
Category Frequency Percentage
Head teachers 60 33.3%
Lower primary Teachers 60 33.3%%
Parents/ guardians 40 22.2%
Education officers 20 11.1
Total 180 100%

Fig 4.3 categories of respondents
The categories of the respondents who participated in the study were as follows: Head teachers (33.3%); lower primary teachers (33.3%); parents/ guardians (22.2%); and Education officers (11.1%).

4.2.4 School typeThe table below shows the type of schools involved in the study.

Table 4.4 school type
School type Frequency Percentage
Private 3 10%
Public 27 90%
Total 30 100%

Fig 4.4 school type
In the study, 90% of the schools involved were public schools while 10% were private schools. In addition, 80% of the schools were located in rural areas while 20% were located in urban areas.
4.3 Findings related to the objectives of the study
4.3.1 Language of instruction (LOI) in Lower classesThe table below shows the LOI in lower classes.

Table 4.5 LOI in lower classes
LOI Frequency Percentage
Mother tongue (Nandi) 2 6.6%
Kiswahili 18 60%
English 10 33.3%
Total 30 100%

Fig 4.5 LOI in lower classes
The study revealed that out of the 30 schools visited, only two(2), representing 6.6% of the schools reported that they used Mother tongue (Nandi) as the LOI; 10 out of the 30 (representing 33.3%) schools visited reported that they used English as the LOI; while the majority 18 schools (60%), reported that they used Kiswahili as the LOI. The reasons for using the above languages included:
Mother Tongue: it is the language of the catchment area and is recommended in the LP.

Kiswahili: caters for minority learners who do not understand Nandi language.

English: pressure from parents for their children to be taught in English.

4.3.2 Challenges faced in use and application of mother tongue educationThe table below shows the challenges identified in the use and application of mother tongue education.

Table 4.6 challenges faced in use and application of Mother tongue education
Challenges Frequency Percentage
Parents attitude/pressure 60 33.3%
Teacher factors 72 40%
Lack of instructional materials 48 26.7%
Total 180 100%

Fig 4.6 challenges of mother tongue
The study revealed that the challenges faced in the implementation of mother tongue included: Parents’ attitude pressure, cited by 33.3% of the respondents; teacher factors, cited by 40% of the respondents; and lack of instructional materials, cited by 26.7% of the respondents.

4.3.3 Policy issues in mother tongue education
The study revealed that the LP is weak and as such leads to poor implementation of mother tongue education. For instance Head teachers lamented that no supervision is carried out by the MOE on mother tongue education. This is in comparison with other educational programmes such as the Tusome programme, which is being constantly monitored and evaluated by MOE. The respondents felt that the LP is not being taken seriously by MOE, hence leading to laxity of its implementation at the school level.

4.3.4 Emerging issues and mother tongue education
The study also revealed that the implementation of mother tongue education in Kenya is influenced positively or negatively by emerging issues which include: Delocalization of teachers and the implementation of the new curriculum. The respondents observed that these two will either make or break the implementation of Mother Tongue education.

For instance, respondents pointed out that delocalization of teachers will greatly affect the implementation of mother tongue education, a fact supported by 90% of the respondents. Firstly, it was noted that the mass transfer of Head teachers will affect the implementation of mother tongue education, since most of the Head teachers in their new stations have to grapple with management challenges and adjustment to their new work stations, thus cannot be able to supervise the implementation of Mother Tongue education. In addition, their new work stations could be a new ethnic set up, with a different language/dialect from the one spoken by the Head teacher and therefore the Head teacher may not have the motivation to supervise the implementation of mother tongue education, done in a language that he/she does not understand.
In addition, delocalization has led to all the newly recruited teachers being posted outside their counties, a fact cited by 80% of the respondents as a great barrier to the implementation of Mother Tongue Education. This is because the same teachers will be expected to implement mother tongue education, and this is expected to be difficult especially in cases where the language of the school’s catchment area and that of the teacher are different. It is perceived that with continued delocalization of teachers, mother tongue education will die out slowly by slowly, and its implementation will not only be difficult but also unpopular.
The second emerging issue seen as influencing mother tongue education, is the implementation of the new curriculum. 100% of the respondents agreed that the new curriculum will support efforts of enhancing mother tongue education in lower classes. This is because mother tongue education is perceived to have been fully entrenched in the new curriculum.
4.3.5 Mother Tongue Proficiency
The table below shows the results of mother tongue proficiency for class four pupils in the sampled schools.

