PROBLEMS CONFRONTING THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ENGLISH COMPREHENSION AMONG SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
This research work was aimed at investigating the Problems Confronting the Teaching and Learning of English Comprehension Among Selected Secondary School Students in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State. Five schools were selected out of the 25 secondary schools in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State. Also twelve teachers and twenty-eight students were randomly selected from each school as research subject giving a total of twelve teachers and twenty eight students as the respondents. The instrument used was the questionnaire consisted of four categories corresponding to the research questions. Frequency counts and percentages were the statistical approaches for data analysis. The results showed that the parents, teachers, pupils and the government have a great role to play in ensuring improvement in the learners reading and comprehend abilities. The pupils should develop positive attitude to reading. The teachers should be effective tolerant and up and doing in their teaching. The parents should encourage the pupils to speak English at homes as a continuity of the language used in schools.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE i
TABLE OF CONTENT vi
LIST OF TABLES x
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study 1
Statement of the Problem 6
Purpose of the Study 6
Research Questions 7
Research Hypotheses 8
Significance of the Study 9
Scope of the Study 10
Definition of Terms11
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The Standard of English in Nigeria 13
Development Reading Habits among Children 17
Technique of Reading Comprehension 20
Problems of Reading Comprehension 26
The Role of the Teacher 31
Appraisal of Literature Reviewed 38
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research Design 40
Sample and Sampling Techniques 41
Instrument for the Study 42
Validity of the Instrument 43
Reliability of the Instrument 43
Procedure for Data Collection 44
Data Analysis Techniques45
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Analysis of Data 47
Discussion of the Findings 53
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
Suggestion for Further Research 62
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Comparison of Male and Female Teachers’
views on the problems confronting the teaching
and learning of English comprehension in
frequency count and percentage. 48
Table 2: Comparison of the views of experienced and
in experienced teachers on the problems
confronting the learning and teaching of
English comprehensions 49
Table 3: Comparison of Students and Teacher’s views of
the Problem Confronting the Teaching of
English Comprehension in frequency counts
Background to the Study
English language is a medium of communication and expression, a medium through which facts, news, opinions, requests, feelings, are made known.
English language originated from England as the Local (dialect) language or mother tongue of the British people. But today it is spoken in America, India, Ghana, Australia and other countries of the world including Nigeria as their second and official language.
Hence, the speakers of the language in these countries are referred to as members of “English speech community”. These countries came to have the language as their official language i.e. the language of government, trade and commerce, justice and instruction in the educational system, due to their being colonised by the British Government.
In Nigeria the origin of the first use of English Language could be traced to the period of the settlement of the Christian Missionaries in the country before the era of colonization, which were faced with communication problems between them and the natives. Thus, the missionaries established schools alongside with the churches with the principal aim of training the converts in the art of reading and writing and to interprete the Bible and messages to the converts as well as to teach in Sunday schools.
The acquisition of English language has assumed a wider dimension in English especially when Universal Free Primary (UPE) was introduced in 1976.
English language this day has come to play a dominant role in the linguistic development of Nigeria, however, despite the wide spread use of the local languages in the Nigerian society none of these languages has yet emerged as the country’s dominant language. This is so because none of these languages could be spoken and understood by an over-whelming Nigerians. Likewise, none of these languages would be willingly adopted by an over-whelming majority of Nigerians. i.e. the language situation of the country is heterogeneous.
It is therefore apparent that since Nigerian languages situation is one in which a multiplicity of language co-exist (Multilingualism), English language became an inevitable instrument for communication in the Nigerian society However, inter-ethic communication too is hard i.e no speaker of Nigeria language speaks the language in the same way an English man would speak English. With this view, the huge gap that English language fills in Nigeria could easily be seen.
In this note, the Nigerian language situation today is a pointer to the role and status of English langue as an inevitable panacea to the problem of multiplicity of language in Nigeria. English language helps to facilitate contact between Nigerian of diverse backgrounds. It has thus become the official language of documentation and communication. English language plays a unifying role in Nigeria almost in the same way as other instrument of communication it is the only language which Nigerians of diverse linguistics, geographical, social, cultural and religion background have in common. It is the language of business, social and commercial life (Obayan 1982).
English as an international language today occupies the position Latin and Greek occupied in the ancient world. English as used in the native speakers environment reflects the cultural background of the speakers (Perpetual et al, 1989). Social, political, geographical and attitudinal peculiarities are some of the elements super-imposed over the common background.
These peculiarities are what account for the different varieties of English, which depend on time, distance, and geographical factors. In Nigerian society, these varieties are manifested in pronunciation, use of expressions, meanings attached to words and so on.
As a subject, English language can be divided into several parts comprising Phonology, Lexis and Structure, comprehension (reading) and others. Comprehension being the focus of this study can be defined as: ‘The ability to interpret a message according to the circumstances or context shaping the writer’s knowledge and the reader’s expression.
In view of the above definition, the teacher, and the students have a lot to do in ensuring perfect teaching and learning of comprehension in secondary schools.
What are the prospects of achieving the perfectness in the teaching and learning of comprehension, which is a very vital aspect of English language as a means of communication leaves much to the desired in this area.
