Macdonald Omuse Omuna, Mak’obila Laban Adero


Learning activities play a crucial role in the instructional process. The use of efficient teaching and learning activities enhances the teaching and learning of English language. However, performance of English language among secondary school students in Kenya has remained poor over the years (2013-2018) as depicted by poor Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results. This can partly be attributed to failure of teachers to adopt appropriate learning activities. Therefore, this study investigated the influence of learning activities used on students’ achievement in English grammar in secondary schools in Kenya. This study was guided by Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory and anchored on pragmatic philosophical paradigm. The study employed an exploratory sequential mixed methods approach utilizing quasi-experimental design of non-randomized control group, pre-test-post-test. The target population involved 3399 Form Two students and 84 teachers of English from Teso North Sub-County, Kenya. Stratified and simple random sampling were used to select 10 schools. Simple random sampling was used to select 509 students. Purposive and simple random were used to select 10 teachers. Data was generated using interview schedule, observation schedule, questionnaire and English Grammar Achievement Tests. Validity was determined by expert judgment and piloting. Reliability of the pre-test and post-test were established by test-retest which yielded a coefficient of 0.94 and 0.76 respectively. Cronbach Alpha was used to determine the reliability of the questionnaire which yielded a coefficient of 0.85. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive data was presented through tables of frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviation. Inferential statistics involved t-test and Pearson correlation. Qualitative data was analyzed using narrative analysis technique and presented through narration and direct quotes. The findings revealed that teachers predominantly used individual activities when teaching grammar, language games and group work had a positive influence on students’ achievement in grammar. Pearson Correlation results revealed that there existed statistically significant relationship between learning activities and achievement in grammar (r = .723, n = 509, p = .001). The study concluded that learning activities used influenced students’ achievement in grammar. Language games and group work are effective to be used in enhancing students’ achievement in English grammar than individual activities. This study recommends that teachers of English language should adopt language games and group work activities when teaching English grammar.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


achievement, grammar, learning activities, instructional practices

Full Text:



Achmad, D. & Yusuf, Y. Q. (2014). Observing pair-work in an English speaking class. International Journal of Instruction, 7(1), 152-164. Retrieved August 26, 2019 from www.e-iji.net.

Adhikari, B. (2017). Student teachers’ views on grammar and grammar teaching, and its communication to their students. Journal of NELTA, 22(1-2), 88-102. Retrieved December 17, 2019. doi: 10.3126/nelta.v22i1-2.20044.

Akan, D & Basar, M. (2013). The effect of the classroom activities on classroom management in the teaching- learning process: The case of Uşak City. Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 3(4), 147-165. Retrieved November 17, 2018 from http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/. doi.org/10.13054/mije.

Al-Jarrah, J. M., Waari, O. T., Talafhah, R. H., & Al-Jarrah, T. M. (2019). Improving English grammar achievement through educational games among eleventh grade students in East Jerusalem. International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development, 8(1), 75-86. Retrieved April, 2 2020 from www.hrmars.com

Argawati, N. O. (2014). Improving students’ speaking skill using group discussion. ELTIN Journal, 2 (2), 74-81.

Ary, D., Jacobs, L., Razavieh, A. & Sorensen, C. (2010). Introduction to research in education. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

Baker, J. & Westrup, H. (2000). The English language teacher’s handbook: How to teach large classes with few resources. London: Continuum.

Baldwin, P. (2012). With drama in mind: Real learning in imagined worlds (2nd ed.). London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Bednar, A. K., Cunningham, D., Duffy, T. M., & Perry, J. D. (Eds.). (1992). Theory into practice: How do we link? In Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: A Conversation; Duffy, T. M., Jonassen, D.H., Routledge: New York, NY, USA, 17-34.

Boudreault, C. (2010). The benefits of using drama in the ESL/EFL classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, 16(1). Retrieved November 4, 2018 from http://iteslj.org/ http://iteslj.org/Articles/Boudreault-Drama.html

Chickering, A., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice. AAHE Bulletin, 39, 3-7.

Coughlan, P. & Duff, P. (1994). Same task, different activities: Analysis of SLA from an activity theory perspective. In J. Lantolf & G. Appel (Eds.), Vygotskian approaches to second language research (pp. 173-194). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Doff A. (1988). Teach English: A training course for teachers. New York: Press Syndicate of University of Cambridge.

Ekua, T. A. & Kofi. N. S. (2015). Factors affecting students’ performance in English at colleges of education in Ghana. International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and Literature (IMPACT: IJRHAL), 3 (10), 29-44. Retrieved December 17, 2017 from www.impactjournals.us.

Fraenkel, J. R., Wallen, N. E., & Hyun, H. H. (2012). How to design and evaluate research in education (8th ed.). New York: Mc Graw Hill.

Funnell, P. (2017). Using audience response systems to enhance student engagement and learning in information literacy teaching. Journal of Information Literacy, 11 (2), 28-50. doi: 10.11645/11.2.2238

Gathumbi, A. and Masembe, S. C. (2005). Principles and techniques in language teaching, Nairobi: Jomo Kenyatta Foundation.

Gordon, T. (2007). Teaching young children a second language. London: Library of Congress Cataloguing Publications.

Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching (3rd ed.). London: Longman.