Table 4.7 Mother Tongue Proficiency Test
Performance rating / marks scored Frequency Percentage
0-20 (very poor) 24 20%
21-40 (poor) 36 30%
41-60 ( average) 48 40%
61-80 (good) 9 7.5%
Over 81 ( excellent) 3 2.5
TOTAL 120 100%

The study revealed that the performance ratings for mother tongue education as shown by the proficiency test was still wanting. The results was as follows: those who scored 0- 20 marks, rated as very poor were 20%; 21-40 marks, rated as poor were 30%; 41-60 marks rated as average, were 40%; while those who scored 61-80, rated as good were 7.5%; and those who scored 81% and above rated excellent were only 2.5%.

CHAPTER FIVE5.0 DISCUSSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION5.1 Introduction5.2 Discussion of the study findings5.2.1 The extent and use of mother tongue in learning L2The study revealed that most ECDE centers in Nandi County did not use Mother Tongue as the Language of Instruction (LOI). This was common both in public and private schools. This was in line with findings of Ngugi (1986) who posits that the local languages come to be associated with primitiveness. Ngugi (1986) further notes that during the colonial times, African children learnt to associate their mother tongue with stupidity, humiliation and low status, and the language of the colonizers, English, with intelligence and success. This legacy of undermining local languages and placing foreign ones on a pedestal still prevails in several developing countries and was noted in this study. In this study, in some of the schools involved in the study, children were punished if they spoke in their mother tongue.
The study found out that most teachers used English or Kiswahili as the LOI in lower classes. Those teachers who use English and Kiswahili as the LOI, are actually using immersion, which is instruction carried out in a language that children do not speak and it is comparable to forcibly holding a child under water (Skutnabb-kangas, 2000). When literacy skills, such as reading, are taught in a foreign language, the children first have to gain familiarity with the sound before they can master the symbol. Such cognitive development takes time, which is a luxury that submersion does not allow. This forces learners and teachers to resort to rote teaching and learning, where children merely memorize what the teachers says without necessarily understanding the meaning (Gacheche, 2010). Yet despite the poor learning outcomes associated with submersion education, it is wrongly regarded as the fastest way to teach children the L2 (Trudell, 2005; Young 2009). This was evident in the study. Most teachers in private schools’ lower classes used English for instruction.

In addition, all the respondents in the study agreed that indeed mother tongue education was beneficial for the learners. The benefits cited included: Mother Tongue enables children to learn from the known to unknown; setting up a foundation for learning of a second language, and; improves overall learning outcomes. This was in conformity with findings of past studies. For instance, research has shown that Mother Tongue-based schooling significantly improves learning (Benson 2004b; UNESCO, 2006; Young 2009). The use of familiar language to teach children literacy skills is more effective than a submersion system as learners can employ psycholinguistic-guessing strategies to learn how to read and write, (Benson, 2004a). This means children can already speak the language they learn to associate sounds with the symbols they see, thus facilitating understanding. Mother tongue education also provides the opportunity for parents to express their needs, making schools more responsive to the community’s needs (Trudell, 2005).

Besides,Tangas and Toukomaa(1976) proposed the threshold level hypothesis which states that only when children have reached a threshold of competence in their first language can they successfully learn a second language without losing competence in both languages. Further, only when a child has crossed a second threshold of competence in both languages will the child’s bilingualism positively affect intellectual development, a state which they called additive bilingualism. The theory is grounded on the principle that children can learn well if they are taught in the language they understand best before proceeding to other languages. The concept of threshold must first be met before effective learning can take place.

The study also established how teachers handled minority learners, that is, those who did not hail from the dominant language (Nandi). The strategies used by teachers included: using Kiswahili; teaching them mother tongue first; ignoring them and hoping they will be taught by their fellow learners or assuming they will catch up anyway. This finding coincided with that of The 2010 Education for All (EFA) report on reaching the marginalized, which states that children who are members of an ethnic linguistic minority (or) an indigenous group enter schools with poorer prospects of success and emerge with fewer years of education and lower levels of achievements (EFA, 2010). The report advises that they effectively teach around 221 million children worldwide who speak a different language at home from the one used for instruction in schools, there is need to first teach them in home language (L1) while gradually introducing the national or official language, L2 (EFA, 2010). In addition, according to UNESCO (2005) an education system that fosters instruction mainly in the language of the dominant group greatly disadvantages minorities and marginalized communities, denying them their right to a quality education. An L2 dominant education system therefore allows the elite unequal access to the language of education, governance and other official domains. UNESCO further notes that over 50 percent of citizens of low-income countries work in the informal sector and these activities do not usually expose either children or adults to the dominant official language that would help them in school, (UNESCO, 2005).

