Factors contributing to poor performance in english composition writing among grade 12 pupils in Kabwe District, Zambia

Thumbnail Image
Ng'ona, Ruth
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Zambia
Over the years, there has been dissatisfaction with school leavers’ English language skills especially, composition writing. Pupils are taught how to write compositions but their performance at school certificate level is not as expected in most secondary schools. Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) reports indicate that the pupils’ performance in composition writing is usually poor. Pupils exhibit many challenges in English Paper 1 (ECZ, 2008 and 2014). This study aimed at establishing the factors contributing to poor performance in English composition writing in Grade 12 in secondary schools in Kabwe. The study was designed to be a case study. The population consisted of all secondary schools in Kabwe District and 8 of them were sampled for data collection. The total sample size targeted was 168 participants out of the target population. 160 were pupils and 8 teachers from 8 schools. Research instruments used included direct observations of live composition lessons and composition tests. Quantitative data was analysed in frequencies and percentages using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), whereas qualitative data was in form of what was observed in the live composition lessons in the 8 schools. Analysis took the form of identifying the skills taught during composition writing and finding out the approach used by teachers to teach composition writing. The results of the study on the factors contributing to poor performance in English composition writing in selected schools in Kabwe district revealed that teachers lacked skills in various important areas of teaching composition in secondary schools at O’ level. These areas include composition skills, teaching approach and other factors revealed. In view of the revealed factors, the recommendations are made to teachers and schools as a way of improving the literacy levels in learners. The study suggested that since English Language is taught in 4 parts, composition writing, structure, reading comprehension and summary, perhaps further research is needed to find out how skills needed in composition writing are taught in the structure lessons.
English language-Composition and exercise , Composition(Language arts)-Study and teaching(Secondary)reasoning