Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 3 March 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan

Muhammad Rashid Hafeez, Ph.D. Candidate
Saiqa Imtiaz Asif, Ph.D.


This paper, a part of a Ph.D. thesis in progress, aims to compare the relative efficacy of the grammar translation method (GTM) and dramatics in developing composition skills of secondary school English language learners. Pre-test post-test control group design was used to collect data.

The sample consisted of 138 secondary school students, and was randomly assigned to the control and the experimental groups on the basis of a pre-test. After the treatment, a post-test was administered in order to measure the difference of achievement. The rating scale for measuring different components of composition was developed and validated before the actual test.

The t-test was used to find out the significant difference between the means of the two scores at the selected probability level i.e. x=.05. It was found that the students taught through dramatics performed significantly better than those taught through GTM. The study recommends that dramatics should be frequently used to develop creative and original writing among the learners of English.

Key words

Drama, Language Teaching/Learning, Composition Skills


English has held sway in Pakistani linguistic scene for almost 150 years, a hundred years before the country came into being. It has the status of an official language in Pakistan. Though there was a provision in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (1973) for the adoption of Urdu as the Official language (Article 251), it has not yet materialized into a reality.

Granted that a dominant majority of people are not well versed in English, there is at least a wish to learn the English language "because it is an upper-class status-marker, and facilitates, or at least gives hope of, moving into the national or even the cosmopolitan elite" (Rahman, 1998:230).

The teaching and learning of this language has carried on since the British times. However, those who are fluent in it could not be more than three to four percent of the population (Rahman, 2002). These chosen few come mostly from the elite class, and thus English becomes a medium of stratification (Mustafa, 2009). Being cognizant of "social stratification of elite and non-elite", emerging from the opportunities to learn English, Government of Pakistan (2009: 27) envisioned that "opportunities shall be provided to children from low socio-economic strata to learn English language".

An important aspect of language learning/teaching is the choice of method for teaching a foreign language. In most of the Pakistani schools, English is taught through the traditional grammar translation method. It is in these schools that 'children from low socio-economic strata' learn English. These children have a lower level of proficiency in all aspects of English including composition. They are often seen lacking when required to write an original creative piece of composition. It remains to be seen whether a change in method of teaching the composition skills will improve the situation. However, it would be appropriate to see how composition is taught at Pakistani schools before venturing on to discuss a new method.

Teaching Composition in Pakistani Schools

The Government of Pakistan (2006) set the standards for all the language competencies that it envisioned the students and teachers to meet.

The standard set for achieving the writing competency states that "all students will produce with developing fluency and accuracy, academic, transactional and creative writing, which is focussed purposeful and shows an insight into the writing process" (ibid:8). Contrary to this, most of the English learners in Pakistani government schools cram the composition units to get through the class exams.

Most of the classes in Pakistani schools are of a large size in which it becomes difficult for the teachers to pay attention to the needs of the students (Azhar, 2004).

Chughtai (1990) expresses his grief over the inability of the students in using the grammar of the language. He also observes that the students lack command over the structure of the language and with a majority of the students, vocabulary, in particular, is a big problem. The secondary level students lack understanding of the language and are unable to communicate properly in the language.

The present syllabus does not help in developing speaking and writing skills of the students (Azhar, 2004).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Linguistics of Newspaper Advertising in Nigeria | Women in Advertisements | Case-Assignment Under Government in Modern Literary Arabic | Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Very Young Learners: A Case from Turkey | Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin | A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion - Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident | Pariksha: Test by Prem Chand | Treatment of City in Nayantara Sahgal's Storm in Chandigarh | Phrasal Stress in Telugu | Stress Among ELT Teachers: A Study of Performance Evaluation from a Private Secondary School in Haryana | Willa Cather’s Portrayal of the Pioneer Virtues in Alexandra Bergson with Reference to O Pioneers! | Man-Woman Relationship in Nayantara Sahgal's Mistaken Identity | Classroom Management and Quality Control - An Action Research | Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey | Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan | Narrative Technique, Language and Style in R. K. Narayan's Works | Diasporic Crisis of Dual Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake | To Teach or Not to Teach Grammar isn't the Question Any Longer - A Case for Consciousness-Raising Tasks | Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability | Coda Deletion in Yemeni Tihami Dialect (YTD)- Autosegmental Analysis | The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock
| Developing an English Curriculum for a Premedical Program | The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels | Indian English: A Linguistic Reality | The Unpredictability of the Sonority of English Words | Women's Representation in Polity: A Need to Enhance Their Participation | Nandhini Oza's Concern for the Tribal Welfare in "The Dam Shall Not Be Built" | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF MARCH 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of March 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Muhammad Rashid Hafeez, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of English
Federal College of Education
H-9, Islamabad

Saiqa Imtiaz Asif, Ph.D.
Department of English
BZU Multan

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