5.2.2 Challenges faced in use and application of mother tongue educationThe study revealed that attitude of parents and other education stakeholders is a great barrier in the implementation of mother tongue education in Nandi County. The study revealed that most parents have a negative attitude towards use of mother tongue as a language of instruction in early childhood education. They think that this is backward. This finding is in line with Baker’s (1992) findings which acknowledged that attitude to a language is particularly important in the learning process because it affects the outcomes of education. Baker (1992) further states that attitude is considered both as input and output. For example a favourable attitude to mathematics or to language learning may be a vital input in Math’s or languages achievement. In this sense, attitude is predisposing factor or affecting the outcomes of education. Indeed, values and attitudes are some of the basic components of motivation in any given situation, language use included. Motivation in this case refers to what Keller (as cited in Omulando, 2004) describes it as the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid and the degree of efforts they will exert in that respect.

The attitude of teachers was also found to affect the implementation of mother tongue education in Nandi County. This is because teachers are the ones who actually do the instruction in class and therefore crucial in the implementation of any educational programme. This is in agreement with Omulando (2004) who stated that the way teachers feel about the languages they are exposed to within the school setting influence how they use these languages during classroom instruction. How they use these languages also influence how their learners use the languages. Basically, when an individual is confronted within more than one language, it leads to a consideration of linguistic attitudes of the individual (the attitude towards a language, the value placed on a language determines the way a language is received and used by individual or group of individuals. It can therefore be concluded that the higher the value of language, the warmer the reception and the more patronage of the language the lower the value the colder the reception and the less patronage of the language (Khejeri, 2014).Therefore, in relation to the languages teachers are exposed to evidence from past studies show that the value placed on English in relation to mother tongue by teachers has a bearing on the attitudes they have towards mother tongue and English (Khejeri, 2014). Baker (1992) points out that the status value and importance of a language is most often and most easily measured by attitudes of the language. In most cases, mother tongue is disregarded for its lack of instrumental motivations, while English is preferred for both its instrumental and integrative motivations (Khejeri, 2014). The researcher supports the arguments by the above scholars that attitude greatly affects how a language is perceived. In Kenya, English is given much value and therefore has a wider preference and use as compared to the local languages.

Furthermore there are teacher- related factors that affect the implementation of mother tongue education. In Nandi County, most of the teachers were found to be incompetent in mother tongue and therefore cannot be able to handle it. In particular, the delocalization of teachers is perceived to be a threat to the implementation of mother tongue education. This is because of the influx of teachers from different ethnic groups and who cannot be able to teach in the language of the new school’s catchment. This finding corresponds to the fact that one of the issues that predominates discussion on the effectiveness of Ll-based systems is the ability of teachers to efficiently and effectively transmit cognitive skills and values in the learners’L1(International Institute of Educational Planning (HEP) 1997). However, most education systems that attempt to institute policies that encourage learning through a child’s home language suffer from an acute shortage of teachers who speak or have access to these home languages, yet one of the criteria for effective usage of local languages for instruction is that there must be enough teachers to teach it (Fasold 1984, p. 292; Thomas 2009, p. 90).

In addition, Benson (2004b, p. 117) found that when teachers are not native speakers of a child’s LI or lack sufficient training on how to carry out mother tongue-based teaching, they avoid the ‘unknown good’ and regress to the ‘known bad. That is, teachers revert to old systems of teacher-controlled interactions, where pupils are merely required to repeat content after the teacher and given little room to ask any questions or express hesitations they may have. In L2-dominant systems, this interaction characterizes all years of primary schooling, making the experience unpleasant for children. Bunyi’s (2005, pp. 140-147) ethnographic study of Kenyan lessons showed that classroom interactions in an L2-dominant school are dominated by safe talk – where the teacher makes little demand on learners, encourages chorus answers, repetition of phrases and copying of notes from chalkboards or textbooks, undermining efforts to bring up a new generation of teachers. When teaching becomes mechanical and stifling, pupils are likely to distance themselves from primary school as soon as possible. Thus, without adequate support for an Ll-based language policy, schools end up encouraging an orientation towards error-free regurgitation of curriculum content rather than the expression of ideas and interaction with new information (Stenhouse 1971).

