Challenges faced by second graders during the transition from the language of initial literacy(Nyanja) to english- A case of selected Schools of Chongwe District, Zambia

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Mulikelela, Siambo
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The main aim of this study was to investigate the challenges which second grade learners face during the transition from the language of initial literacy (Nyanja) and second language of literacy (English). A sample of 80 participants drawn from five schools in Chongwe District took part in the study out of which 30 were teachers while 50 were pupils. The study utilised both quantitative and qualitative methods in the collection of data. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) in conjunction with the McNemar test was used to analyse data.The research findings showed that some grade two learners experienced challenges during the transition between language of initial literacy (Nyanja) and the second language of literacy (English). These were in terms of getting used to learning in a local language; pronouncing English words in Chinyanja; inability to read some of the English words in the SITE course because of failure by teachers to complete teaching the Chinyanja phonic sounds stipulated in the Teachers’ Guide.Some of the recommendations that were put forward to help Grade two pupils include: Teachers to ensure that they give out more instructions in English than in Chinyanja as doing so assists pupils get used to English. However, code switching from English to Chinyanja may be minimally used just to have the message be understood by pupils but thereafter, the teacher should code switch from Chinyanja to English; Grade Two teachers should be putting effort to help pupils who have been noted to have problems related to pronouncing and spelling English words in Chinyanja or vice versa through emphasis on correct pronunciation of the noted words and exposing them to more supplementary story books to help them be nfamiliar with the written word and eventually spell the words correctly. Lastly, Grade one teachers should complete teaching the phonic sounds and consonant clusters stipulated in the NBTL Teachers’ Guide for pupils to read better in Grade Two.
Reading(Primary) , Literacy Program