- 1 ABSTRACT
- 2 CHAPTER ONE
This research work empirically explored the strategies for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools. The purpose of which is to investigate the English language on educational sector as well proffer solution to the problems of Nigeria educational system. The objectives of this study were to ascertain the level of student’s performance in English language in secondary schools and determine measures for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools. The scope of the study is all secondary schools of Nigeria making use of student and staff of some selected secondary schools, the Krashen’s Monitor Model theory was used as a framework. The research design used for this study is survey, the population targeted for this study consists of all secondary schools in Nigeria, a total of 50 schools was used as sample size consisting of 300 questionnaires administered to students and staffs and cluster sampling technique was applied. Instrument used for this study is the questionnaire. Data collected were collected from primary sources. From the analysis of the data, the findings shows that the level of student performance in English language in secondary schools is average and Provision of infrastructural facilities as well as student listening to English radio programmes and watching English TV programme is a major strategies to improving English language skills. Following the findings, it was recommended that the level of English language performance in secondary schools should be raised, various strategies that will help raise the level of English language performance in secondary schools should be adopted such as employment of only qualified teachers among others. The study concludes that improving the level of English language performance in secondary schools has a positive impact on Nigeria educational system in particular and Nigeria in general.
1.1. Background to the Study
English language is the instrument of communication and the official language of Nigeria, therefore it becomes paramount for every individual residing in the country to be able to speak fluent English. The importance of English language to Nigeria is given, over 90% of transactions done in the country is done in English language ranging from the educational sector to the health sector.
It is therefore necessary that English language is thought properly in every educational institutions. Ferma (2003) was of the view that “a person is functionally literate when he acquired the knowledge and skill 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”.
However it is disheartening to note that the poor performance of students in English language in secondary schools is still persistent. English is the language used in teaching the students, a student having faulty foundation in English will find it difficult to cope with other subjects since level of comprehension becomes difficult if not impossible. Oluwole (2008) was of the view that “having difficulty in grasping fully the contents and concepts of the various subjects of the curriculum taught in target language seem to be one of the problems that English as a first language students face in their particular course of study”.
Education is one of the most important aspect of human life especially in this modern era where educational qualification obtained is inquired of when been considered for a job by employers. The educational system of Nigeria have been in crisis for many years ranging from the problem of presence of unqualified teachers in the educational system to the problem of lack of infrastructural facilities, negative attitude of students towards learning is also a major cause. Though (2011) states that some students buys book but do not make effective use of the book.
Government of Nigeria have tried in various ways to improve the quality of education in the country by introducing various policies such as the Nigeria “National Policy on Education” published in 1997, revised in 1981 and 1990. The policy had been revised to ensure that the educational sector is supportive of government development goals. Recent initiatives have also been taken by the government in the funding of education. The FGN/ODA Nigeria Community Education Programmes introduced in 1996. One of the objective of this initiatives are to restructure educational funding arrangement. Alternative sources of funding education have been explored. In 1995 the government established the Education Tax Fund.
Another notable change has been the effort to update the curriculum, a committee for the improvement of the curriculum was also established. The overall responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Education is to ensure quality within the system, to encourage and initiate innovations and to ensure the schools maintain minimum standards of acceptable educational practice. The National Commission for Colleges of Education was established in 1990 to lay down minimum standards for all programmes of teacher education.
In Nigeria, many secondary schools have been deficient in their operations and the overall effectiveness due to problems of teachers and students. Also the problem of not adequately equipped with English language. This problem is pertinent to both the public and private educational institutions. While the public educational sector is faced with the problem of mismanagement, you find several private schools below standard right from the primary to the tertiary.
1.2. Statement of the Research Problem
Every country endeavours to provide quality education for its people, the future of such nation depends largely on it. The educational system of Nigeria is still faced with a lot of problems. Some of the problems include student learning skills, parental background, peer influence, teachers’ quality, learning infrastructure among others. The educational sector is responsible for performing several vital works in any economy. The various experts of various fields have to pass through the educational system to become one.
English proficiency is an essential factor in educational achievement. It is discouraging to note that Nigeria students still perform poorly in English language. This is so much so in secondary schools of the country. Although, for some time now it appears government have tried various methods in resolving the issue low academic performance in English language in secondary schools.
It is against this background that the researcher considered the study of strategies for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools.
1.3. Objectives of the study
The aim of this study was to investigate the strategies for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools. The specific objectives are to:
- ascertain the level of students performance in English language in secondary schools.
- determine measures for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools.
1.4. Research Questions
This study will be guided by the following research questions:
- What is the level of student’s performance in English language in secondary schools?
- What are the measures for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools?
1.5. Significance of the Study
The critical nature of English language in particular and the educational sector in general to the success or growth of any economy is given, this is because English language is the official language used during transactions in Nigeria. Empirically, this study is carried out to investigate the strategies for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools so as to ameliorate the problems associated with the educational system. This study will be important to the academic sector of the nation, as it will help guide the boards in charge of school management on how it can operate and how it should operate. It will teach it the importance of English language to the country.
This study will be of utmost importance to investors, government and the researchers because it will provide policy recommendations to the various Nigeria stakeholders taking adequate measures in educational sector. It is hoped that the exploration of secondary schools will provide a broad view of the operations of the educational system to investors and government. It will contribute to existing literature on the subject matter by investigating empirically the role of English language in academic successes. This study will be of benefit to;
The Academia: members of the academia will find the study relevant as it will also form basis for further research and a reference tool for academic works.
Government: this study will reveal to the government happenings in the educational sector. Formulation and implementation of policies based on this findings would ensure development in the sector.
Investors: this study shall also be valuable to the investors especially those who may have research interest as it shall guide their private investment decisions.
This study at the end will enlighten the board of educational sector on the implication of English language.
1.6. Scope of the Study
This study is intended to investigate the strategies for improving low academic performance in English language in secondary schools in Nigeria, using some selected secondary schools in Abuja.
1.7. Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms have been defined operationally.
- English: English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually become a global lingua franca. English is a language.
- Secondary school: a school intermediate between elementary school and college usually offering general, technical, vocational or college preparatory courses.
- Strategies: a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.
- Academic performance: is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution attained their short or long-term educational goals.
1.8 Organization of the Study
This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is introduction which consists of the background to the study, statement of problem, research questions, research hypotheses, objectives of the study, the significance of the study, the scope and limitations of the study and finally the organization of the study. Chapter two deals with the literature review which consists of the conceptual literature, theoretical literature, empirical literature, theoretical framework. Chapter three gives the research methodology including research design, population of study, sample size, sampling technique, method of data collection, instrument of data analysis, method of data analysis, validity/reliability of instrument. Chapter four is presentation and analysis of data, discussion of findings. Chapter five gives the summary, conclusion and recommendations.