study sought to identify factors that affect effective teaching and learning of
the English language in the secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area
of Enugu State. The study was carried
out using seven secondary schools as a random selection from schools located in
both urban and rural areas. One hundred (100) English language students were
equally used for the study. The
instrument for data collection was the questionnaire and structured oral
interview while simple percentage was used to answer the research questions.
result of the study showed that large class-size, unavailability of qualified
teachers, lack of students’ interest and no assignments to students were among
the factors identified by the researcher will influence the performance of
students in English language in the secondary schools.
course of the study, some questions were raised, for example:
Does the school
have enough qualified English language teachers.
English allowed to be used as means of communication within the school
Altogether, 15 questions were formulated and
answered. Based on the two sets of
instruments administered to 100 students from seven randomly selected secondary
schools, some findings were made such as:
mother tongue interference on the students’ mastery of English language.
speaking in the school premises pose a problem on students’ performance in
There are also lack of qualified English language
teachers, well-equipped libraries and unavailability of instructional
Based on these findings, the following
recommendations were made:
should employ more qualified teachers and expand number of secondary schools to
reduce the ratio of students per teacher to 1:35 students as stipulated in the
NPE or even 1:30.
planners should work with the government to equip secondary schools with well
equipped libraries, instructional materials, language laboratory and textbooks
to enhance the study of English language.
be encouraged to take part in part-time programmes organized by many tertiary
institutions in order to be more competent in their teaching career.
A media should
be used to enlighten parents on the need to provide conducive home environment
for their children and encourage them to develop interest in English language
and other subjects.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents xi
List of Tables
1.1 Background of the Study 1
Purpose of the
the Study 14
TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 The prospect of English language as instrument
of communication 22
2.2 Schools Environment as a
determinant for the
success of English
language usage 28
2.3 Home Background
(sound-economic status) 35
2.4 Community environment as a
determinant for the
success of English
2.5 Facilities for analyzing
language teaching and
2.6 Language teaching
teaching skills and
THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.2 Area of
of Study 57
and sampling Technique 57
and Reliability of the instrument 58
3.7 Method of
Data Collection 60
of Instrument 60
3.9 Method of
Data Analysis 61
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS 63
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
5.1 Summary 83
5.3 Conclusion 90
5.4 Recommendations 96
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
occupies a prominent place in the Nigerian school curriculum. The English language is one of the legacies
to bequeathed Nigerians by the British which will be difficult to do away with. This is because it is the major medium of
instruction in our schools, of business transactions, of communication both
nationally and internationally. It is
equally the language of industry since science and technology are “sine qua non” for development. It is the language of mass communication and
propaganda in mass media. In literature and Arts, it is the language of
novels, poems, short stories, music and drama.
In social occasions, English language is used for conversation and
interpersonal relationship. It is also
the key to educational advancement. The
life-wire of all activities in all works of life and key for better job
It is our official
language and therefore imperative that every Nigerian should be able to read,
write and communicate in good simple English.
This is important if Nigeria should overcome its health, economic,
political and social problems. For
instance, health for all in the year 2020 will be unrealizable if citizens
cannot read simple prescriptions in English; transfer of technology will also
be unrealizable if many Nigerians cannot read and understand relevant books
which are written in English.
The language is
gradually losing its standard. This is
because the multiplicity of languages in Nigeria has some influence on the
English spoken by Nigerians. One is
again baffled to notice that secondary school students perform badly in West
African School Certificate in English language Examination. In view of this, teaching and the use of
English language should be given prominent attention in secondary schools as
the majority of Nigerian parents are illiterates and cannot provide a conducive
home environment for language acquisition nor afford good schools for their
children’s education Azikiwe (1985). The environment will always affect the
The need for mastery of
English at the child’s early stages in life is far reaching because it makes
for effective communication, better understanding and academic performance as
the child moves from one level of education to another. A child with a solid knowledge of English
language at the primary school will encounter less problems in reading and
understanding books and materials on science and technology which are to a
large extent positively correlated with social and economic development. There is need therefore for much more concern
about effective teaching and learning of English language in our secondary
schools and about products of our secondary schools not being able to
meaningfully express themselves in English.
