Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN: 2141-5161) Vol. 5(4), pp. 122-130, May 2014. DOI: http:/dx.doi.org/10.14303/er.2014.079. Copyright © 2014 International Research Journals

 

 Full Length Research Paper

Learning Strategies Used by Deaf Students in English Reading Comprehension in Secondary Schools for the Deaf in Kenya: Implications on Academic Achievement

1Everline Nyokabi Maina, 2Prof. Edwards Joash Kochung and 3Dr. Omondi Oketch

1Department of Special Needs Education, Maseno University, Kenya

2Department of Special Needs Education, Maseno University, Kenya

3Department of Language and Communication Studies, the Technical University of Kenya

*Corresponding authors email: everlinenyokabi@gmail.com

Abstract

 

Research findings reveal that the majority of deaf students in Kenya complete secondary school when they barely know how to read. In the past five years the mean score obtained by deaf students in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) English Examinations was below 4.0 points. Bearing in mind that reading comprehension is a major area in the English curriculum that contributes to 32.5% of the total marks in KCSE English examination, explanations regarding the poor performance have pointed to teaching strategies with minimal consideration of learning strategies. This study therefore aimed at finding out the learning strategies used by deaf students in English reading comprehension and the implications on academic achievement. Using descriptive survey research design data was gathered from four secondary schools for the deaf in Kenya. The study established that the learning strategies used by deaf students in  reading comprehension included looking at pictures and titles, finger spelling, signing while reading, pointing at words with fingers, determining main idea, memorization, re-reading, reading slowly and carefully, use of prior knowledge and use of the dictionary. These findings pointed to lower level processing and a deficiency in metacognitive skills which had a negative implication on academic achievement in reading comprehension. The study therefore recommends explicit teaching and scaffolding of the reading strategies during reading comprehension lessons.

Keywords: Learning Strategies, English Reading Comprehension, Academic achievement, Deaf Students

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