English as a Second Language for Kenyan Children in Primary School : A Trial of the Spoken Language Assessment Profile – Revised Edition
Sub-Saharan Africa is a multilingual environment and there is a lack of materials available for speech and language assessment in this area (Hartley & Krämer, 2013). The norms for assessment material cannot be used for both monolinguals and bilinguals, since bilinguals may have different levels of knowledge in their languages (Kohnert, 2010). The Spoken Language Assessment Profile – Revised edition (SLAP-R) is an assessment that can be used to evaluate English as a second language (ESL) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this instrument is an attempt to fill the gap of suitable speech and language assessment tools that can be used for all those involved in setting up clinics, schools or speech and language assessment tools (Hartley & Krämer, 2013). The aim of the present study was to assess English as a second language for Kenyan children in primary school based on their result on the SLAP-R. The present study consisted of 68 participants with reported typically developed language and hearing that attended first or second grade in a public school in western Kenya. All participants were between six and nine years old, had a Bantu language as their first language and had been exposed to English for less than one year up to eight years. They had also attended preschool at their current school. The independent variables in the present study were grade, age and exposure to English. SLAP-R consists of six subtests that test expressive and receptive phonology, semantics and grammar. These parts constituted the dependent variables. In addition there is a part called ultimate expressive language skill (UELS) that consists of picture sequences where the participant should tell a story of what is happening in the pictures. The result indicated that grade had the largest effect on the participant’s performance in English as a second language. Grade two had significantly higher results regarding receptive phonology as well as expressive and receptive semantics and grammar than the participants in grade one. Most of the incorrect answers were made in the subtest expressive grammar. These answers were mainly incorrect due to other reasons than an answer in Kiswahili.
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