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11 ESL Writing Skills Students from Kenya Face and How to Handle the Issue

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With over 68 different languages being spoken in Kenya, ESL students from that region can face significant challenges when attempting to write academic essays in English.

It is impossible to compare all the similarities and differences between English and the 69 different languages spoken in Kenya, so this article is going to dwell upon the differences between Swahili and English as understanding these differences can make it much easier for ESL students from the region to master writing academic essays in English.

Important similarities between English and Swahili

Before exploring the similarities and differences between the two languages, it is important to understand some key terminology:

Subject

The person, place, thing or idea that is doing or being something

Verb

An action word, e.g. give, say, call, try, eat

Object

The person or thing affected by the verb, e.g. in “He ate a sandwich”, the sandwich is the object because it is being affected by the actions of the person eating it.

Tense

Tells you when the action occurred, e.g. in the future, the past or if it is happening in the present.

The sentence structures between Swahili and English are very similar, as they all contain a subject, verb, and an object. In both English and Swahili, nouns can be grouped together according to type. In Swahili, for example, there are eight noun groups.

Rules for written English

Now you are aware of the similarities between the two languages it is time to take note of the written English rules which will help you to write fantastic essays, papers, and dissertations:

1. Use the active voice

The active voice is far more common in written English than the passive voice. For example, “Barry kicked the ball” is more easily understood than “the ball was hit”. However, there are certain circumstances when the passive voice is acceptable, e.g. when you do not know who completed the action.

2. Avoid over-using words and phrases such as there is, there are, it is etc

Overusing these words and phrases just leads to “word fill” – you might fill the word count but you’ve not actually said anything.

3. Two negatives do not make a positive!

Compare “He was not unwilling” with “He is willing”. Which one is more easily understood?

4. Be consistent

When writing about several ideas, be consistent in the grammatical form that you use. The technical term for this is “parallel construction”. Failure to apply this in your writing can leave the reader finding it very difficult to understand your work.

5.Sentence structure

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Sentence structure is really important in written English and it is important to remember that the grammar rules of written English can be very different from the grammar rules of spoken English.

In other words, don’t rush to write something down exactly as you would say it! Unless, of course, you’re writing a novel, in which case it is fine.

6.Starting a sentence with an incomplete sentence or clause

Starting a sentence in this way is acceptable if it is followed very closely by the person or thing it describes.

7. Avoid danglers!

You can get away with “danglers” in spoken English because the person who is listening to you can infer your meaning from your body language, the tone of voice and the context of the conversation.

This is not the same in written English, where the reader cannot take into account your body language or tone of voice as they read your writing.

An example of a “dangler” is something like, “Hoping to garner favor, the teacher was unimpressed with her gift”. It is dangling because we don’t know who or what is giving the gift.

By adding a proper subject, or by identifying who bought the gift, the sentence starts to make sense:

“Hoping to garner favor, the annoying parents bought the teacher a gift which that left her unimpressed”.

8.Place descriptive words and phrases close to the object they describe

Compare “I have a cake that Mollie baked in my bag” with “In my bag is a cake that Mollie baked for me”.


Whilst both sentences make sense, the second is more grammatically accurate because of the position of the descriptive phrase (in this case, “in my lunch bag” is a descriptive phrase)

9. Avoid overly long sentences

Speaks for itself!


Overly long sentences can be unwieldy and hard to understand. If in doubt about the length of your sentences, remember to KISS (not literally). KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid! Keep your sentences simple and easy to understand.

10. Make sure that each sentence makes a clear statement

It can be tempting to include lots of irrelevant sentences in your work to increase the word count. However, in doing this you are lowering the quality of your work.

If a sentence doesn’t have a clear point or purpose to it, then get rid of it.

11. Understand each word that you use!

This is one of the easiest, most important rules to remember.

If you don’t know the meaning of a word, then do not use it! At all! If you use a word incorrectly you can alter the whole meaning of a sentence (at best). At worst, you can make yourself look silly, and you don’t want that.

If you find yourself in a challenging situation when writing an essay in English, then follow these 11 steps for guaranteed success… in the meantime, to help you get used to the standard that is expected, why not use an online essay writing service to help you get the best grades in a fast way?

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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