Instructional practices used by teachers to teach English Language writing skills to standard 4 pupils in Nyandarua North Sub-county, Kenya
Muya, Rachel Njoki
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Writing competency is an important aspect of children's academic performance in school and life after school. Despite its critical role, learners are not able to exhibit the appropriate writing skills.Various studies conducted in Kenya reveal that most pupils experience writing difficulties suchas spelling mistakes, illegible handwriting among others. The purpose of this study was to investigate the instructional practices used by teachers to teach writing skills to standard 4 pupils inNyandarua North district. The study aimed to achieve the following objectives: to examine the variouswriting approaches employed by teachers to teach writing, to identify writing activities that teachers engage their pupils in, to identify the instructional resources utilized in teaching writing,and how these resources are utilized and finally to identify the methods used by teachers to assess writing of standard 4 pupils. The pilot study was conducted in two randomly selected public primary schools in Nyandarua North distict. The study design is descriptive survey. The population comprised 67 public primary schools. Stratified sampling was used to select public primary schools in Nyandarua district while a simple random technique was adopted to sample 21 schools. Twenty one standard 4 teachers of language responded to teacher's questionnaires while nine teachers from nine schools were selected for classroom observation. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews and classroom observation schedule. Data was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The statistical package for social scientist was used to process the data using frequency tables, percentages and means. The analyzed data was presented through tables, graphs, and pie charts. The study found that the majority of the teachers of English employed the product approach while process genre and process approach were hardly utilized .The study further revealed that they did not utilize a variety of instructional resources. In addition, the available instructional resources were not effectively utilized. A variety of instructional methods were used although some effective ones were underutilized. The study recommends that seminars and intensive courses that equip teachers of English with the necessary skills on how to teach all the four skills should be organized. In addition, in-service courses should be offered to all teachers of English in primary with a view to improving their instructional skills. More instructional resources should be provided with a view to improving writings kills among learners.