The influence of play activities on pre-school children’s performance of English language in Harambee zone of Makadara district in Nairobi county

The main purpose of the study was to examine the influence of play activities on pre-school children‟s English language performance in Harambee Zone of Makadara District in Nairobi County. The study focused on the influence of role plays (drama), constructive play, outdoor play activities and the influence of games with rules and pre-school children‟s performance in English language. The study utilized a quasi-experimental design. This study used pre-schools in Harambee Zone, pre-school teachers and pre-school children as the core respondents to provide information on the influence of play activities on pre-school children‟s performance and development of English language in Harambee Zone of Makadara District in Nairobi County. There are 20 pre-schools in Harambee Zone of which 4 are public and 16 private with a total population of about 1000 ECD pupils. A list of all the schools was generated. The researcher stratified the schools into 2 homogenous subgroups namely public pre-schools and private preschools. Half (50%) of the schools were under study. A total of 10 (2 public and 8 private) schools was randomly selected from the lists. A selection of 30% of the population is 300 pupils who were observed during play activities. Out of those, 120 children were randomly selected for written English test. That is, in each school 12 children. The study used questionnaires, observation schedules and in-depth interview guides to collect the data. The qualitative data was analyzed manually paying specific attention to the study objectives and themes. The study findings established that Play offers the child the opportunity to make sense out of the world by using available tools. Understanding is created by doing, by doing with others, and by being completely involved in that doing. Through play, the child comes to understand the world and the adult comes to understand the child.

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