The study also found out that even those teachers who hail from the local community may not be able to teach mother tongue in a class. As observed by Benson (2004b) this is another challenge that must be addressed as concerns teachers: the wrong assumption that if teachers can speak a child’s LI then they can teach it, which makes education ministries lax about providing specific training for LI teachers. Benson (2004b), further, notes that without specific formal training on multilingual strategies and practices, instruction is likely to be ineffective. An editorial in Kenya’s Daily Nation (2009) notes primary school teachers, who undergo a two-year training course after completing their secondary education, are trained in over 10 subjects, which include all subjects taught in primary school plus professional pedagogical courses. Such a system can be ineffective as it fails to equip trainees with intensive, specialist knowledge in a few subjects and instead gives them a general idea about everything. This kind of training means that teachers lack the opportunity to gain the necessary competence and specific training in mother tongue-based teaching and how to use it as a bridge to competency in L2.

The ideal situation for a mother tongue-first education system is to “identify teachers who are fluent in the language, familiar with the local culture and respected by others in the community” (Young 2009, p. 129). In communities with an insufficient number of trained teachers, the use of community assistants – speakers of the local language who can receive some training to help trained teachers communicate curriculum content – can help bridge gaps between the teacher and learners. Also, as Young (ibid.) documents of Malaysia, teachers who are speakers of the indigenous language can be trained in LI instruction and they can then train other teachers in their district or in the community, which enables continuous in-service training and builds up networks among multilingual teachers and the community. Training workshops for community assistants and LI teachers also provide an opportunity to enrich indigenous education as community members share their knowledge about the local language and culture, which can provide tutorial strategies, (Young, 2009). However, this has not been done in Nandi County and which has made the implementation of mother tongue education to be very poor.

Besides, the study revealed that there was a serious shortage of instructional materials in the selected schools in Nandi County. Reports from the Head teachers indicated that books to be used for Kalenjin and Nandi dialects in schools for mother tongue instruction have not been approved by Kenya institute of curriculum development (KICD). It was observed that the lack of instructional materials in the selected schools hindered the transmission of content in local language. This finding conformed to the HEP Report (1997) which noted that up until the 1980s many of the indigenous languages in Kenya did not have a written form. However, later attempts to provide reading materials have proved challenging as the issue of providing instructional materials in local languages is heavily influenced by donor interests, evangelical motives, strong economic interests from overseas publishing companies and global power relations (Brock-Utne 2000, p. xviii; Brock-Utne 2005, p. 174; Waruingi 2009, p. 30).
The study also revealed that the LP is weak and as such leads to poor implementation of Mother Tongue education. For instance Head teachers lamented that no supervision is carried out by the MOE on mother tongue education. This is in comparison with other educational programmes such as the Tusome programme, which is being constantly monitored and evaluated by MOE. The respondents felt that the LP is not being taken seriously by MOE, hence leading to laxity of its implementation at the school level. The implication is that Head teachers do not feel compelled to implement a policy that the MOE does not bother to supervise. This in line with findings of Mberia (2016) who indicated that the challenge to the implementation of the LP is that the general public does not own it partly due to poor communication strategies by the Ministry of Education. According to Mberia (2016) the Ministry has never bothered, now or in the past, to engage stakeholders in education such as teachers, parents, education sector labour unions, politicians, religious and community leaders in decision-making. The result has been lack of public ownership of some of the Ministry’s decisions including directives on language use in schools.

Bamgbose (1991, p. 113) also notes that, Kenya’s policy makes sweeping statements about how language shall be used without specifying how the implementation process will be carried out, and the result is ” the opposite of what is recommended has been going on, without any notice of the contradiction involved. Part of the reason this happens is that the top-down imposition fails to take into account the capacity of education departments to communicate the requirements of the policy (Probyn 2005, p. 160). However, language planning is a constant negotiation process of the interests of various social groups and their changing priorities and should therefore consider language practices first before writing the policy. The researcher contends that it seems guidelines on the implementation framework and monitoring evaluation mechanisms for Mother tongue education have not been put in place by MOE
Therefore, the major concern for policy makers is not so much how to develop languages, as which languages should be developed, for what purpose and how and for what ends, and how to develop local, threatened languages amid global, spreading ones (Homherger 2006, pp. 27-28). The researcher contends that there is so much that remains undone in Kenya’s LP, but all these lies squarely in the shoulders of MOE.

As Gregersen (1977, p. 204) notes, despite anti- colonial sentiments, over 60% of scientific and technical publications are in English, making literacy in the language necessary. Kenya’s language policy is however weakened by its assumption that language is a discrete entity whose use can be manipulated. For instance, it states a child’s home language be used only upto Class 3, teachers and learners will make the switch without any residual tensions, yet as Lin and Martin (2005, p. 10) note, language cannot be bound to territories and neat categories. When policy lays down strict limits on how language can be used, it neglects the everyday reality of usage between teachers and students and largely becomes irrelevant to them and unresponsive to their needs. The researcher contends that use of mother tongue should not be restricted for maximizing its usefulness, hence effective instruction in primary schools.

