An investigation into the implementation of the Zambia primary English course in a selected sample of Zambian primary schools

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Zvaiwa, Andreas
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This study investigated the availability of human and material resources required for implementing the Zambia Primary English Course. In addition to this, the study tried to find how the available human and material resources were utilised to teach reading in selected grades. The whole exercise took place in 20 primary schools in Lusaka Rural which are indicated in Appendix A. The 20 schools which participated in the project had 300 teachers. Questionnaires were distributed to the 300 teachers of the above schools.When the respondents returned the questionnaires, it was noticed that only 184 of the 300 teachers had responded to the questionnaire. On analysing the data, it was observed that, the 184 teachers could be divided into two categories of: trained teachers and untrained teachers. The trained teachers were found to be in two groups based on the type of their training; teachers who were trained to teach the Zambia Primary Course (English Medium Course) and teachers who were trained to teach in vernacular. It was found that there were more vernacular trained teachers than Zambia Primary Course trained teachers. The teachers had also been asked to indicate on the questionnaire, how much material resources they had for teaching the English Component of the Zambia Primary Course. Only 15 of the 20 schools under study gave information in all their grades and these were the ones whose resources were analysed. The analysis of data on material resources available in the 15 schools inidcated that the schools could be divided into three categories of: schools with enough resources for implementing the Zambia Primary English Course, schools with few resources and schools with very few resources for implementing the course. Fifty three percent of these schools had very few resources, 33 percent had few resources and 13 percent had enough resources for the course. In addition to this, observations were carried out on how reading was being taught in each of the above categories of schools. Reading lessons were observed in Grades One, Three, Five and Seven in each of the schools. It was observed that reading was taught very poorly in schools with very few resources and very well in schools with enough resources. It was also noticed that schools with few resources were in borderline areas. In these schools, reading was not taught very poorly or very well. The way reading was taught in these schools varied from very poor to very good, but as a general observation, these schools had difficulties in implementing the Zambia Primary English Course.From the above findings, the study concluded that although the schools in Lusaka Rural had enough trained teachers, the majority of these teachers were vernacular trained teachers who were finding it difficult to implement the Zambia Primary English Course. In this study, it was also observed that one of the problems facing the implementation of the Zambia Primary English Course was the lack of material resources. Most of the schools which responded to the questionnaire indicated that they did not have enough resources to implement the course. The above factors, namely, lack of competent teachers and lack of enough material resources, therefore, were observed to be largely responsible for the poor way in which reading was being taught in the grades which were observed during the course of this exercise.
English language -- Foreign countrie , English language -- Study and teaching (Primary , Zambia primary English course.