However, it should be noted that comprehension a vital aspect of English language has its impact on all other subjects taught in schools e.g. mathematics, social studies, technical subjects, sciences and other subjects. Hence lack of good grip in comprehension is bound to have effect on the teaching and learning of these subjects since instructions on the teaching of the subjects are based on English Language.
Therefore, inability to comprehend well results into mass failure of students in their various examinations.
It is apparent therefore that the developments in the teaching and learning of English language are reflections of the dwindling standard in the performance of children in English language generally and comprehension in particular. Thus the researcher is inspired to carry out this study due to the prevailing poor performance of children in English language and particularly comprehension and the desire to proffer a panacea to the problem among secondary school students.
Statement of the Problem
While stating the problem, the researcher is quite aware of the important role of English language as an instrument for impacting education the role it has to play in the society. The researcher is also conscious of the place of comprehension as an integral part of English language in the total education process.
The researcher is also well aware of the dwindling nature of the performances of students in their examinations, which resulted from lack of comprehension ability.
The problem of this study therefore is fining out the problems facing effective teaching of comprehension in secondary schools with specific reference to some selected secondary schools in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Purpose of the Study
The research is aimed at finding out the divergent views of male and female teachers, trained and untrained teachers, experienced and less experienced teachers and students the problems facing effective teaching of comprehension in secondary schools. The study was to find out whether there would be significant difference in the view of male and female teachers.
The study was to find out the extent to which lack of adequate teaching of comprehension in secondary school affects the teaching of English comprehension.
The study also aims at providing solutions to the problems confronting effective teaching and learning of English comprehension.
The following research questions are raised to guide the study:
(1) Will there be any significant difference between the view of male and female teachers of the selected secondary schools with respect to the problems facing effective teaching and learning of comprehension in their schools?
(2) Will there be any significant difference between the view of trained and untrained teachers with respect to the problems confronting the teaching and learning comprehension in their schools?
(3) Will there be any significant difference between the view of experienced and less experienced teachers with respect to the teaching and learning of English comprehension in their schools?
(4) Will there be any significant difference between the view of teachers and students with respect to the teaching and learning of English comprehension in their schools?
H01: Will there be any difference in the view of male and female teachers’ with respect to the problems facing effective teaching and learning of English comprehension in secondary schools?
H02: Will there be no difference in the view of trained and untrained teachers’ with respect to the problems facing effective teaching and learning of English comprehension in secondary schools?
H03: Will there be any difference in the view of teachers and students with respect to problems facing effective teaching and learning of English comprehension in secondary schools?
Significance of the Study
This study was undertaken with the view that it would provide. Information about the effect of poor comprehension on the academic performance of children in secondary schools.
The study will enable the teacher to re-assess himself, adopts new methods of teaching and evaluation to meet the needs of the children who are poor in reading and in understanding. The study will encourage the students to personally get themselves in reading varieties of texts to increase their vocabulary, readability and raise their academic performance as a result of their being able to read and comprehend.
It will be useful for the students to know and master the steps to take when reading a given passage in the English language. They will also know the errors usually committed while answering questions in the English language and guide against them.
The curriculum planners too stand to benefit from the study as information from the study will enable them to prepare for the use of a well planned curriculum on English language which will guide textbook, writes and publishers with respect to the patterns they should adhere to in writing and publishing books. Such books should be able to guide pupils from easy to complex reading particularly in comprehension texts and ease the problems of teaching and learning comprehension texts and ease the problems of teaching and learning comprehension in schools.
It is therefore apparent that this study will be immense value to the overall development of education in Nigeria.
The study will be useful to the parents as they will be enlightened concerning the advantages of exposing their children or wards to several reading texts as this will increase their readability, improve their vocabulary and accelerate their academic performances.
Scope of the Study
This study is very important for the overall development of Education in Nigeria and the world at large, but the study is delimited to Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State from which five secondary schools were randomly selected in the bid at investigating the problems facing effective teaching and learning of comprehension passages in schools.
The schools selected for the study are as follows:
(1) Government High School, Ilorin
(2) Government Day Secondary School, Adeta
(3) Baboko Community Secondary, Ilorin
(4) Government Day Secondary, Barakat
(5) Mount Carmel College Ilorin.
The results of this study are therefore limited to them. Also the results of this study will be limited to the responses of the participants that will be involved in the study. Finally, the results of the study will be limited to the variables measured by the research instrument used for this study.
Definition of Terms
The following are defined as follows to indicate what they mean in this study.
Comprehension: Involves ability to understand and translate from one form to another without losing the original meaning of content of what is being told, narrated or written.
Experienced Teacher: Experienced teachers as used in this study are those teachers that have spent nothing less than ten years in teaching and they have at least Grade Two teacher’s certificates.
Inexperienced Teachers: Inexperienced teachers are the ones without professional certificate and have less than ten years teaching experience.
Less Experience Teachers: Less experience teachers are teachers with less than ten year teaching experience but have at least Grade Two teachers’ certificate as professionals.
Learning: Is a relatively permanent change in behaviour which occurs as a result of prior experience or practice.
Students: Students are persons who studied or who are devoted to the acquisition of knowledge.
Teaching: Teaching is an attempt to help an individual a (learner) to acquire change of some skill, attitude, knowledge ideal or appreciation..