Pedagogical Techniques That Bolster Learners’ Acquisition of Extensive Reading Habits in Secondary Schools in Laikipia County, Kenya
Mwangi, Francis Gichuki
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This study addresses the issue of pedagogical techniques for extensive reading in secondary schools in Kenya at a time when concern is being expressed about declining reading habits in schools. Effective use of pedagogical techniques of reading can greatly improve learners‟ achievement in English and also enhance their reading habits. The study was prompted by poor reading in English among secondary school students in Laikipia County. The study was guided by the following objectives: To establish the pedagogical techniques that promote and sustain extensive reading habits, to examine factors that influence learners‟ extensive reading habits, to establish the resources available that support extensive reading, to establish non-classroom interventions put in place to promote reading habits and to establish the influence of extensive reading habits in English language learners‟ composition writing performance. Guided by the Social Cognitive Theory and The Schema Theory the study adopted the descriptive survey research design to establish the state of extensive reading in schools. Proportional stratified, purposive and random sampling techniques were used in the study. The study sample consisted of 30 English language teachers and 327 students in form 2 and 3. The research instruments used for data collection included: questionnaire for students, interview guides for teachers, documents analysis guide and composition writing test. The instruments were pilot tested to ensure validity and reliability. Both qualitative as well as quantitative data were generated. Qualitative data were organized according to the study themes and presented descriptively on the basis of the study objectives and research questions. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze quantitative data. T-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to test for association between independent and dependent variables. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17 was used to process the data. The key findings of this study were that English language teachers possessed adequate knowledge and skills to teach extensive reading. Acute shortage of reading resources was a major hindrance to engagement in extensive reading in schools. Collaboration with the Kenya National Library Services, parental involvement and holding reading conferences were some of the non-classroom reading interventions the study established should be applied in schools to promote extensive reading. The study concludes that despite the English language teachers possessing pedagogic knowledge on reading, the learners still encountered reading difficulties as their reading was never monitored or evaluated. This study recommends that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in collaboration with schools should come up with a strong extensive reading policy to promote independent lifelong reading habits.