Investigating how play is used to develop oral language in a pre- primary school in Taita Taveta county

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Shelina Walli

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fortidas Bakuza


AKU-East Africa


Children have been known to have a natural desire for play. Curriculum designers have borrowed this idea and they have recommended learning of children through play. Oral language development is paramount in the early childhood curriculum stage.

Scholars advocate the use of play in the development of oral language for young children. This is because play stimulates children to use oral language. It is in this pursuit that I developed an interest to learn how play is used to develop oral language in a pre-primary school in Taita Taveta County.

The study adopted a qualitative case study design. Data was collected using face to face semi-structured interview guide, observation schedule and document analysis protocol. Data were analyzed systematically to get the findings.

Findings revealed that teachers understood the importance of play in the development of oral language skills. The strategies of play that the teachers used were spontaneous play, role play, card games and locomotor games. It was found out that teachers valued play outside the classroom. However play was used to a little extent in the classroom.

The main challenges identified included: inadequate number of teachers, inadequate play materials in the classroom and emphasis on instructional teaching more than play.

It is recommended that the government employs enough teachers and provide equipment for play. It is also recommended that teachers undergo professional development so that they can acquire skills for using play-based learning. Curriculum developers may also allocate more time for play in ECE.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library