Effectiveness of Task-Based Approach on Learners’ Composition Writing in French Language in Secondary Schools in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Leonorah, Lutiali Ceciliah
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ABSTRACT Writing in French as a foreign language is difficult and therefore requires extra skills for most students. Writing is important in acquisition of French language. However, teachers and learners seem reluctant to focus on composition writing because it requires special effort. One of the ways of achieving perfect writing skills is through the use of Task-Based approach in teaching and learning composition writing. According to the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) reports, performance in French composition writing is poor and this has raised the concern of all stakeholders. Moreover, there is little research in Kenya on Task Based Approach (TBA) in composition writing in French language. The purpose of this study was to establish the effectiveness of TBA in teaching of French composition writing. The objectives were; to establish the methods used in teaching and learning composition writing, to establish the nature and extent of TBA use, to investigate the effect of TBA on learners’ performance in composition writing, to determine (i) teachers’ and (ii) learners’ perceptions towards TBA and to explore the challenges of TBA. The study was carried out in Nairobi City County where eight (8) secondary school teachers of French in Form three and one hundred and twenty-four (124) Form three students studying French formed the study sample. A quasi-experimental research design was used. The data collection instruments were; student test, teachers’ and learners’ questionnaires and a lesson observation guide. The experimental group was taught by teachers who had been trained using TBA while teachers in the control group were not trained in TBA. A composition writing test was administered to the students and after 6 weeks, the same test was given to compare performance before and after TBA. The teachers’ and learners’ questionnaires were used to establish their perceptions towards TBA. The lesson observation guide was used to establish the methods used in teaching and learning composition writing. The instruments were refined through piloting. Data was analyzed quantitatively using descriptive statistics (means, ranks, frequencies, percentages, standard deviation). It was presented in frequency tables, pie and bar charts. The findings were that 8 methods were used for composition writing and letter writing was the most used task. All the eight teachers understood all the characteristics of TBA while 99% of learners agreed that TBA was a pleasant method through which quality writing was learnt. Students’ mean score improved slightly in composition writing after TBA use. (Mean = 3.43 before and Mean = 4.65 after). There was a significant correlation in both pre and posttest on the four evaluation indicators at P>0.00. Limited time was the major challenge of TBA. Based on these findings, it was recommended that Ministry of Education organizes in-service training for teachers on TBA. KICD could encourage teachers to use on-line resources in teaching composition writing and Curriculum developers could include TBA among the approaches necessary to teach writing. The study is important in helping Quality Assurance and Standards officers to establish, maintain and improve standards in training, assessment and implementation of teaching methods. The research will help teachers to connect with sources of information and network for professional support.