The use of mother tongue in lower primary in schools in rural areas was reaffirmed in the most recent educational white paper (Republic of Kenya, 2012) and in the new Kenyan education sector plan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) (2014). Many schools in the rural areas in Kenya, however, do not use mother tongue as a medium of instruction despite the national policy (Begi, 2014). In support of this position, a study by Githinji (2014) affirmed that the language of instruction across classes in primary schools in Nyeri County in the order of use, in most schools was English, followed by code switching, code mixing, while Kiswahili and Kikuyu were the least popular. Moreover, a study by Khejeri (2014) revealed that English, Kiswahili and mother tongue are used for instruction but mother tongue is the least preferred for instruction. A mismatch between language policies and practice exists in schools and this indicates that children are being instructed in a language they are not yet familiar with when they enter school. According to Webb (2004), children receiving instruction in an unfamiliar language in their learning process in schools are likely to be negatively affected.

5.2.3 Emerging issues
The study also revealed that the implementation of mother tongue education in Kenya is influenced positively or negatively by emerging issues which include: Delocalization of teachers and the implementation of the new curriculum. The respondents observed that these two will either make or break the implementation of Mother Tongue education. The researcher agrees that how these factors are handled greatly, will influence the success of mother tongue education in Kenya.

For instance, respondents pointed out that delocalization of teachers will greatly affect the implementation of mother tongue education, a fact supported by 90% of the respondents. Firstly, it was noted the mass transfer of Head teachers, will affect the implementation of mother tongue education since most of the Head teachers in their new stations have to grapple with management challenges and adjustment to their new work stations, thus cannot be able to supervise the implementation of Mother Tongue education. In addition, their new work stations could be a new ethnic set up, with a different language/dialect from the one spoken by the Head teacher and therefore the Head teacher may not have the motivation to supervise the implementation of mother tongue education, done in a language he/she does not understand.
In addition, delocalization has led to all the newly recruited teachers being posted outside their counties, a fact cited by 80% of the respondents as a great barrier to the implementation of mother tongue education. This is because the same teachers will be expected to implement mother tongue education, and this is expected to be difficult especially in cases where the language of the school’s catchment area and that of the teacher are different. It is perceived that with continued delocalization of teachers, mother tongue education will die out slowly by slowly, and its implementation will not only be difficult but also unpopular. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has maintained that it does support the ongoing delocalization of teachers by the Teachers Service Commission. This can be implied to mean that the delocalization has been done rather hastily and without consultation of key stakeholders.

The second emerging issue is seen as influencing mother tongue education is the implementation of the new curriculum. 100% of the respondents agreed that the new curriculum will support efforts enhancing mother tongue education in lower classes. This is because mother tongue education is perceived to have been fully entrenched in the new curriculum. This is in line with Kaviti (2018) the proposed curriculum anticipates the teaching and learning of indigenous languages as opposed to the previous 8-4-4 system where only Kiswahili and English were taught and examined in the two national examinations. Although the criteria of how Indigenous languages will be taught is not clearly stipulated, it can be inferred that children will have to learn the language of the catchment area spoken in each of the 47 Kenyan counties. However, by the end of December 2017, there were no policy structures explicitly stating exactly what languages would be taught. Moreover, there are no explicit policy guidelines on which agencies would monitor and ensure that there would be uniformity in the interpretation, translation and delivery of content in each of the counties. The challenge herein is to ensure that there is accuracy in translating textbooks, codification and standardization of the selected ethnic languages.

According to Williams and Stroud (2001), one way to enhance the educational use of indigenous languages lies in a “management-oriented” approach to programme diagnosis and remediation. The two scholars further contend that it is important to note that most of the indigenous language used and which the greatest lack of materials and appropriate grammar texts are also the ones that historically been considered politically and thus marginalized to the point that they hardly merit any attention from textbook writers. Furthermore, the introduction of fluency and Literacy in indigenous languages into the education system would be costly in terms of printing materials for the various languages spoken in Kenya. An additional challenge would be changing the mindset of the teachers who previously taught in English and Kiswahili .under the 8-4-4 system. The language policy, under this system was that children should be taught in their various indigenous languages (the language spoken in the catchment area) Williams and Stroud (2001).

