TENSE ERRORS IN ENGLISH ESSAYS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY Language has really become one of the most interesting areas of research these days. Most of the time people from various parts of Nigeria tend to learn more than one language. This study takes into consideration some selected secondary schools in idemili local government area in the Anambra State of Nigeria. According to (Makoni, 1993:97-107; Eun-Pyo, 2002; Kasanga, 2006:65-89) error analysis is one of the aspects of second language learning processes that have received much attention from various research. We consider this error in the English language for this study.There are always several ways of thinking about errors in writing. Consider a group of linguistic students and second language acquisition and what we know about how texts, context, and the writing process interact with one another students. Writing in a second language that is not our mother tongue generally contains grammatical and rhetorical errors.As Myles (2002:10) argues “depending on proficiency level, the more content-rich and creative the text, the greater the possibility there is for errors at the morphosyntactic level.” These kinds of errors are especially common among secondary school writers who do not have enough language skills to express what they want to say in a comprehensible way. The present study analyses the English language errors in the writing of tenses and essays. 1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM The major problem of most secondary schools in idemili north local government areas of Anambra state is the problem of the English language. Especially in the area of essay writing; for the past 7 years no students in this part of Anambra state have won any external award in the essay; this could be as a result of the poor learning environment and the level of education of the teachers in these areas.Another major problem that these schools have is a lack of learning and instructional materials for students to study with. Most of the students from these areas are from the interior villages that have problems with English. The only language they understood perfectly is their mother tongue.Most secondary schools in this local government area have experience poor academic performance in JSSE, SSCE, WAEC, NABTEB, and other external examinations in the English language.They lack the ability to express themself in essay writing; no confidence in their ability because they are not well taught by their teachers.1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION1. Why are there massive failures in essay writing in most of the secondary schools in idemili north local government area of Anambra state? 2. Are the federal government of Nigeria making any effort to improve the learning environment in such areas? 3. Can the academic qualification of the teachers posted to these areas have a significant effect on the performance of students in those areas? 4. Does these secondary schools have programs like JETCLUB, WRITERS association, extra moral classes, and the PRESS CLUB? 5. Does the social background of the pupils in that local government area have an effect on their academic performance?1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS H0: The academic qualification of the teachers does not have a significant effect on the performance of students in essay writing H1: The academic qualifications of the teachers have a significant effect on the performance of students in essay writing H0: The social background of the students does not have an effect on their tense error in essay writingH1: The social backgrounds of the students have an effect on their tense error in essay writing 1.5 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY1. To determine the effect of the academic qualification of the teachers on the academic performance of the students in the secondary schools in idemili local government areas of Anambra state. 2. To determine the effect of social background on the tense error of the students3. To investigate the impact of the government intervention on the improvement of the learning environment on the academic performance of the students 4. To determine the best approach to improving the student's essay writing abilities and how to correct the simple tense error in the English language.5. To determine the causes of tense error in English essays in secondary schools6. To classify these errors. 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDYBy the end of the research work, we shall be able to determine the impact of the level of academic qualification of the teachers on the academic performance of the students in idemili north local government area of Anambra state. The study will also provide the effect of social background on the academic performance of students and also offers the best possible solutions to a tense error in English essay writing among the secondary school students in idemili north local government areas of Anambra state. 1.7 SCOPE OF STUDYThe study covers various areas of the responses of some respondents on the topic of tense error in English essays of secondary school in idemili north local government area of Anambra state. It made use of primary data gotten from the distribution of questionnaires to some of the areas in idemili north local government areas of Anambra state. The study also brings out the common errors made by English language students and teachers in essay writing. 1.8 JUSTIFICATION OF STUDYThis study is important as it attempts to highlight the major tense errors committed by the students in their speaking and writing and to provide a lasting solution on how to correct the errors. 1.9 LIMITATION OF STUDYFINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS: The researcher was unable to go to almost all the areas of idemili north local government areas of Anambra state due to lack of enough finance, but was able to reach out to a meaningful population for the purpose of the study.TIME CONSTRAINTS: Due to the research in other areas of research trying to get a good results from the respondents lead to the delay in the completion of the research work. REFERENCESHornby, Albert, Sidney. Guide to Pattern and Usage in English. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.James, Svartvik. On Voice in English Verb. London: Longman, 1966.Leech, Geoffrey and Svartvik, James. A Communicative Grammar of English. London: Longman, 1974.Michael, Halliday. Language Structure and Language Function in Lyons New Horizons in Linguistics. Penguin (p. 140 – 165), 1970.Orji, Njokwo. English Grammar for Advanced Students. Obasi: Pacific College Press, 1988..