Background to the Study

Education can be regarded as the key that unlocks the development of personal and national potential and all other kinds of rights and powers in the world. The increasing awareness of the importance of education for sustainable development in Africa is paramount. Nigeria as a nation strives toward the provision of quality and affordable education for its citizens through the guiding principle of National Policy on Education (2013). The guiding principles of education in Nigeria is the equipping of every citizens with acquisition of knowledge, desirable skills, attitude and values, as well as to enable him or her to derive maximum benefits from his or her society and also contribute his quota meaningfully towards the development of the nation at large. Secondary school education is one among the levels of education in Nigeria.

On attaining Independence as a nation in 1960, what seemed a major concern to most Nigerian leaders then was how education would be accessible to all citizens of the newly created nation.  Education was seen as the necessary instrument immediately and essentially for the consolidation of the independence, for securing the new nation against neocolonianism and for making workable, the newly established self-government in a multi-ethnic society (Olaniyi, 2012).  The desire to use education for nation building was (and is still) very compelling and so much was the faith in education that the schools of the nation were not only meant for political socialization, but also for other social functions and for economic growth.  To achieve these goals, Universal Primary Education (UPE) was introduced nationwide in 1976, although hitherto, this has been practiced in some parts of the country.  Toward the end of the second decade of achieving nationhood status, Nigeria witnessed a phenomenal expansion at all levels of her education (Olaniyi, 2012).

When the issue of Nigeria education system today is raised, the thought that come to mind are: decline in standard, deterioration of facilities, examination malpractices, mass promotion syndrome and the like before any other thing else. This calls for an in-depth study and analysis aimed at tutoring each and every stakeholder in the education system on how their actions have individually and collectively contributed to the collapsing state of education in Nigeria. In any case, knowledge and skill acquisition which education is all about cannot be over emphasized. According to the World Bank (2013), “successful development entails more than investing in physical capital, or closing the gap in capital. It also entails acquiring and using knowledge as well as closing the gaps in knowledge”. Thus, to successfully confront the challenges of development, a developing country must undertake three major tasks:

  • Acquired and adapt global knowledge and create knowledge locally.
  • Invest in human capital to increase the ability to absorb and use knowledge; and
  • Invest in technologies to facilitate both acquisition and the absorption of knowledge.

Similarly, Fafunwa (2006) defines education as “the aggregate of all the processes by which a child or adult develops the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour, which are of positive value to the society in which he lives. That is to say, it is a process of disseminating knowledge either to ensure social control or to guarantee rational direction of the society or both.” Response however  will be its factors affecting the progress of secondary schools stemming from the incidence of examination malpractice – poor facilities – indiscriminate mass promotion syndrome in schools. The causes of these could be traced to:

  • Government insensitivity to education needs
  • Government and private institutions open encouragement of low productivity, and
  • Lack of the spirit of hard-work among growing number of students (Fafunwa 2006).

Secondary education is provided for the child after primary education, that is, before tertiary education. It is aimed at developing a child better than the primary level, because, it is obvious that primary education is insufficient for a child to acquire literacy, numeracy, and communication skills (Yusuf, 2009; Ige, 2011). Such education is provided in secondary school, which can be owned by government (State or Federal), individuals or community. From the foregoing, the study is set to ascertain the factors affecting the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.


Statement of the Problem

          It is not a gainsaying that secondary education is unique in the educational development of a child, being the link between primary and tertiary education. The knowledge, skills, values, and traits which a child acquires at this stage will complement those acquired at the primary level and when these are combined, will prepare such child for tertiary education. In spite of the role of secondary education, it has been observed that education is riddled with crises of various dimensions and magnitude, all of which combine to suggest that it is at a crossroad.

In a close examination of secondary education in Nigeria, it has been revealed that some factors affecting the progress of secondary education in other part of the country also affect the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara Local Government Area as a part of the nation, this study is set to fine out and thus ask: What are the factors affecting the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?

Purpose of the study

This study tried to ascertain the factors affecting the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study sought to ascertain how:

  • Inadequate provision of instructional material can hinder the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State.
  • Dissatisfaction (Attitude) of teachers can be a factors influencing the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State.
  • Improper classroom management can be a factors influencing the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State.
  • Parental Factor can affect the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State.

Significance of the study

This study is geared towards ascertaining the factors affecting the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The findings of this study will be of great benefit to school administrators, government, the Parents-Teachers’ Association, the students, researchers and other users of information.

To the school administrators, the findings of the study will help in identifying those factors that has been hindering the progress of secondary education and ways to reduce them.

To the government, it will help in identifying the areas that needs to be given attention in secondary schools in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and how to help them by providing the needed instructional materials cum resources, proper funding etc.

To the Parents-Teachers’ Association, it will help them to know the core areas to be looked at and address during their meetings.

To students, the findings of this study will make them experience good classroom environment and improved staff performances, which will consequently improve their academic performance.

Finally, to other researchers and other users of information, the study finding will serve as a good source of literature as well as reference point to develop more academic works.

Scope of the study

This study was limited to the factors affecting the progress of secondary education on Ohaozara Local government Area of Ebonyi State. It was hinged on factors like inadequate provision of instructional materials, dissatisfaction by teachers, improper classroom management and parental factors. Teachers in Government owned secondary schools in the area were involved in the study.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  • In what ways have inadequate provision of instructional materials in secondary schools hinder the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State?
  • How has dissatisfaction (attitude) of teachers been a factors influencing the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State?
  • How has improper classroom management affected the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State?
  • In what ways have parental factors affected the progress of secondary education in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State?