From the foregoing, the
English language is very important now that the country is geared towards
technological, social, economic and political development. A solid foundation in English should be laid
for the children, right from the start as the much-talked about transfer of
technology will be meaningless if the majority of Nigerians are poor at English
as most materials on science and technology are written in English. Lack of understanding of these materials and
poor communication with experts will definitely hamper our move for national
development in all spheres of life.
Moreover, for success in the campaign on rural development currently
going on which advocates literacy and awareness for rural dwellers, English
should be given a premier position in education of the rural dwellers for them
to be able to contribute effectively to the improvement and development of
their families, communities and the entire nation.
Teachers of English
have a role to play to lay a solid foundation for the teaching of English as a
subject. The researcher therefore sought
to find out from teachers of English in secondary schools as well as senior
secondary students, the influence of environment on performance of students in
However, the English
language is not an indigenous language to this country. Time was, when no word of English was spoken
in Nigeria. It was about the middle of
the 18th century when the English language started making appearance in the linguistic map of the
country. The language came from
Britons. Before the English language,
other European languages exited, such as the Portuguese language. As far back as the 16th century,
they came around the Niger Delta and Lagos.
Trade was an important factor to the coming of the English language in
Nigeria. The pattern of trade was cocoa
in exchange for gun-powder, clothing materials with the system of trade known
as trade by barter.
The trade took another
dimension of slave trade which is known as the trans-Atlantic and trans-Saharan
trades called “the triangular slave trade” (1879). The slaves carried to America learnt English
there. Apart from the slave trade and
explorers, the first deliberate effort to implant the English language was
through the missionaries. We first had
the Church Missionary Society also known as (C.M.S) which settled in
Badagry. After them were the
Presbyterians, the Methodists and the Baptists, before the Catholic came. They came to evangelize to preach and educate
people about the evils of slave trade.
The factors that contributed to the spread of the learning of English
was that these missionaries needed people who would be educated in English to
help in reading the Bible (lay readers) and in its translation into native
language. Consequently, schools were
established to train lay readers Catechist etc.
There were clergymen like Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther who aided the spread of the language.
The English that was
studied then was Queen’s English in the schools followed by religious
knowledge, and Arithmetic known as 3Rs.
With the help of the missionaries, the native languages were first
documented. With the advent of
missionaries, colonialism came with the entrenchment of English language in
Nigeria. They came to protect their
nations and so with time, district courts came and government domains unknown
to most Africans.
During the colonial
era, the colonialist preordained English language as the Queen of subjects so
that the civil servants can serve them with it as a working tool. They started giving grants-in-aids, tied to
the quantity and quality of English being taught in the school. With colonialism, the English language has
been formally entrenched in Nigeria.
Besides these factors, other factors have contributed since then. The educational system has promoted English
language in Nigeria: Hence,
taught as a subject.
used as a medium of instruction
It was a
yardstick for certification
also promoted in making it a criterion for upward mobility.
as access subject for higher education, that is, if you want to attend a higher
institution you must have your English language.
socio-economic factors have also contributed to the growth of English language
in Nigeria. It gave access to employment
right from the colonial era. People
reverted those working with the white man.
So, it gave a social status that is above average. Until recently, there was still prestige for
someone with the mastery of English language.
Nsukka Local government
is a bilingual society. It is inhabited mostly by lower-class citizens. This is why “vernacular” is commonly used in
Nsukka Local Government Area especially among students of secondary schools.
It has been observed
that there are many instances of physical environment in which a society lives
being reflected in its language, often in the structure of the lexicon – the
way in which distinctions are made by means of single world (Trudgil,
1971). For instance, the Bedowin Arabic
has as large camel vocabulary whereas the Fulani of Nigeria has just one label
similarly many words will be used to express cold in temperate region
communities and hot in tropical environments and so in Nsukka Local government
Since the government
has implemented the educational language policy in the country, it is vividly
true that environment handicap has contributed greatly to the problems but then
there are equally other factors that have contributed to the total differences
on English language mastery by students, in secondary schools in Nsukka Local
Government Area such as:
Non use of learning
activities, inadequate of skilled teachers, lack of operation of audio-visual
with the aid of electricity, mother tongue, interference, pidgin English
interference, lack of adequate library facilities, poor social infratructural
facilities; physical condition of classroom situation. Lack of evaluation of inspectorate to
schools. Finally, social class problem
and lack of instructional material and poor preparation by teachers.
