Pedagogical Techniques Teachers Use to Bolster Extensive Reading Habits in Secondary Schools in Kenya
Mwangi, Francis G.
Bwire, Adelheid M.
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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 the institutions of learning. Learners nowadays have taken to social and mass media and rarely read anything extra outside the prescribed texts. Even the wide spread national examination malpractice witnessed recently could be traced to the decline in reading interest and poor reading habits among secondary school learners. Effective use of pedagogical extensive reading techniques can greatly improve learners’ achievement in English and also enhance their reading habits. This study was prompted by the observed poor reading in English by secondary schools learners in Laikipia County in Kenya. Among some of the possible explanations for this scenario are that students in the County did not adequately read books extensively coupled with other determinants that influence their performance in English. The study investigated the pedagogical techniques used by teachers to bolster extensive and pleasure reading habits. The study was guided by The Schema Theory. The descriptive survey research design was used for this study. Fifteen secondary schools in Laikipia County were sampled by proportional stratified sampling technique in five subcounties across the county. Purposive sampling was used to sample 30 out of 80 (37.5%) English language teachers. Simple random sampling was used to sample 327 students out of about 2670 students (12.24%) in form 2 and 3 in the County. The research instruments used for data collection included: questionnaire for students, interview guides for teachers and documents analysis guide. The instruments were pilot tested to ensure validity and reliability in a co-educational secondary school in the neighbouring county that was not included in the study. The reliability of the questionnaire and interview guide was estimated using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient which was 0.871 which met the recommended threshold of 0.7 and above. Analysis of data was done using descriptive statistics such as frequency, tables and percentages. Qualitative data were organized according to the study themes and presented descriptively on the basis of the study objectives. The analyzed data revealed various reading pedagogical techniques which included analysis of the title and the blurb before reading, formation of mental images while reading and writing book reviews after reading. Acute shortage of reading resources was a major hindrance to engagement in extensive reading in schools. The study recommended that schools should ground learners on reading techniques and also come up with strong extensive reading policy to promote independent reading.