Methodologies used in teaching oral communication skills in secondary schools in Lusaka urban,Zambia

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Sikaindo, Petronella
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The University of Zambia
In recent years, a definite and clear recognition of the significance of teaching the spoken English language has been on the scene. This study focuses on the choice and effectiveness of methodologies that English Language teachers use to teach Oral Communication Skills (OCSs) to Grade 10 pupils. The study adopted Vygotsky’s (1978) theory of social interaction and Eisenhart’s (1990) Five Components of Effective Oral Language Instruction for its theoretical and conceptual frameworks, respectively. A total of 54 participants were sampled. 12 of these were English language teachers, 40 Grade 10 pupils, 1 Standards Officer and 1 Senior Language Curriculum Specialist. The study applied a case study design, in which data were generated using lesson observations, semi-structured interviews and analysis of documents in the named schools. The data were analysed by categorizing them into identified themes and sub-themes according to research objectives and their corresponding questions. The findings showed that most teachers used the Task-based (TB) and the Text-based Instruction (TBI), and applied various instructional strategies and teaching/learning materials supporting the use of these teaching methods. Successful teaching of these skills, however, remains a challenge as English, the official language of instruction, is a second and foreign language for both teachers and pupils. Lack of adequate training in teaching methodology and the laxity of both teachers and pupils also posed a great challenge. The study also revealed that limited resources which include prescribed teaching/learning materials that go along with the recommended methods impede successful delivery of lessons and in turn affect learners’ English language communicative competence. The findings of this study, however, may not be generalised due to the limited scope, but may apply in other public schools with similar set-up. Conclusively, the study recommends serious commitment to the teaching of Oral Language (OL) skills in secondary schools, which include; the provision of necessary teaching/learning materials to support both the teachers’ and learners’ proficiency in the spoken English Language
Oral communication--Study and teaching--Zambia