The role of drama in the development of communicative competence among primary school pupils in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya
Khaemba, Patrick Sirengo
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Drama as a co-curricular activity is encouraged in schools since it isconsidered a valuabletool in encouraging development of communicativecompetence. Participation in drama is believed to enable one communicate effectively. This study sought to establish if drama has influence on the development of communicativecompetence among primary school pupils in Nakuru Municipality in Kenya. The main objective of the study was to determine the relationship between communicativecompetence and participation in drama.Two theories namely the Communicative Language Teaching Theory (CLT) proposed by Hymes (1971) and the Monitor Theory of Language Teaching and Learning proposed by Krashen (1976) informed this Study. The study particularly examined pupil competences based on their speaking and writing skills.In the study, drama was the independent variable, while communicativecompetence wasthe dependent variable. The communicativecompetence of pupils who had experienced drama was compared to that of a similar group of pupils who had no experience in drama. A pilot study to establish the validity and reliability of the tests before the actual study was carried out among standard seven pupils in two primary schools in Nairobi county.The study used a descriptive survey design. Two tests, one on writing and another on speaking for pupils and a questionnaire for teachers were administered. Data was collected from 360 Std.7 pupils from fifteen primary schools in the Municipality and 30 teachers from the same schools.Data collected was classified, presented, analyzed and then interpreted using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. The analysis of data was done using excel 2007.Results of this study show that drama pupils had better communicativecompetence in the Englishlanguage compared to non-dramapupils. A majority of pupils 164(91.1%) of drama pupils scored above 50% in the speaking and written tests cumulatively, compared to 125(69.4%) of the non-drama pupils. Drama provided an appropriate milieu for the learners to practice the language extensively through a wide range of activities such as storytelling, versespeaking, role-play and dialogue. The study recommends that schools should take up drama seriously to provide an opportunity for pupils to practice language for better competence. Through this research, headteachers, teacher advisory centretutors, quality assurance, and standards officers will learn the importance of promoting drama as an important co-curricular activity in schools.