OF THE STUDY
The importance of the
relationship between the English language and society cannot be over emphasized
in education of the student and indeed in the growth and development of any
The English language
plays a vital role to the government as it is being used for the purpose of
government and administration, as documentation of government records;
administrative instruction and minutes, legislation; court records and
Again English is most
noticeable in the field of education as it is being introduced as a subject in
the first years of primary school and from the third year of the primary school
up to university level as a medium of instruction. This in effect, means that the Nigerian
child’s access to the cultural and scientific knowledge of the world is largely
through English since the products of the schools will be absorbed into types
of employment where English is the official medium of communication and where
congruently, proficiency in English to a necessary qualification, the
pre-eminent position of English in the educational system is likely to remain
for long time.
Furthermore, in the
mass media, English is in a predominant position. All the national newspapers are published in
English, Radio, non-musical programmes, newscasters. Television are almost entirely in English.
Therefore, the main
purpose of this study is to look at how some environmental factors affect
students’ performance in English, its prospects and problems faced by
students. In addition, the study is
geared towards making some recommendations.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will
be of great significance to the students, teachers, parents, educational
planners, language planners as well as the government.
instill in the learners/students the quest and zeal to study and master
teachers, it will enable them to be committed by making adequate preparations
of their lesson note and lesson plan.
part of the parents, the feed back they get through their children’s results
will motivate them to encourage their children in the requisition of the
educational planners, they would be most privileged because the study will take
the form of evaluation on what they have earlier planned, thereby putting into
consideration the implementation of this policy. The language planners will discover from this
study problems faced by their schools within this language community and design
appropriate instructional materials for effective teaching and learning of the
this work will be useful too to the government.
It will enable them to make available trained personnel both for English
language and material resources for the efficient implementation of the policy. They will also be geared to make and provide
learning facilities and equipment such as textbooks, audio-visual gadgets,
conducive classrooms and other language laboratory to aid and motivate the
students in the proper method of studying English language.
In summary, this study
will be an invaluable asset to parents in shaping the English language
performance of their children because children are affected by the quantitative
and qualitative limitations of parental language model.
T.R. Bimie (1972) and
E.A. Hewit (1968) discovered through a research that teacher’s achievement in
English is closely related to parental education and occupation. This according to them is because students
are exposed to various forms of English most of which are not correct.
Again, these children
as a result, pick up slangs, words and particular linguistic register that they
eventually find difficult to drop.
According to Durojaiye “The
influence of a good home background is an invaluable aid to the child’s future
school have enough qualified English language teachers?
class size influence or affect written assignments to students?
school have a well-equipped library?
socio-economic status or background affect or influence students study of
This study is
specifically concerned with the influence of environment on the performance of
students in English language in secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government
Area of Enugu State. The environment in
this sense comprises; the physical school environment, the community
environment, home background (socio-economic status), facilities for language
teaching and learning and language teaching professional background-teaching
skills and commitment.
This study is
restricted to the secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu
State. The research work was constrained
by inadequate time, finance and lack of cooperation from few persons
questioned. The time alloted to this
study was relatively limited. However,
the researcher was able to visit all the places he intends to visit for
collection of data.
In addition to having limited time, there was
financial handicap as regards transportation to and from the town the
researcher needs to gather information necessary for the completion of this
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some terms used in this study have
been defined in their operation terms to suit the purpose of this study for
Environment: This has to do with the whole
personal behaviour together with conditions and influence that affect the
development and life of the student.
These are materials which enhance teaching and learning, assist or
promote the process of teaching and learning; such as textbooks, audio-visual
equipment, chalk, chalkboard, biro, flashcards and charts.
Pidgin English: A language that developed when
individuals from different linguistic backgrounds here and there are in need to
communicate; used basically for mutual intelligibility.
Lingua-franca: It is an
accepted official language in a multi-lingua society.
Interference: Negative influence of one language
to another usually due to proper mastery of one and an imperfect mastery of the
Mutual Intelligibility: Understanding among language
speakers when each of them speaks.
Home Background: there are factors influencing a
child from his or her family environment.
Mother Tongue: The language of a child’s mother