Organizational writing skills based teaching and Students performance in English essays in selected Secondary Schools in Turkana County-Kenya
Ekaliyo, James Ekaale
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Questions requiring students to write answers in prose form, in the current syllabus, amo~t to 60% of the total score in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) English examinations. Knowledge, comprehension, application, analyses, synthesis and application level skins are tested. As a result of using integrated English syllabus, it has become cumbersome for teachers of English to translate the content to achievable objectives to enable learners to demonstrate these skills at the end of the course. The study was conducted in Turkana County, mKenya, where performance in English essay writing has always been low. No research had been done to fmd out the cause of the poor performance. Turkana County has 25 secondary schools, majority of which have been performing below the average mean of (c) plain in English for many years. Being a central activity in KCSE examination in expressing information and ideas, not only in English but also other subjects in the curriculum, English is therefore the major contributor to the level of performance in these schools. The purpose of the study was to investigate the use of Organizational Writing Skills based teaching strategies in secondary schools in Turkana County and how they can be a solution to poor performance in essay writing. The objectives of the study were to find out how Organizational Writing Skills based teaching is practiced in schools, to identify the Organizational Writing Skills Strategies used in writing lessons and fmd out the extent at which the Organizational Writing Skills teaching strategies improve performance in writing. The research used both a descriptive survey and a quasi experiment designs. The sample comprised 12 teachers and 236 Form three students in 6 secondary schools. Research instruments were; a test, a structured interview schedule and a lesson observation guide. The data was collected and presented in tables and graphs and later analyzed and interpreted in descriptive statistics. From the findings of the study, it was concluded that the low performance in English is mainly because the HODs have not devised and implemented policies that enhance the use ofOWS based teaching in schools and few resources are used to develop writing skills during the learning process. It was recommended that supervision and capacity building of teachers as well as improved use of instructional media be enhanced.