RENEGOTIATING STUDENT APATHY TO THE USE OF STANDARD SPOKEN ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN UNIVERSITIES

RENEGOTIATING STUDENT APATHY TO THE USE OF STANDARD SPOKEN ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN UNIVERSITIES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

          Language is central to all our lives, and is arguably the cultural tool that sets humans apart from any other species. Language is also thesymbolic behaviourthat allows human specialties- education, art, religion and science- to occur. We use it to practice government; we use it to preach the gospel; we use it to engage in trade; we use it inteaching and learningof everything. A beautiful fact about language as a general term is that unlike other forms of cultural behaviour, it is blind to demographics, socio economics and ethnic difference. The only variation is found in the numerous, existing types of languages used by human persons. The English language is one of these existing human languages. English today is a unique language, quite functionally and structurally different from other languages of the world. English has been accepted as a second language in Nigeria, right from the time the country was colonized by Britain. It is also the language of education and Nigerians have shown much prominence in all academic pursuits. However, the English language encounters several challenges serving as a vehicular language in the education of persons from diverse ethnic backgrounds. English language teachers face growing pressures to meet the needs of increasingly diverse learners, both in terms of ethnicity, and language, and also in terms of economic and social circumstances. According to Brown (2015), the goal of the language learners is to make sure that they can communicate what they have in mind effectively, they have to be understood when they are uttering the words. For effective communication, the researcher considers it pertinent to examine exhaustively a good number of the factors that influence effective communication in English, especially as it relates to the Nigerian undergraduates.

          The de facto National Policy on Language (in Education) recognizes the multidimensional, multi-lingual three tier political party state which tries to capture the multi-ethnic and, ipso facto, multi-lingual polity which Berlin and the British have hammered into a joint existence. This policy provides for English- the official language- as the language of formal literacy, the bureaucracy, secondary and higher education, the law courts, etc, while all Nigerian languages (language of the immediate environment) can be a media of instruction in initial levels of literacy and in life-long and non-formal education. However, down through the years, this has morphed to become even the language of communication amongst students. Students in higher levels of learning (tertiary institutions) who are to be taught in English Language alone, have chosen to speak other languages but English amongst themselves. The use of the Creole language (Pidgin) and mother tongue is rampant and wide spread all through Nigerian colleges and universities. One can only imagine why this is so, as it badly affects their overall competence in the use of the English language while in school and much later in life. Nevertheless, this is not to say that a fluency or deft proficiency in one's mother tongue is undesirable or to be discouraged; no. It is to be encouraged, as it adds to the rich and diverse linguistic multiplicity of the nation. The issue at hand is that an overindulgent use of these indigenous languages by university undergraduates is a threat to their overall success in life, both within the nation and internationally. This is true because English language is not only Nigeria's official language, but is also a world language. And with the dawning of each new day, it increasingly becomes even more global and germane for attaining success in life. Consequently, in this research work, effort is made to discover why this nagging problem persists amongst Nigerian university undergraduates, how it came to be and what possible, practical steps can be taken to remedy it.

Statement of the Problem

          It is no secret that a vast majority of students in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria struggle to effectively express themselves in the English Language. This is evident in a myriad of ways, some of which include:

·        the way they shy away from all forms of public speaking

·        their general attitude to English language

·        their oral performance in job interviews

         There could be several reasons why this problem exists. One of these reasons is an overuse of vernacular and creole languages on their part. These students use coined and colloquial lingos to converse amongst themselves and very sparsely and rarely, speak good English Language. This has gone on for too long and has become a critical issue to be looked into. Consequently, challenges abound in the teaching and learning of English in Nigeria. This study is undertaken to draw attention to these existing challenges and some other influences and elements affecting the communication process.

Purpose of the Study

          The general purpose or objective of this study is to uncover the salient and prominent reasons why there is a general apathy amongst Nigerian University students in speaking Standard English Language. Below are the specific objectives:

1)      To discover the factors that led to the apathy towards the use of Standard Spoken English by Nigerian undergraduates.

