Effective Strategies for Improving Essay Writing Skills: A Survey of the Teaching and Learning Practices of Essay Writing at Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Ordinary Level (O-Levels)
This is a comparative study of the teaching strategies practised for English essay writing at Secondary School Certificate (SSC/Matriculation) and the General Certificate of Education-Ordinary level (GCE-O-Level) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. The study has the objectives to compare and contrast the teaching strategies for English essay writing at SSC and O-Level in order to propose effective teaching strategies for the improvement of students’ English essay writing skills. The population of the study has included English Language teachers and students of SSC and O-Level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province through the Stratified Random sampling technique. By adopting the Mixed Methods Research approach, questionnaires having both open and close-ended questions were employed for collecting data from teachers and students. The data obtained through questionnaires were analyzed descriptively and by applying the T-test. The study has revealed that O-Level teachers follow students-centered approaches i.e. Direct and Activity-based methods that ensure the participation of the students during the process of teaching and learning. Whereas, the SSC level teachers frequently use teachers-centered approaches i.e. Grammar Translation Method (GTM) and Lecture Method that ultimately develop cramming in students. The study has recommended the provision of proper professional training to SSC level teachers and modern facilities in classrooms in Government schools.
Keywords: comparative study, eassy writing, SSC and O-level, teaching strategies.
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