5.2.4 Strategies of enhancing mother tongue education
Finally, the respondents in the study suggested strategies of L1 for enhancing learning of L2 and included: use of Kiswahili in urban areas and other areas with an ethnic mix up; development of mother tongue; and inclusion of minorities. This is in line with UNESCO’s assertion that an education system that fosters instruction mainly in the language of the dominant group greatly disadvantages minorities and marginalized communities, denying them their right to a quality education. This means that inclusion of minorities is quite critical in multilingual societies. An L2 dominant education system therefore allows the elite unequal access to the language of education, governance and other official domains (UNESCO, 2005). UNESCO further notes that over 50 percent of citizens of low-income countries work in the informal sector and these activities do not usually expose either children or adults to the dominant official language that would help them in school, (UNESCO, 2005).

The strategy according to a UNESCO paper entitled, ‘Education in a multilingual world’, is that schooling systems should strike a balance between enabling people to use their languages and providing them with access to literacy in the national language (UNESCO, 2003). The use of Mother Tongue also elevates indigenous languages’ status and usefulness, which has the potential to improve social relations and political participation as well as education, thus reducing competition between ethnic groups (Benson 2004).

Another strategy for enhancing L1 and L2 is the development of indigenous languages. As observed by (Young, 2009) Lexical capacity of indigenous languages can be increased, to make them standard as other international and national languages such as English, French and Kiswahili and that even with dialectal differences, most languages have similar structures that can be standardized. An education that utilizes L1 enables the development of agreed autography in order to transmit curriculum content of learners. These agreed-upon writing and spelling systems will however need to accurately represent speech patterns acceptable to speakers of the language and be easy to transcribe in order to produce reading materials. This requires collaboration between linguists, educators, publishers and local community members.

5.2.5 Mother Tongue proficiency
The study revealed that the performance ratings for mother tongue education was still wanting. The results was as follows: those who scored 0- 20 marks, rated as very poor were 20%; 21-40 marks, rated as poor were 30%; 41-60 marks rated as average, were 40%; while those who scored 61-80, rated as good were 7.5%; and those who scored 81% and above rated excellent were only 2.5%. This was attributed to the fact that almost all the pupils who participated in the study were never taught Mother tongue education in school. It was observed that most pupils only depended on the Mother Tongue skills gained from their homes, and such skills were never perfected in school. In addition, those pupils from cosmopolitan backgrounds were the most affected and were found to mix words due to influence from other languages. For instance, a pupil from Kapakangani area, being cosmopolitan, could not be able to write the correct word in Nandi for ‘ball’, and indicated bired, instead of the correct word: mbiret. This was attributed to influence of a Luyha dialect. The same pupil used Mezet, for table, instead of Meset. In the Nandi language words that have ‘Z’ are non-existent, and even in cases where they are borrowed they are pronounced as’s’. Besides, the same pupil used the word Mundu, a luhya word, instead of Chito, for a person in the Nandi language.
On the contrary, pupils from pure Nandi backgrounds performed highly in Mother Tongue Proficiency test as compared to those pupils from cosmopolitan areas. In addition, the study also revealed that those pupils who performed well in Mother Tongue Proficiency test, also performed well in other subjects but especially in L2: English. This in line with Cummins (1979) observations in the interdependence theory that explains the positive transfer literacy skills from L1 and L2. He argues that the level of literacy competence in L2 that a child attains is partially a function of the level of competence the child has in L1 at the time L2 teaching begins intensively. In fact, during the first stages of language acquisition it is important to constantly refer to the mother tongue in order to make connections (Cummins, 2001). Previous knowledge in kindergarten students is a starting point for acquiring a new language, leading to language transfer (Baker, 2001). Language transfer is understood as the use of the first language during the second language acquisition, which represents the first stage of language acquisition (Krashen, 2003).

5.3 Recommendations
At the end of the study the researcher made the following recommendations:
The Ministry Of Education must ensure that mother tongue is taught in all primary schools. This will help in building a strong foundation for learning and particularly improve learning of the second language: English. The Ministry Of Education must ensure implementation of the Language policy (LP) to the letter and schools found violating it taken stern action.

The LP policy should be reviewed by developing regulations that guide its implementation. This is expected to strengthen the LP by providing details of implementation; mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, among others.

Teachers, parents and other education stakeholders should be sensitized on the importance of mother tongue education. This will help to cultivate a positive attitude towards Mother Tongue Education. In particular, Parents should be sensitized on the importance of mother tongue education so as to discard negative attitudes and opposition towards use of mother tongue in lower classes of primary schools.

