INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Background of the study
English Language is the medium of instruction and transmission in our secondary schools, andhigher institutionsand also the official language of our country Nigeria. Therefore, secondary school students need an efficient English language inorder to perform better and perfectly well. Fema, (2003), as cited in Sa'ad & Usman, (2014), was of the view that “a person is functionally literate when he acquired the knowledge and skills in reading and writing which enables him to engage effectively in all those activities in which literacy is normally assumed in his culture of group”. English language normally has four basic skills, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. It is the medium of instruction in our schools and compulsory school subject that must be passed at all levels of education in Nigeria (Ochoyi & Danladi, 2008).
Today, however, we are witnessing a trend, which is a great cause of concern for all stakeholders in the educational sector across the world. The concern is about the popularity, dominance and influence ofsocial mediaon the academic performance of students, both of higher and of secondary education levels. Many recent studies have, consequently, underlined the positive and negative effects of social media on these students. (cf. Shah, Subramanian, Rouis, & Limayem, 2012; Miah, Omar & Allison-Golding, 2012; Ezeah, Asogwa & Edogor, 2013; Yahya, Olalekan, Afolabi, & Ayelaagbe 2013). The said influence is most evident in their use of English language and their performance in English language examinations.
Meanwhile, the social media is the fastest growing web application in the 21st century, a fact attested to by its wide usage and the wide-ranging consequent influence on the populace. There is indeed abundant evidence that millions of people across the world use social media on a regular basis for various reasons (Daluba & Maxwell, 2013). In fact, the wide nature of applications like Wikis, video streaming and applications, and social networks makes it the phenomenon of the century.
Though social media use cuts across all age groups, studies have, in addition, shown that it is predominant among young persons (Onuoha & Saheed, 2011) and/or students (Dahlstrom, de Boor, Grunwald, & Vockley, 2011; Al-rahmi, Othman & Musa, 2014). In fact, Rosen (2011) found that while those born between 1965-1979 (‘Generation X’), spend approximately 13 hours per day on social media, those born between 1990-1999 (‘I Generation’) spend not less than 20 hours per day on social media. Kalra and Manani (2013) pointed out that these young people use social media for interaction, socialization and entertainment.
Thus, while social media, generally, presents such benefits as encouraging greater social interaction via electronic mediums, promoting interactions among students and teachers, providing greater access to information and information sources, creating a sense of belonging among users, reducing barriers to group interaction and communications such as distance and social/economic status, and increasing the technological competency levels of frequent users, among others (Connolly, 2011; Zwart, Lindsay, Henderson & Phillips, 2011; Ahmed & Qazi, 2011); preliminary investigation and interviews with some teachers and students have, however, revealed a number of challenges in relation to student’s participation on social media networks and the many adverse influences on them. These include a high addiction rate, which affects their time of study, the wrong usage of grammar and spelling in social media discourse as well as distractions from their studies. As stated by Ndaku (2013), students spend a lot of time on social networking sites than in their academic activities and this affects their performance. Given the foregoing, therefore, this study seeks to investigate the influence of social media on the performance of senoir secondary school students in English language using Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State.
Statement of the problem
One of the factors that have been associated with the steady decline in the quality of Nigerian education system and the students they produce is the very fact that the system had in a recent time being with the wide range of educational laxity in the use of social media network. This worrisome, uncultured behaviours beside their influence among students also tends to cut across all strata of the school system both junior, senior and tertiary. It is now a common knowledge that most secondary school students not only possess Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc., accounts, but also that most of them are now addicted to the online crave of the moment (Oche & Aminu, 2010). With so many social networking sites displayed on the internet, many secondary school students are tempted to abandon their homework and reading times in preference for chatting online with friends more than their academics that disrupt the educational equilibrium in the use of English in our school system and even the society at large. Some studies have found a drop in students’ grades and academic performance, and lack of time for studies as consequences of social media network participation (Banquil et al, 2009; Kirschner and Karpinski, 2010; Ndaku, 2013), which results in their poor performance in both internal and external examinations in the English language. In Nigeria secondary schools today more especially in Nsukka Education Zone, there is a serious concern about the increase in social media network problems such as: wrong spelling, use of acronyms, waste of time and energy in chats, twitter, facebook etc. For instance, the students are used to short forms of writing words in their chat rooms; they forget and use the same in the classrooms. They use things like 4 in place of ‘for’, U in place of ‘You’, D in place of ‘The’, etc. This affects their class assessment and also most of them perform badly in English language in schools for they negatively turns to posting and accessing write-ups in distorted grammar and both leads to increase in grammatical errors, increase in wrong spellings, high rise of spelling distortions/corruption of words, high rise in use of slangs and street expressions. There is need for this distortions and anomalies to be corrected. Based on this foregoing, therefore, this study is designed to investigate the influence of social media network on the performance of secondary school students in Nsukka Education Zone.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to assess the degree to which social media influence the senior secondary school students in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. Specifically the study intends to:
1. determine how secondary school students in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State are addicted to social network and its influence on their academic performance.
2. ascertain how the use of social media positively influence their academic performance in their English language internal and external examinations.
3. find out how the social media network the students are exposed to, affect their correct use of the English language.
4. examine how the excessive use of social media network sites influence the secondary school students in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State in their reading and writing of good English grammar.
Significance of the Study
The study will help the students and society at large to benefit from the result as it will be geared towards equalization of educational opportunities to every individual, to reshape the mentality of the students in Nsukka Education Zone towards their addiction to social media network in their academic/ educational goal, and also help to restore sanity among the students in their excessive use of social media so as to acquire the right type of education in their use of correct English grammar. This will be done by using a well articulated programme to create awareness to students so as to improve their performance in Nsukka Education Zone.
However, this study will enable government agencies to benefit from the result of the study so as to enable them to know, plan and implement educational programmes especially for youths of which the majority are students in their use of social media network.
Researchers and scholars will find it useful because they will be able to embark on more research and academic findings, and then come up with better ideas.
Institutions of learning will benefit from it as it will make them to produce academically sound and intelligible students to the society by creating constant awareness to students.
Educational administrators will benefit from this study because it will make them proud administrators when their students can comfortably compete with their counterparts allover the world in good and correct English through their close monitor.
Ministry of Education and curriculum planners will benefit from the study as this will be an eye opener to them while planning because it will enable them to know actually the needs of the students, aims and objectives a particular course of study is meant to achieve and focus on them so that it will be achieved.
Parents/guardians and teachers will also benefit from the study for it will give them directions on how to carry their students/wards along in their academic difficulties more especially in their excessive addiction to social media in the correct use of English language.
Scope of the Study
This study is specifically designed to examine the influence of social media on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in the English language in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. It discovered the extent to which students has been affected by the social media and in the solution of related contemporary problems affecting the education of students especially in their English language. To highlight the measures which will be used to address this problems of network madness of the 21st century. It also surveys the perception of the respondents on the influence of social media on the students of the zone. This study will be limited to the senior secondary school students in Nsukka Education Zone and therefore excludes other factors that do influence the performance of the students in English language in other parts of the state.
The following research questions guided the study:
1. How would student’s addictiveness to social media network influence their academic performance?
2. How does the use of social media influence the academic performance of the students in Nsukka Education Zone positively in their English language internal and external examinations?
3. How does the social media network the students are exposed to, affect their correct use of English language?
4. How does the excessive use of social media network sites influence the students in their reading and writing of good English grammar?.