Background knowledge and comprehensive of communally constructed texts : a case study of Runyankole in lower classes of primary schools in Bushenyi District

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Kampala International University. College of Education, Open, Distance and E-Learning
The study on background knowledge and comprehension of communally constructed texts. A case study of Runyankole songs in lower classes of primary schools in Bushenyi district was conducted in three government primary schools. The study was guided by the following objectives;To determine the role of background knowledge in understanding of Runyankole songs, to document the different types of Runyankole songs sung by pupils in lower primary schools, to determine the pupils’ level of participation in and comprehension of Runyankole songs, and to explore the possible ways of enhancing the pupils ‘understanding and use of Runyankole songs.The study focused on the fact that background knowledge on the content and genre related to songs is essential in order to comprehend the message behind the text. This study examined how kindergarten pupils reach school with knowledge but is not activated in their singing lessons as they just sing to pass time thus neglecting the didactic heritage behind songs. Schema theory, the ecological, anthropological and conceptual metaphor approaches were used to anchor this study. The population included primary two pupils and teachers of lower classes. The sample size was determined by Slovenes’ formula and 132 respondents participated in the study including both teachers and pupils. The researcher used questionnaires for teachers and oral test for pupils to collect data. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative research approaches and data was analysed using SPSS. The researcher found out that the singing lessons are not taken serious by both the teachers and learners since the songs are not examined and there are no good methods of teaching them. The students just sing and they don’t understand what they sing. Through an experiment where learners were given a pre-test and after three weeks of teaching, given a post-test, the comparison, showed that pupils did better in the post test. This showed that there is a significant relationship between background knowledge and comprehension of communally constructed texts. The researcher recommended the government of Uganda through the ministry of education and sports and the national curriculum development Centre to fully implement the thematic curriculum by emphasising the singing lessons and provide the teachers with enough resources to carry out the teaching of songs. She recommends the teachers to always activate the learners’ background knowledge for better comprehension of songs. This would aid in comprehension of all communally constructed texts basing on the structure, content and language as in the case of songs.
A thesis submitted to the College of Higher Degree And Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Degree of Master of Arts in Linguistics of Kampala International University
Background knowledge, Comprehension, Communally constructed texts, Bushenyi District, Uganda