Using discussion as a teaching technique to improve learners oral communication skills in english language lessons: a case of a rural public school in Homa Bay County, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Shelina Walli

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fortidas.R. Bakuza


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This qualitative research study focused on the use of discussion as a teaching pedagogy to improve learners‟ oral communication in the elementary English language classrooms. The data was gathered from interviews with teachers and learners, lesson observations, various documents‟ analysis, oral tests and general observations and conversations. The findings indicated teachers‟ use of traditional methods of teaching, lack of immersion environment together with inadequate use of discussion, hindered the development of learners‟ oral communication skills in English. Other negative factors that emerged from the study were a lot of syllabus content and the use of written exercises in the English oral lessons. From the interventions, the use of group work, mother tongue, technology and informal collaborative conversations enhanced the use of discussion strategy thereby improving the learners‟ oral communication skills in English language. In addition, the use of learning materials, competition, topic of discussion, encouragement, motivation and appreciation of learners‟ efforts to speak in English were other factors that improved learners‟ oral communication skills in the English language lessons. However, time, learners‟ English language proficiency levels, the inadequate resources and discipline were factors that hindered the use of discussion.

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