Perception of Teachers of English Towards Boys in English Lessons in Secondary Schools in Uganda: Implication on Students’ Performance

  • Yuda Taddeo Kaahwa Makerere University
  • Richard Sentamu Makerere University
  • Charles Muweesi Busitema University
  • Sarah Atugonza Kyambogo University
Keywords: Perception, English Language Subject, Teacher of English, Academic Performance
Share Article:


The study investigated why boys perform poorly in the English language in secondary schools, with a focus on schools in Uganda. The specific objective was: to establish the perception of teachers of English towards boys in English lessons in Uganda. An explanatory case study research design was adopted, and 20 study participants were included in this study. Purposive sampling techniques were used to reach the respondents and the primary data was collected using interview guides, observation checklist and document analysis. Findings revealed that teachers of the English language perceive boys as not cooperative in class; they are stubborn, disturbing, and much disorganised with low interest in the subject. Findings further revealed that some teachers are supportive and accommodative whereas some are cold-hearted towards them. The administrators also said that the performance of boys in the English language has been deteriorating for the last four years since 2018 when it comes to the UCE results. It was recommended that Teachers need to improve their pedagogical approaches in order to interest boys in English Language subjects. Boys need to be trained in better ways in which they can read the English language and be independent thinkers than always following their peers. In addition, Boys in secondary schools need to change their attitude and feeling towards the English language and take it as a serious subject like other subjects. Developing a positive perception and attitude towards the subject will enable them to improve their grades. Further still, boys should not perceive the English language as a subject for only girls because there are male teachers of the English language and doing it perfectly well with ease.


Download data is not yet available.


Abd, T., & Al Odwan, A.-H. (2012). The Effect of the Directed Reading Thinking Activity through Cooperative Learning on English Secondary Stage Students’ Reading Comprehension in Jordan. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(16), 138–151.

Abdullah, N. H., Hani, N., Ramli, L., & Rafek, M. (2017). Mass lecture in language learning: What do the boys and girls think? Journal of Advances in Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(2).

Barahona, M. (2015). English language teacher education in Chile: A cultural historical activity theory perspective. English Language Teacher Education in Chile: A Cultural Historical Activity Theory Perspective, 145(July 2015), 1–192.

Bećirović, S. (2017). The relationship between gender, motivation and achievement in learning English as a foreign language. European Journal of Contemporary Education, 6(2), 210–220.

Bolkan, S., Goodboy, A. K., & Griffin, D. J. (2011). Teacher leadership and intellectual stimulation: Improving students’ approaches to studying through intrinsic motivation. Communication Research Reports, 28(4), 337–346.

Chege, F. N., Likoye, F., Nyambura, S., & Guantai, H. K. (2013). Declining Boys ’ Participation and Performance in Kenyan Schools : Are Girls ’ Education Projects Influencing New Forms of Masculinities ? CICE Series, 5(1), 1–17.

Collins, C., Kenway, J., & McLeod, J. (2000). Factors influencing the Educational Performance of Males and Females in School and Their Initial Destinations after Leaving School. Canberra: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, July, 60–80.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. SAGE Publications.

Edelmann, A., Wolff, T., Montagne, D., & Bail, C. A. (2020). Computational social science and sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 46(1), 61–81.

Faisal, R., Shinwari, L., & Hussain, S. S. (2017). Academic performance of male in comparison with female undergraduate medical students in pharmacology examinations. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 67(2), 204–208.

Główka, D. (2014). The impact of gender on attainment in learning English as a foreign language. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(4), 617.

Haralambos, M. ichael, & Heald, R. (1980). Sociology Themes and Perspectives, University Tutorial Press Ltd. Slough. 1980.

Heinzmann, S. (2009). “Girls are Better at Language than Boys”: Do Stereotypic Beliefs about Language Learning Contribute to Girls’ Higher Motivation to Learn English in Primary School? Bulletin Suisse de Linguistique Appliquee, 5(August), 19–36. of Arc Hydro terrain preprocessing workflows.pdf%0A

Igbudu, U. (2015). Influence of Gender on Students ’ Academic Achievement in Government Subject in Public Secondary Schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. 5(2), 101–106.

