Title

Exploring the use of drama in the English language classes

Date of Award

12-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fulgence Swai Saronga

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Samuel Andema

Department

Institute for Educational Development, East Africa

Abstract

The ever changing world of the learner, the sway of developing technologies and the shifting demands of the world of work has amplified the need for powerful teaching. The 21st century teaching requires interactive, learner centered techniques that transform content knowledge into powerful, yet adaptive forms that can address the lofty demands of the modern classroom. The blame for the low linguistic competences among Kenyan school leavers has often been directed at the poor choices of teaching methods. This study, therefore, explored the use of drama as a learner centered method in the English language classes. It adopted a qualitative approach and a case study design involving a primary school in the Kisii south sub-county, Kisii County, Kenya. Data was collected through lesson observations, interviews, focus group discussion and document analysis, and the findings arrived at through content analysis. The findings reveal a gap between the teachers’ understanding of drama and its application in class that results from several factors ranging from lack of professional development training, time constrains and perceptions. However, findings also indicate learners’ preference of drama activities over conventional methods, and a general consensus on the potentiality of drama in boosting learners’ linguistic competence, interest, creativity, confidence, self- esteem and retention of content. The study recommends emphasis and extensive use of learner centered activities especially drama in class, continuous professional development training for the teachers, an English curriculum that is aligned to the demands of the 21st century and incorporation of drama in language pedagogy into the teacher preparation programs. Further study such as comparison of drama and non-drama pupils, role of drama in teaching other subjects among others is recommended.

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