Huang, Y. I. (2008). Role play for ESL/EFL children in the English classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, 14 (2). Retrieved October 21, 2018 from http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Huang-RolePlay.html

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. (2002). Secondary school education syllabus. Vol. 1, KICD, Nairobi: Kenya.

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. (2006). Secondary English teachers’ handbook. Nairobi: Kenya.

Kenya National Examination Council. (2013-2018). Report on candidates’ performance in Kenya certificate of secondary education. Nairobi: KNEC.

Khan, T. (2016). Application of group work in teaching grammar. Unpublished Master of Arts in TESOL thesis BRAC University.

Klancar, N. I. (2006, November). Developing speaking skills in the young learners’ classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, 12 (11), Retrieved June 3, 2020 from http://iteslj.org/

Madeja, M. (2003). Learning grammar and vocabulary through dialogues. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:UQoAhCqDBIsJ:www.iv-gim.is.net.pl/source/dialog.doc

McDonough, K. (2004). Learner-learner interaction during pair and small group activities in a Thai EFL context. System, 32(2), 207-224.

Mutsotso, E. and Nabukonde, L. (2019). An analysis of characteristics and students’ understanding of integrated skills approach in teaching English language in selected secondary schools in Nairobi County. African Research Journal of Education and Social Sciences, 6(1), 13-22. Retrieved April 18, 2020 from www.arjess.org.

Nasmilah, F. & Rahman, F. (2017). Applying group work to improve student’s grammar achievements. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (IJIR), 3 (5), 11971-1975. Retrieved June 27, 2020 from http://www.onlinejournal.in.

National Commission on Excellence in Education (NCEE). (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Okwara, M. O., Shiundu, O. J., & Indoshi, F. C. (2009). Towards a model of integrated English language curriculum for secondary schools in Kenya. Educational Research and Review 4 (5), 301-309. Retrieved September 26, 2019 from http://www.academicjournals.org/ERR.

Palardy, G. J., & Rumberger, R. W. (2008). Teacher effectiveness in first grade: The importance of background qualifications, attitudes, and instructional practices for student learning. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30 (2), 111-140. doi. 10.3102/0162373708317680.

Rafael, J. (2017). English teachers’ roles in promoting learners’ learning autonomy in EFL class of public senior high schools of ENDE regency in academic Year 2016/2017. Journal of Education and Human Development, 6 (2), 105-112. doi: 10.15640/jehd.v6n2a11.

Richards, J. C., & Reppen, R. (2014). Towards a pedagogy of grammar instruction. RELC Journal, 45 (1), 5-25. DOI: 10.1177/0033688214522622.

Sabricon, A. & Metin, E. (2000). Songs, verse, and games for teaching grammar.

Sert, O. (2013). Comparative analysis of pair work and individual assignments in two ELT classes. Journal of Language and Learning, 3(2), 219-232.

Shende, R. (2014). A study of effectiveness of English language games on the student’s academic achievement regarding grammar. Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies 1 (1), 1-7. Retrieve on September 12, 2019 from www.srjis.com.

Shuls, J. V. & Ritter, G. W. (2012, November). If a tree falls in a forest, but no one hears Kappan, 94(3), 34-38. Retrieved April 4, 2018 from kappanmagazine.org doi: 10.2307/41763673.

Syomwene, A. (2016). Motivating learners in the teaching and learning of the English language curriculum in schools in Kenya: the teacher’s role. International Journal of Education and Research, 4 (2), 19-30. Retrieved April 19, 2020 from www.ijern.com.

Syomwene, A., Barasa, L. P. & Kindiki, J. N. (2015). The practice of new oral language structures by learners in the teaching of the English language curriculum in the primary school education in Kenya. Journal of Scientific Research & Reports. 7 (5), 377-385. doi: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/18299.

Toprak, T. E. (2019). Teaching grammar is not my main responsibility. Exploring EFL teachers’ beliefs about grammar teaching. International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET), 6 (1), 205-221. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from http://www.iojet.org/index.php/IOJET/article/view/398

Ur, P. (2004). A course in language teaching: Practice and theory. Cambridge

University Press.

Vernon, S. (2008). Who else wants to use-175 games to inject fun enthusiasm into their ESL classes and watch their students English 200% faster! ESL games and activities for adults. Retrieved October 20, 2018 from http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/adults.htm.

Vygostsky, L. S. (1978). The mind and society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Weisberg, D., Sexton, S., Mulhern, J., & Keeling, D. (2009). The widget effect: Our national failure to acknowledge and act on difference in teacher effectiveness. Retrieved September 23, 2018 from website: http://tntp.org/assets/documents/TheWidgetEffect-2nd-ed.pdf.

Yalley, C. E., Amartey, A. & Adom-Fynn, D. (2020). Effectiveness of Economics teachers’ instructional practices in senior high schools in Cape Coast Metropolis. Journal of Educational and Psychological Research, 2 (1), Retrieved June 16, 2020 from www.opastoline.com.

Zaswita, H. & Ihsan, R. (2019). The effectiveness of pair work activities technique on writing ability of students in vocational school. Indonesian TESOL Journal, 1(2), 1-73.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejel.v6i1.3326


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2015. European Journal of English Language Teaching (ISSN 2501-7136) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).