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Purity Rosa Kimanzi - Master of Education in Language Education, School of Education, Department of Educational Communication and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Adelheid Bwire - Department of Educational Communication and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Florence Miima - Department of Educational Communication and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kenya


Writing is crucial in everyday life and especially in academic life where written work is used to gauge students‟ ability. Surprisingly, writing is the most difficult skill to learn especially in English as a second language. The English language teacher has to give effective and efficient feedback to students in their writing tasks in order to enable them to achieve competence in their essays. This study investigated the influence of teacher feedback techniques on secondary school students‟ essay writing skills in Nairobi County. It explored how teacher feedback techniques affect composition writing skills among the form three students in Njiru Sub County.The Transaction model of the communication theory by Barlund (2008) formed the basis of the theoretical framework. The study adopted the descriptive survey design. The target population was form three students and teachers of English in public secondary schools in Njiru Sub County. Purposive sampling technique was used to get a sample of 12 English language teachers. Simple random sampling technique was used to get the sample population of 96 students. The data collection instruments were questionnaires, lesson observation schedule and document analysis of students‟ marked compositions. The validity and reliability of these instruments were determined by a pilot study as well as the opinion of the supervisors. Data was tabulated, coded and processed using statistical package for social science (SPSS Version 21) software. The quantitative data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages and presented by use of charts, tables and percentages. Qualitative data was thematically analysed. Statistical inference was determined using an alpha=5% (p<0.05). The findings of this study established that teachers mainly used question and answer, and lecture method to teach composition writing. Group discussion, brain storming and debate were rarely used; however, the methods have been found to enhance composition writing skills. The study also established that teachers assessed students by giving them a phrase to start or to end a composition with. Methods that highly involve learners such as giving a context, showing a film or giving a picture to create a story were least embraced by teachers in assessment. The results also revealed that grades and codes were the most used feedback strategies by teachers. It was further revealed that students responded to teacher feedback by taking notes and revising work learnt in class. The results also showed that students value teacher feedback. This study established that there is need for consistent use of effective feedback strategies that ensure that the learner is actively involved in the lessons. The study recommends that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, policy makers and teachers come up with proper strategies for giving feedback to learners in English composition.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)