The use of information communication technologies in the development of language skills in secondary schools in Lubaga Division Kampala District
Kaddu, Gerald Nalumenya
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The study explored the use of ICTs for the development of language skills in secondary schools in Lubaga Division, Kampala District. Grounded on Siemens and Downes (2010) ICT Connectivism theory, the study sought to establish the ICT applications and tools used, ICT-based language-skills development activities and the pedagogical characteristics (affordances) of available ICTs to facilitate tasks and activities for language skills development. The study used a cross-sectional survey, applying stratified random sampling and data was analyzed using questionnaires, interviews and non-participant observation. Data were collected from nine private secondary schools and the study findings indicate that; 1) From the five types of ICTs; visual, pictorial, projection, audio and word processing technologies, schools used more of visual support technologies mainly charts and web-pages, and word processing technologies mainly micro-soft word and spelling and grammar checkers; schools had limited use of pictorial and audio support technologies for developing language skills. This is exhibited by a 52% of the respondents who reported to use word processing technologies for development of speaking, reading and writing skills; 2) From the four types of ICT-based language skills development activities, teachers and students engaged more in reading, writing and listening skills activities, and rarely engaged in speaking skills activities; 3) The available ICTs had affordances to facilitate tasks and activities for the development of mainly reading and writing skills as exhibited by a 54% response, yet the ICTs available had less affordances that facilitate tasks and activities for the development of listening and speaking skills as portrayed by 36% of the respondents. The study concluded that; ICTs are a major tool in the development of language skills among the learners, teachers play a great role in facilitating the development of the language skills among the learners, and the affordances of ICTs play a cardinal role in the development of the language skills among the learners. The study recommends that; 1) Secondary schools should adopt the use of ICT applications and tools to develop all the four language skills among the learners; 2) English language teachers should be trained in ICT-based language activities to develop digital competences for utilization of ICT affordances effectively for language skills development; 3) Students should be provided with activities for utilizing ICT applications and tools for developing their language skills; 4) School administrators and teachers should be trained in ICT affordance analysis to enable them make appropriate ICT resourcing decisions and choice.