Teaching and learning of English language speaking skill in government aided secondary schools in Masaka municipality : practice and challenges
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This study was undertaken to assess the practices and challenges in the teaching of the English language speaking skill in government-aided secondary schools in Masaka Municipality. It was guided by the following objectives; to investigate the practices involved in the teaching of the English language speaking skill, to establish the challenges teachers face in the teaching of the English language speaking skill, and to investigate the learner related challenges in the teaching and learning of the English language speaking skill in government-aided secondary schools of Masaka Municipality. The study was hinged on the communicative competence by Dell Hymes and guided by a cross-sectional case study research design which employed interview, questionnaire, observation, and documentary analysis as data collection methods. The researcher used simple random sampling for students and purposive sampling for teachers. The researcher randomly selected 253 students and 18 teachers as the sample for the study. In relation to practices involved in the teaching of speaking skills, the study found out that; there was use of role play, visual methodologies, Grammar translation method, Communicative language learning method, and Conversation analysis as the main methods used by teachers in the teaching of the English language speaking skill. On the teacher related challenges, the study revealed that the main challenges affecting the teaching of the English language skill were; few qualified teachers of English language, large numbers of students in English language classes, failure to examine the speaking skill, and lack of a well-defined curriculum. Regarding the learner related challenges, the study found out that fear of making mistakes, criticism and shyness, failure to formulate opinions and relevant comments uneven participation in conversation, overuse of mother tongue, less attention given to English language use in class, and failure of teachers to use teaching aids while teaching English language were key factors in learner related challenges affecting the teaching and learning of English language speaking skill in government-aided secondary schools in Masaka Municipality. From the above findings, the researcher was of the view that if all the stakeholders, that is, the Ministry of Education, the teachers, parents, and students came on board and played their respective roles, there could be an improvement in the teaching and learning of the English language speaking skill. In return this would help people, in general, to discover the purpose in their own and others' communication which people communicate so as to interact with others more effectively.