Enhancing ESL learners' oral communication through use of discussion strategy: an action research study

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Zeenat Shariff

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Fauzia Shamim


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Students' oral communication in classroom settings where english is a second language facilitate their development in the use of the language, thereby increase their language store. This is important if they areto use the language meaningfully. However, teaching and learnig processes in some English language classrooms in Dar es salaam, Tanzania, revealed inadequate opportunities for developing learners' oral communication.

This action resaerch study, therefore, explored how discussion strategy can be used to data collection methods used were interviews, classroom pbservation, reflective conversations and documentary analysis.

Findings from the study suggest that discussion increases the quality and quantity of oral interactions, facilities learning of new words and creates a positive affective climate in the classroom. However, in order to realize these benefits, the teacher's role is vital in setting clear tasks., providing opportunities for speaking and ensuring a safe and encouraging classroom climate. In addition, teacher's wide knowledge base and skills in pedagogy ease facilitation of effective discussions.

Althrough learners' oral communication was ehanced, the prevalent language in use in the school; Kiswahili, still affected the amount of English spoken outside the classroom.

Recommendations and implications for second language classroom practice, traditionally dominated by teacher talk, are discussed.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library