International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Description of Teachers’ Use of Reinforcement in English Language Classes
Ndegwa Grace Konyu, Dr. Lucy Wathika, Dr Josephine Khaemba

The purpose of the study was to describe teachers’ use of reinforcement in English language classes. The study was guided by Gardner and Lambert’s Socio-Educational theory of second language acquisition. The study was carried out in selected secondary schools in Nakuru town. It used descriptive research design. Stratified random sampling was employed to select the four schools while simple random sampling was used to choose one stream in form two, three and four in each school for observation. It resulted in eight observational schedules. The study sample of 60 students in form 2-4 and 8 teachers of English was purposively selected for interviews. A total number of 353 learners were observed. The study used interviews, audio recording and Structured Observational Schedules for data collection. The data was presented in form of tables, figures and verbatim transcript excerpts used for exemplification and illustration in a qualitative explication. The findings of the study revealed that second language learners’ performance in English is greatly influenced by teachers’ use of reinforcement. Moreover, the findings of this study proved that teachers of English giveunguardedpraises, negative statements and criticisms to English second language learners.This study is an important contribution to the field of Second Language Acquisition Theory and practices with regard to offering information and insight into reinforcement, motivation and attitude in practical language acquisition and learning in the classroom situation. These findings are useful in the improvement of second language learners’ performance in English. Teachers of English will also acquaint themselves with effective use of positive verbal reinforcement (general praise, ability praise and effort praise) which works as a driving and motivational force on learners’ acquisition and use of English language.

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