An investigation into the techniques and problems in integrating the teaching of English language and literature in English in secondary (secondary schools within Kisumu district)
Omollo, Dorothy Achieng
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The present study was concerned with the current changes in Kenya's education system. One of the recommendations brought along with the implementation of the 8-4-4 system of education was the idea of integrating the teaching of English Language and Literature into one subject-English. The combined course is currently being taught in Kenya's Secondary Schools. The study has attempted to investigate the techniques and problems observed in the teaching of the Integrated English syllabus. No research has been done on this aspect of the 8-4-4 syllabus. The study has therefore looked at the presence or absence of integration in the teaching of English in secondary schools, the techniques used, the attitude of the teachers towards the integrated syllabus and finally the problems affecting its teaching. Relevant literature was reviewed on the subject to provide the rationale and strategy for the study. The literature review also provided insight and suggestions into the methods used in the study. One of the significant findings from the literature was that integration was not all the new; it has been going on in the teaching of language and literature hence did not start with the introduction of the integrated syllabus. The sample for the study was composed of 50 randomly selected English teachers within Kisumu District. The data were collected by means of four instruments, questionnaires, interview schedules, observation schedules and recording of live lessons. All the instruments mentioned above were developed after preliminary library research and discussion with various educators familiar with the instruments. The questionnaire was administered to all the 50 respondents while observation was done in four schools, two public and two private, for comparative purpose. Two teachers (English) from each school had their lessons recorded for one week each. The interview schedules were for some sampled teachers, one curriculum developer and a language (English) inspector, Head of Schools and Heads of English Departments. Responses arising from the instruments were analysed to provide data that would help to answer questions raised by the researcher. The findings of the study are summarised below: 1. Integration was found to be taking place between language and literature and the extent mainly depended on: (i) Category of the school (public or private) (ii) The class being taught (iii) The topic being taught (iv) Training (or non-training) of teachers (v) In-servicing of teachers. 2. Teachers still rely heavily on expository techniques such as lecture or questions and answer techniques while disregarding other useful techniques such as discussion and small group work. 3. Teachers' attitude towards the integrated English syllabus was not favourable as the majority of them were still teaching according to the old syllabus. 4. Teachers were experiencing problems with resources and lack of information on the integrated English syllabus. The study was an attempt to provide those involved in curriculum development and implementation including English teachers with useful information on the teaching of the integrated English syllabus.