The teaching of spoken English in Kenyan secondary schools: a case study of Thika district
Mundui, Alice Wangui
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The purpose of the study was to describe the practice of teaching spoken English in secondary schools of Thika district in central province of Kenya. This study was based on the premise that the spoken language should be the basis of the language learning experience. The literature review in chapter two provides a review of the characteristics of spoken language classrooms as well as activities that could be used to promote the development of speaking skills. Various classroom interaction studies are also reviewed. The conceptual framework that formed the basis of this study is also presented. This paves the way for the development of a research design in chapter 3 to provide for analysis of the teaching methods, the learning activities and the assessment strategies utilized by the teachers. Data elicitation techniques included use of an observation schedule, a teaching inventory and observation notes. The objective of the study was threefold. First, was an analysis of the teaching methods, which revealed that the majority of them were more teacher centred than learner centred. Second, was the observation that the learning activities were observed to contribute little in enhancing learner participation during classroom interaction. Thirdly, the assessment strategies teachers used to gauge the development of the speaking skills of their learners were observed and found to make a minimal contribution to the speaking skills of learners. The significance of this study is found in the way the insights from the classroom interaction study contribute to the field of applied linguistics. For instance, the findings give researchers, policy makers and practitioners insights into the language classroom that are important for both building theory and improving practice.