An analysis of language practices in inclusive english language classes of selected secondary schools in Central province.

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Banda, Martha
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The University of Zambia
Inclusive education is the type of education that puts all the pupils regardless of their physical or mental disabilities to learn together. For example, the deaf learners put in the same class with the learners who are not deaf. The study aimed at analyzing language practices in selected inclusive education classrooms that have learners with hearing impairments in selected secondary schools of central province. The study was anchored on three objectives as follows: analyze language strategies teachers used when teaching English Language in inclusive classes, asses the nature of interaction between the pupils with hearing impairments and those without hearing impairments and establish challenges that teachers faced when providing instruction to inclusive classrooms. The method used was mixed methods, mainly qualitative and a bit of quantitative data was collected. The design was descriptive employed through face to face interviews, document analysis, focus group discussions and classroom lesson observations. 16 teachers of English Language and 180 pupils who were purposively sampled participated in the study and the findings were analyzed thematically and statistically. The study established that there were various Language Practices that teachers and learners used when teaching/ learning in inclusive classes of the hearing impaired learners and the non-hearing impaired. The Language Practices that were mainly used were simultaneous use of verbal and sign language, use of language interpreters among teachers who did not know sign language, interpretation of sign language to verbal language in a class where teachers could not only use sign language as well as use of pictures and videos to deliver lessons. The nature of nature was such that pupils interacted in class when the teacher was around but did not interact outside where teachers were not present. There was discrimination and abuse of with each other which led to groups avoiding each other. Out of the four schools that the researcher visited, almost all of them complained of lacking adequate teaching/ learning materials and most of the teachers handling classes of sign language upon deployment lacked the knowledge of the standard sign language. The study recommended that more teaching and learning materials for the learners should be availed in Schools that provide these services and that more sensitization should be made to the pupils without hearing impairments so as to lessen stigmatization between the two groups of learners (hearing impaired and non-hearing impaired). Finally, government should put in a deliberate policy to train more teachers of special education on how to use the standard sign language to alleviate the shortages. Key words: Inclusive Education, Inclusive classroom, Hearing Impaired, English, Teaching
Inclusive Education , Inclusive classroom , Hearing Impaired