A Study of the Practice of Integrating Language Skills in the Teaching of English: Three Government Primary and Secondary Schools in Focus

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Addis Ababa University


The main concern of this study was to assess integrated-skills teaching/learning process at grade nine level. To this end, three schools in Addis Ababa were purposefully selected to be the settings of the study; and all the 25 English language teachers who taught English at grade nine level in the schools along with 164 students of grade nine in the schools were the subjects of the study. To collect the necessary data for the study, two sets of questionnaires (one for the teachers and another for the students) were employed as the main data collecting tools. Besides, classroom observations and document analysis (analysis of the Teacher’s Guide) were employed as supporting instruments so as to triangulate the findings of the questionnaires. Then, the collected data were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis. The study revealed that the teachers had high theoretical orientations and understanding of integrated-skills teaching principles. On the other hand, it was found that the teachers lacked practical skills of implementing integrated-skills teaching in classrooms. The study further showed that the teachers sometimes taught two language skills in integration in reading, listening, speaking and writing lessons; they hardly taught four language skills in integration in these lessons. Moreover, the teachers rarely used communicative activities and project work when they taught language skills in integration. The study also portrayed that most of the teachers could not effectively play their ‘managerial roles’ when they taught language skills in integration; and they hardly used various teaching aids and equipment when they taught language skills in integration. Insofar as the contribution of the new Teacher’s Guide to integrated-skills teaching/ learning is concerned, the study indicated that the new Teacher’s Guide created a fertile ground for integrated-skills teaching/learning in the classroom. However, the teachers did not have the new Teacher’s Guide on their hand. Furthermore, the study showed that the teachers frequently used whole class organization at the expense of pair and/or group organizations when they taught language skills in integration. Similarly, the study revealed that a number of impediments which related to the schools, the students and the teachers directly or indirectly hampered integrated- skills teaching/learning process in classrooms.



Government Primary and Secondary