Testing Speaking Skills Through Writing and Learners’ Speaking Competence in Selected Secondary Schools in Wareng’ Sub- County Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
At the end of the secondary English course, all students are expected to have acquired a significant command of English in spoken form to enable them to communicate confidently and competently in all sorts of discourse. However, by the end of secondary school, most learners are not able to speak competently in English language in most real-life situations. This study, therefore, was an investigation of the effects of testing speaking skills through writing on classroom practices and learners’ speaking competence. The specific objective was to investigate the effects of testing speaking skills through writing in Kenyan secondary schools. This study was conducted in selected secondary schools in Wareng’ Sub- County, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. This study adapted a descriptive research design. The researcher used both purposive and stratified sampling techniques to select the schools that were investigated. Data was collected using students’ questionnaire, questionnaire for the teachers of English, classroom observation guide and method of assessment guide. English language teachers and their form four students were observed during the listening and speaking English lessons. The reliability of the research instruments tested using test-retest method. The qualitative data collected was analyzed using narrative analysis, while quantitative data were analyzed using frequencies and percentages. Findings were as follows; on testing speaking skills, 43 (62.3%) revealed that testing speaking skills through writing helps in assessment of write proficiency, 15 (27.7%) revealed that it not only helps to test or monitor whether students have mastered words spellings but it helps them improve on word spelling. 11(15.9%) revealed that the when they get the spellings right, then it led to improvement in speech. The study concluded that testing speaking skills through writing helps in assessment of write proficiency. Learners engage in groupwork which improves there speaking competence. The study recommended that a study should be conducted to establish the challenges associated with testing speaking skills orally in all public secondary schools in Kenya.
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