Supporting teachers to enhance students' classroom talk in a public secondary school in a Dar es salaam.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Ruth Oteinoh

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Classroom talk is verbal communication used in the classroom by the teacher and students and among students to negotiate meaning in the process of teaching and learning. Previous studies conducted in sub Saharan Africa on classroom talk have focused on the teacher and have found that classroom talk is mainly teacher-dominated. However. This study focuses on enhancing students' classroom talk. The aim of this study was to explore how a teacher educator can support teachers to enhance students classroom talk using structured group work. The study was a classroom-based action research which used qualitative methods of data collection. Two interviews were conducted, one at the beginning and another at the end of the study. Classroom observations were also carried out for a period of four weeks where the researcher and the two co-researchers planned for lessons, taught and reflected on the lessons. Moreover, analysis of the curriculum was done to establish the teaching and learning strategies recommended. At the reconnaissance stage the findings revealed teacher-dominated classroom talk with students being mainly passive recipients in the classroom. The teaching and learning strategies used were lengthy explanations where the teachers predominantly asked close-ended questions that did not foster students' classroom talk. At the intervention phase, structured group work was used to enhance students classroom talk. The findings indicate that by supporting teachers in the classroom to group students in mixed-ability groups, teach and reinforce basic social skills, assign roles to the students and design tasks that promote working collaboratively, the students actively engaged in classroom talk. The findings support the notion that when teachers are supported in their classrooms to use structured group work, students' classroom talk is enhanced.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library