Jha, J., & Kelleher, F. (2006). Boys’ Underachievement in Education: An Exploration in Selected Commonwealth Countries. In Boys’ Underachievement in Education: An Exploration in Selected Commonwealth Countries.

Kuyate, P. (2020). A Study of Effectiveness of Activity-Based Teaching Method in the English Subject of Standard IV. SSRN Electronic Journal, 1(1), 46–52.

Martirosyan, N. M., Hwang, E., & Wanjohi, R. (2015). English Proficiency and Academic Performance of International Students. TESOL Quarterly, 21(2), 251.

McFarland, J., Hussar, B., de Brey, C., Snyder, T., Wang, X., Wilkinson-Flicker, S., Gebrekristos, S., Zhang, J., Rathburn, A., Barmer, A., Bullock Mann, F., & Hinz, S. (2017). The Condition of Education 2017. In National Center for Educational Statistics: Vol. NCES 2017-.

Mills, M., Martino, W., & Lingard, B. (2004). Attracting, recruiting and retaining male teachers: Policy issues in the male teacher debate. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 25(3), 355–369.

Mkandawire, T. (2005). African intellectuals: Rethinking politics, language, gender and development. Bloomsbury Academic.

Mosweunyane, D. (2013). The African Educational Evolution: From Traditional Training to Formal Education. Higher Education Studies, 3(4), 50–59.

Muyaka, J., Omuse, D. E., & Malenya, F. L. (2023). Manifestations of boys’ under participation in education in Kenya: the case of Busia and Kirinyaga counties. Compare, 53(1), 89–104.

Mwiigi, J. W. (2014). The Impact of Gender Differences on Student’S Academic Performance in Secondary Schools in Ndumberi Division, Kiambu County, Kenya in Science Subjects and Languages. _The impact of gender differences on student s academic performance in secondary schools in Ndumberi division, Kiambu county, Kenya in science s

Njuguna, J. (2012). Factors Influencing Performance of English Language in Public Secondary Schools in Bomet [University of Nairobi].

Ofori, D. A., Anjarwalla, P., Mwaura, L., Jamnadass, R., Stevenson, P. C., Smith, P., Koch, W., Kukula-Koch, W., Marzec, Z., Kasperek, E., Wyszogrodzka-Koma, L., Szwerc, W., Asakawa, Y., Moradi, S., Barati, A., Khayyat, S. A., Roselin, L. S., Jaafar, F. M., Osman, C. P., … Slaton, N. (2020). NTitle. Molecules, 2(1), 1–12.

Plummer, K. (2008). Visions of Sexualities. Sexualities, 11(2), 23–24.

Ramesh, M., Sathiyaseelan, S., & Karthick, R. (2019). English for Specific Purposes as a Tool to Enhance the Maritime Terms for First Year Students. Languageinindia.Com, 19(49042), 417–425.

Sprouse, J., Yankama, B., Indurkhya, S., Fong, S., & Berwick, R. C. (2018). Colorless green ideas do sleep furiously: Gradient acceptability and the nature of the grammar. Linguistic Review, 35(3), 575–599.

Teló, C., Trofimovich, P., & Grantham O’Brien, M. (2022). Disentangling professional competence and foreign accent. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, September.

UNEB. (2020). Uganda National Examinations Board. In Statement on Release of the 2020 EACE Examination Results (Vol. 473, Issue February).

Mwingi, J. W. (2014). The impact of gender differences on student’s academic performance in secondary schools in Ndumberi division, Kiambu county, Kenya in science subjects and languages.

12 October, 2023
How to Cite
Kaahwa, Y., Sentamu, R., Muweesi, C., & Atugonza, S. (2023). Perception of Teachers of English Towards Boys in English Lessons in Secondary Schools in Uganda: Implication on Students’ Performance. East African Journal of Education Studies, 6(3), 121-136.