The rights of minority learners should be taken into account in any setting to ensure that such children also get an opportunity to be taught in their mother tongue as well.

Teachers should be trained on how best to handle Mother Tongue Education. In particular, trainee teachers should be taught pedagogical and other aspects mother tongue education while in colleges/ universities.
5.4 Conclusion
The importance of Mother tongue education cannot be emphasized. It is well known that a strong mother tongue foundation equips children with the skills they need to learn additional languages, allowing them to transfer their understanding of the structure of language to several new languages. The intuitive understanding of grammar that develops when children learn their first language can easily be passed on to other languages. In addition, when children develop their mother tongue, they are simultaneously fostering a whole host of other essential skills, such as critical thinking and literacy skills. Therefore efforts of education stakeholders to ensure implementation of mother tongue in lower classes of all primary schools are key in restoring the lost glory in the education sector. Finally, the challenges currently facing its implementation must be ironed out through deliberate efforts spearheaded by the Ministry Of Education, alongside teachers and parents, among others, all of whom must lead in ensuring that mother tongue is fully entrenched in Kenya’s education curriculum.

REFERENCESBaker, C. (2001) Foundations OF bilingual education and bilingualism.Cleredon: Multilingual matters Ltd.

Baker; C (1992) Attitudes and languages, Briged; WBC pring Ltd.

Baldauf, R.B. and Kaplan, R.B. (2004) language policy and planning in Botswana,Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa; Some common issues: Africa Vol. 1 Celredon: Multilingual matters Lrd. Pp5 – 20
Benson C. (2004) The Importance Of Mother Tongue Based Schooling For Educational Quality.
Benson, C. (2004b) Do we expect too much of bilingual teachers? Bilingual teaching in developing countries: Celvedon: Multilingual maters Ltd., pp 112-129.

Brock-Utne, B(2000) whose education for all? The Decolonization of the African Mind. London: Flamer Press.

Broke Utne, Brigit (2005)”The continued Battle over Kiswahili as the language of instruction in Tanzania, “Languages of instruction for African Emancipation. Dares salaam.Mkutinanyota.

Bunyi, G.W. (2005) Language classroom practices in Kenya. In AM.Y.KinandP.W. Martin , EDS Decolonization, Globalization: Language – in Education policy and practice. Celvedon: Multilingual matters Ltd. PP. 131-152.

Cummins, J. (19 79 Linguistic interdependent and the educational development of bilingual children, review of Educational research (Online), 49 | (2) pp. 22-25/available from http://rer.segegub.com/ontent /49/2/222. full.pdf+ html.

DFID| (2010) LEANRING FOR ALL: dfid’S Education strategies 2010 – 2015 London: DFID.

Gacheche K. (2010) Challenges in implementing a mother tongue based language in-education policy: policy and practice in Kenya, University of Leeds: polis Journal Vol. 4, winter.

Kembo-sure, E. (1994) Language attitudes, use and proficiency: A socio-linguistic study of English in Kenya Unpublished D. PHIL THESIS Moi University, Eldoret.

Khejeri M. (2014) Teachers’ attitude towards the use of mother tongue as a language of instruction in lower primary schools in Hamisi district, Kenya: International journal of Humanities and social science, VOl 4 No. 1, January pp. 75-85
Omulando. C. (2004) The Effect Of Kiswahili On The Use Of English As A Medium Of Instruction In Kenya Secondary Schools; Unpublished M. Phil Thesis, Moi University, Eldoret.

Tackie-Ofosu , Vandyck S., E, Dosoo S.T;Kumador K.D. ; Nana Toku A (2015) Mother Tongue Usage in Ghanaian Pre-Schools: Perceptions of Parents and Teachers; Journal of Education and Practice Vol.6, No.

UNESCO (1953) The use of the vernacular languages in Education. Paris, UNESCOUNESCO (2005) Background Paper Prepared For The Education For All Global Monitoring Report, 2005, quality imperative) online available.fromhttp:// unesdoc. Unesco. Org/image/0014/001466/146632e.pdf.

APPENDICES
APPENDIX A: QUESTIONNAIREI am Joseph Patrick Kitur,a post graduate student at Laikipia University undertaking a research entitled “AN APPRAISAL OF MOTHER TONGUE EDUCATION AND ITS INFLUENCE ON SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN LOWER CLASSES IN SELECTED PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NANDI COUNTY, KENYA”. Your participation by filling the questionnaire given below will be highly appreciated. Your response will be kept confidential. Thanks for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,
Joseph Patrick Kitur.

