• Adam I. OHirsi Kenya Methodist University
  • Severina Mwirichia Kenya Methodist University
  • Charles Kanyi Kenya Methodist University


Background: The adoption of English as the language of instruction has continuously been on the rise globally. In Somali, teaching English is done as a subject both at the primary and secondary levels. In contrast, at the tertiary level, students and academic staff indicate low levels of English proficiency. This led to this study investigating students' attributes influence on the adoption of English language as an instructional language at Somali National University. Krashen's monitor theory informed the study.

Methodology: A mixed methods approach was employed, whereas the design used for this study was a descriptive survey research design. The target population for this study consisted of lecturers, students, senior management staff and the Director of Education. A sample size of 30 students, 88 lecturers, 15 senior management officers and 1 Director of Education was considered. The sample size was selected using a simple random and proportionate stratified sampling technique for lecturers and students, whereas the purposive sampling technique was employed for the Senior Management Officer and Director of Higher Education. The collection of data was through questionnaires, interviews and focused group discussion. The reliability of the data was tested using Cronbach's Alpha. Percentages and regression were used in the analysis.

Results: The study noted that the language of instruction was a big challenge at Somali National University, where Somali and Arabic were predominantly used inside and outside the classroom. The challenges were attributed to the weak implementation of the language and schooling system. The study concluded that students' attributes influence English adoption as an instructional language. It recommended that the government of Somalia develop a policy to ensure that students joining universities have a background in English.   

Keywords: Students' attributes, language proficiency, the language of teaching, English language, Somali national university


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How to Cite
OHirsi, A., Mwirichia, S., & Kanyi, C. (2022). STUDENTS’ ATTRIBUTES INFLUENCE ON THE ADOPTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION AT SOMALI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY. African Journal of Emerging Issues, 4(8), 41 - 51. Retrieved from