Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 5(4), pp. 698 - 704
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2017.050420
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Action Research: The Panacea for Challenges in ESL Teaching in Kenya

Teresa A. Okoth 1,*, Irene Simiyu 2
1 Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya
2 Kibabii University, Kenya


Teachers of English in contexts where English is a second language are constantly thinking about their practice. It may be about routine classroom events or an initiative that one wishes to implement but wonders how best to. While solutions to some of these concerns may be found in In-service experiences, literature and study findings, most of the solutions do not consider the context and are majorly prescribed in a one-size-fits-all manner. The situation is not helped by in-service opportunities that are organized to avail 'new' knowledge which facilitators feel teachers lack. This is exacerbated by the lack of follow-up support that teachers may require when implementing the new ideas in their classes. However, this need not be so as demonstrated by literature and studies which reveal that teachers can learn from their practice and in their context by identifying the challenging area and working alone or with colleagues. Action Research (AR) is one method that has been indicated for a number of reasons. Its key attribute is that it allows teachers to engage in collaborative actions that will lead to their understanding of practice while at the same time developing themselves professionally. This positional paper will make a case for AR as a solution to the challenges that face language instruction in the Kenyan ESL context. The paper will also briefly point out the thorny issue of ethical considerations in researching one's practice. The authors consider this an invitation to debate on how teachers can navigate ethical issues in the Kenyan ESL context.

Action Research, Reflection, Collaborative Learning, Professional Development, Classroom Practice

Cite this paper
Teresa A. Okoth , Irene Simiyu . "Action Research: The Panacea for Challenges in ESL Teaching in Kenya." Universal Journal of Educational Research 5.4 (2017) 698 - 704. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2017.050420.