Influence of English Language Teachers’ Behavior on Secondary School Learners’ Verbal Communicative Abilities in the Classroom. (Published)
Learners’ verbal communication in the classroom is influenced by many factors, teachers’ communicative behavior being one of them. Teachers play a crucial role in moulding patterns of communication in the classroom. Studies that have been done have revealed that most of the students in schools are unable to communicate in the English language especially in multilingual countries like Kenya. Learners are exposed to the target language within a very short time of 40 minutes lesson per day while the majority of the talking is done by the teacher. The objective of the study was to establish the behavior of an English language teacher in the classroom and how it influences learners` verbal communicative abilities. Hyme`s (1972) theory of communicative competence was used as a basis of the theoretical framework. This study was conducted in Kericho County, Kipkelion District in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The target population comprised of 600 learners and 30 teachers of English from 15 secondary schools. Purposive and stratified random samplings were used to select 4 schools, 8 teachers and 100 form 3 students. Questionnaires and lesson observation guides were instruments of data collection. Validity was ascertained by experts from the department of education. Reliability was done by use of pilot study through test-retest to obtain reliability at 0.05 level of confidence. Data were analyzed by use of descriptive statistics in the form of mean and percentage. The findings revealed that 10% of teachers use English, while 20% use Kiswahili(an East African Lingual franca) while 30% use vernacular and sheng (slang). It implies that teachers as role models influence their learners not to communicate in English by using other languages. The study recommends that teachers should attend English induction courses and language laboratories that will train them to develop competence in using the English language, throughout in classroom for learners to get the desirable language output.