Instructions: please read the questions carefully and fill/ tick appropriately
SECTION 1: Personal details
Age bracket
1419225203200020-29 years
1466850336550030-39 years
1466850469900040-49 years
14668506032500Over 50 years
Gender of the respondent
1943100107950034385251079500Male Female
Category of respondents
1619250218440001619250889000Head teacher
161925023177500Teacher
161925024511000ECDE teacher
Parent/guardian
Others (specify)……………………………………………………………………………
School type:
2314575317500012096753175000PrivatePublic
41814753556000School location: ruralUrban
Section II: (To be filled by teachers of lower primary and ECDE)
(i) Which is the language of instruction in your class?
16192503746500Mother tongue
16192506032500Kiswahili
16383004508500English
(ii) Give the reason for using the language (s) used for instruction in your class…

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

What are some of the challenges of using mother tongue as the language of instruction in second language learning?
37623752603500Lack of teaching/learning materials
37623751079500Teachers do not understand mother tongue
51244506223000Parents have a negative attitude towards mother tongue education
Others (specify)…………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

In your opinion, what recommendations can be used to enhance use of mother tongue in early school years for second language learning in your school……………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………
SECTION III: (To be filled by head teachers and education officers).

Factors/questions Responses
SA A U D SD
Teachers in ECDE ; lower primary fully understand the LP School in my area use mother tongue for children under seven (7) years Parents are not aware of the importance of mother tongue education Kiswahili is also used in early school years to supplement use of mother tongue in schools Most public schools utilize mother tongue as compared to private schools Teachers attitude to mother tongue determine its use and application in schools Lack of teaching materials e.g. books affects teaching of mother tongue Parents are opposed to mother tongue education Presence of different ethnic groups in our area affects use of mother tongue in language of instruction Interview schedule for parents/guardians
What is the language of instruction for children in early school years?
…………………………………………………………………………
How would you describe your area in terms of the following
Is it near the town or in a village (far from town)?
What are the languages used in your area at home?
Does it affect the choice of language used for instruction in your school?
What are your opinions for mother tongue education, is it important for your children? (Explain briefly)…………………………………………….………………..

……….………………………………………………………………………………….

What possible recommendations can be used to enhance mother tongue education in learning of second language inyour school?

APPENDIX B: CLASS FOUR TEST FOR MOTHER TONGUE PROFICIENCY
(Tiemutikab kilas ang’wan)
Instructions (ole kiwolundoi teebutik):(sir wolutikab teebutik eng boroindo ne kagigonin )
Kainengungkong’o?
Kenyisieguk ko ata?
Imi kilas ata?
Mwalimu nengung keguure ng’o?
Sir kainakab tuguk che isubi eng Nandi ak eng kutitab chumbek
914400576
Eng Nandi _____________________
In English ______________________
104199161319

Eng Nandi _____________________
In English ______________________
75745172523
Eng Nandi _____________________
In English ______________________
84391518605500
Eng Nandi _____________________
In English ______________________
72439554181
Eng Nandi _____________________
In English ______________________
Inyiit kobor agenge ak chechang ak isir eng kutitab chumbek
Nandi English name of singular/plural
Agenge Chechang Teta bik Lakwet Bobat Ketit sotonik kechirek Kecheiyat 7.Mwa boisietab tuguk che isubi
1668780124460Eng Nandi ……………………………..

In English ………………………………
00Eng Nandi ……………………………..

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635635132080i)
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81153046990
ii)
Oral examination(Soman ngalek che isubi ak imwa eng kutitab chumbek)
Nandi English
1.seset 2. teret 3.beek 4.bek 5.asista 6.sis 7.labat 8.kutit 9.anyone 10.betut 11.chego 12.ng’ung’unyek 13.melmeldo
Mwa komaswekab bortab chito eng pichait ak isir eng kutitab chumbek
-118745217805a) Eng Nandi ………………………..

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WORK PLAN
ACTIVITY DATES
Selecting topic and writing concept for approval August –September 2017
Writing project proposal October-November 2017
Submission and defense of proposal January 2018
Data collection March-April 2018
Data analysis and presentation May 2018
Final defense and presentation June 2018

BUDGET
ITEM DESCRIPTION AMOUNT(Kshs.)
Writing materials e.g. books, pens, foolscaps 2,000
Purchase of a computer laptop and printer, complete with accessories 100,000
Library/cyber user fees 10,000
Travel and subsistence costs 30,000
Airtime and other communication expenses 5,000
Hire of data collection assistants 20,000
Miscellaneous expenses 5,000
TOTAL 172,000