Linguistic strategies in the teaching of English language oral skills in Kenyan secondary schools: a case of Kakamega District
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This study dealt with the linguistic strategies used in the teaching of English language oral skills in selected secondary schools in Kenya. The objectives upon which the study was based were: identify and describe the English language oral skills of secondary level of Form Two students as outlined in the English syllabus; find out the qualifications of the teachers of English who teach Form Two class; identify and describe strategies used in teaching oral skills in Form Two; determine the difficulties teachers face in using the identified strategies to teach oral skills and suggest remedies that may be used to improve the teaching of oral skills. The study adopted an eclectic approach in the selection of theories to be used in the analysis of the data. Some of these theories are Evaluation Theory Development by Alkin on which University of California at Los Angels (UCLA) Evaluation Model was developed, Behavioural Theory on which Audio - Lingual Model (ALM) is based and The Communicative Theory of Language. To gather the study data the instruments used were: an interview schedule for Form Two teachers of English, a questionnaire, a class test on oral skills set by the researcher for the students and a classroom observation schedule for determining which strategies teachers actually use during oral language skills lessons. Data analysis procedure was content analysis of the out - puts of interview schedules, questionnaires, class tests, and observation schedules drawn from each class studied. The study results were presented in the form of tables, percentages, bar graphs, pie charts and also data findings from which correlation between the variables were calculated. The main findings of the study were: the oral skills at Form Two are being taught. However, it was found out that teachers of English have preferred skills they teach over others. For example, they prefer teaching pronunciation to other areas of oral skills like stress and intonation. It was found out that the teachers who teach English in Kenya and in particular, in Kakamega District are qualified. It was noted that teachers use different strategies in teaching English oral skills except for stress placement, intonation patterns in sentences, and contextual interpretation of sentences. Further, it was also noted that the students involved in this study have difficulties in English language oral skills, especially in stress, intonation patterns in sentences and contextual interpretation of sentences. The findings will be beneficial to students, teachers, textbook writers, other researchers and curriculum developers.