Implications of Mother Tongue as a Medium of Instruction

in Public Primary Schools in Kisumu Town East Constituency, Kenya

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The research focused on mother tongue education in Kenya where the language policy allows teaching in mother tongue in lower primary school, while English is taught as a subject. English becomes a medium of instruction at upper primary school. Considering vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goal number 4, there cannot be education for all unless people are taught in a language that they understand. The study examined the use of a non-familiar medium of instruction such as English, which is not the learners’ first language, and its implication for quality education. Many learners are left out if they do not understand the language used as the medium of instruction. When learners get into the new school environment it is easier for them to grasp new concepts when they are delivered in a language that they understand, at the lower grades, as they learn English. Teacher training colleges and universities offering degrees in teacher education should properly train teachers in methodologies of teaching in vernacular. This should be done both at initial training and as in-service training. The availability of learning and teaching materials to support mother tongue education is also key.


Everlyn Oluoch


Dr. Everlyn Achieng’ Oluoch – Suleh is a Lecturer of Linguistics and Head of Department of Education at Marist International University College, Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a PhD in African Languages, MA in Intercultural Communication, MA in Linguistics, a B.Ed. in Linguistics & Literature, a Diploma in Education and a Trinity Diploma- TESOL.

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LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing


mother tongue, medium of instruction, Public Primary Schools, Kisumu Town East constituency, Kenya

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