2)      To discover the influence of English language teaching aids and materials on the use of Standard Spoken English by Nigerian undergraduates.

3)      To find out the influence of teachers' teaching methods on the use of Standard Spoken English by Nigerian undergraduates.

4)      To determine the influence of cultural environment in the use of Standard Spoken English by Nigerian University students.

Significance of the Study

          A lot of researches have been carried out on the language of communication of Nigerian university students, but what makes this study significant is its re-evaluation and fresh investigation into the possible reasons behind the growing reluctance amongst Nigerian undergraduates to use the English Language to communicate both in and outside the classroom. On the completion of this study, it would have been determined from the analysis of the data collected, most of the root causes to the general apathy amongst University students to use English Language. Therefore, the result of this study will be beneficial to teachers, parents, students, curriculum planners, employers of labour, e.t.c.

Scope of the Study

          The researcher chose Godfrey Okoye University, Caritas University and University of Nigeria Enugu Campus as the scope of her research. These universities will be representatives of all other universities within Enugu Metropolis.

Research Questions

1)      What are the factors that led to the apathy towards the use of Standard Spoken English by Nigerian undergraduates?

2)      What is the influence of English language teaching aids and materials on the use of Standard Spoken English by Nigerian undergraduates?

3)      How do teachers' teaching methods affect the use of Standard Spoken English of Nigerian undergraduates?

4)      What is the influence of cultural environment in the use of Standard Spoken English by Nigerian University students?

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How To Write Chapter Three Of Your Research Project (Research Methodology)

  • Methodology In Research Paper


    Chapter three of the research project or the research methodology is another significant part of the research project writing. In developing the chapter three of the research project, you state the purpose of research, research method you wish to adopt, the instruments to be used, where you will collect your data, types of data collection, and how you collected it.

    This chapter explains the different methods to be used in the research project. Here you mention the procedures and strategies you will employ in the study such as research design, study design in research, research area (area of the study), the population of the study, etc. You also tell the reader your research design methods, why you chose a particular method, method of analysis, how you planned to analyze your data.

    Your methodology should be written in a simple language such that other researchers can follow the method and arrive at the same conclusion or findings.

    You can choose a survey design when you want to survey a particular location or behavior by administering instruments such as structured questionnaires, interviews, or experimental; if you intend manipulating some variables.

    The purpose of chapter three (research methodology) is to give an experienced investigator enough information to replicate the study. Some supervisors do not understand this and require students to write what is in effect, a textbook.

    A research design is used to structure the research and to show how all of the major parts of the research project, including the sample, measures, and methods of assignment, work together to address the central research questions in the study. The chapter three should begin with a paragraph reiterating the purpose of research. It is very important that before choosing design methods try and ask yourself the following questions: Will I generate enough information that will help me to solve the research problem by adopting this method?

    Method vs Methodology

    I think the most appropriate in methods versus methodology is to think in terms of their inter-connectedness and relationship between both. You should not beging thinking so much about research methods without thinking of developing a research methodology.

    Metodologia or methodology is the consideration of your research objectives and the most effective method and approach to meet those objectives. That is to say that methodology in research paper is the first step in planning a research project work.

    Design Methodology: Methodological Approach

    Example of methodology in research paper, you are attempting to identify the influence of personality on a road accident, you may wish to look at different personality types, you may also look at accident records from the FRSC, you may also wish to look at the personality of drivers that are accident victims, once you adopt this method, you are already doing a survey, and that becomes your metodologia or methodology.

    Your methodology should aim to provide you with the information to allow you to come to some conclusions about the personalities that are susceptible to a road accident or those personality types that are likely to have a road accident.

    The following subjects may or may not be in the order required by a particular institution of higher education, but all of the subjects constitute a defensible in metodologia or methodology chapter.

    Click here to complete this article - How To Write Chapter Three Of Your Research Project (Research Methodology)

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