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Background to the Study

English language is an international language used all over the world as a means of communication. It plays an important role for the people all over the world for political, commercial purposes and event tourism matters. English is a compulsory school subject. Mastering good English is very important thing in learning English grammar. Grammar is the study of words and their functions; one of its aspects in learning is adverbial. According to Douglas (2004) explains that ‘’adverbs and adverbials are similar but not the same. Though they share the same modifying function, their characters are different. An adverbial is a sentence element or functional category. It is a part of sentence that performs a certain function.

An adverb on the other hand, is a type of a word or part of speech. An adverb may serve as an adverbial, but an adverbial is not necessarily an adverb.’’ In a similar View Endley (2010) differentiates between adverbs and adverbials as ‘’ the former term is a label for syntactic category, covering familiar single word items such as quickly, happily and spontaneously. The latter term refers to a function. Linguistic elements that have this function include adverbs plus other linguistic elements such as phrases (on the other hand, at the bookstore, next week, last year, etc,) and clause e.g (after he saw the movie).

’’Basically, most adverbs tell you how, where, or when something is done. In other words, they describe the manner, place or time of an action. Most of adverbs are created by adding ly to the end of an adjective, like slow (adjective) slowly (adverb) hopeless (adjective) hopelessly (adverb). However, this is not a reliable way to find out whether a word is an adverb or not, for two reasons; many adverbs do not end in -ly, some are the same as the adjective form and many words which are not adverbs do end in -ly such as kindly, friendly, elderly and lonely, which are adjectives. Here are examples of adverbs which are the same as adjectives; fast, late, early’’. (http;// doc/3270332/complete list of adverbs docx).

However,’’ the possible variation between the fixed and shift placement of adverb makes adverbs more difficult to teach, with this fact, learners have difficulty in learning and using them correctly. The complexity of adverbs is as a result of its syntactical and semantic behavior which is determined by its position in the sentence. The position of the adverbs possibly makes a sentence grammatical or ungrammatical or changes the meaning of the sentence. ‘’adverbs are difficult for students to identify.

The -ly trick is helpful, but as with everything else in the English language, there are exceptions (ugly, friendly and family). Plus, the adverbs that do not end in -ly are the hard ones to recognize.’’(https;// teacher/teaching). Despite the important of adverbs and adverbials students still take them to mean nothing. This can be as the result of problematic areas in the use of adverbs and adverbials.

According to the chief examiner report Eguridu (2015), states that “in Nigeria, 1593442 candidates sat for the may/June 2015 West African Senior Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria. Only 38.68% obtained credits in five subjects and above including English Language and Mathematics”. The major cause of students’ poor performances is wrong use of adverbs and adverbials. Furthermore, a trick problem for students learners of English is to be conversant with  the words that go with -ly, as can be seen in these examples taken from Nwagu (2009),’’ she expected everybody to take them serious (wrong).

She expected everybody to take them seriously (correct). Outright is both adjective and adverb. As an adjective, the word outright means complete and clear without any doubt. E.g. an outright ban, rejection/victory.  She was the outright winner. As an adverb, the word outright means (a) openly and honestly, without hiding anything; I told him outright what I thought of his behavior. (b) Not gradually or immediately; most of the crash victims were killed outright. (c) Clearly and completely; she denied outright having been there. There is no English word as out rightly. Thus the correct expression should be;’ the principal often tells us outright that delay in life is dangerous’. And not … outrightly tells us … she behaves friendly (wrong). She behaves in a friendly manner. (Correct). Friendly is an adjective but has been made to function as if it were an adverb. He allows them to pay my school fees instalmentally (wrong). He allows them to pay my school fees in instalments (correct). There is no word as instalmentally in the English language. Payment spread over a period of time is said to be made in instalments. Hunston (2000) rules out adverbial modifiers in lexical patterns, stating that ‘’on the whole … patterns of adverbs are hard to capture … and since there is no parallel to complementation patterns adverbs can be better described in positional terms.’’

Regarding meaning, adverbs express ideas such as place, time, manner and location. Some adverbs of manner have a noticeable form that is they end in -ly. Most other adverbs can not be easily noticed by their form because they do not have a specific suffix. According to Agwu and Nweke (2000), describe adverb as a word that describes or modifies a verb, an adjective and another adverb. It adds to the meaning of the words it modifies.

Finch (2000), notes that an adverb may modify a verb by given circumstantial information about the time, place or manner in which an action, process takes place. In addition to the characteristic of modifying verbs, adverbs can modify adjective, a verb or another adverb. Such adverbs can answer the questions where, when, how, how often, how much, etc.  However, Orji (2001), posits that ‘’adverbials include not only single word adverbs but also particles and phrases.’’ The position of adverb can be found in the beginning, middle or at the end of the sentence. Ekechi (2006), explains that adverbials may be a single word adverb, adverbial phrase or adverbial clause. He went further to explain that adverbs are divided into three classes in relation to their functions. The three classes of adverbs are explained below; (a) adjuncts; these are adverbs whose functions indicate place, time, manner, condition, reason, degree etc

(B) Disjuncts: these adverbs indicate the state of mind of a speaker. For instance;

  1. Sincerely speaking, I never stole any money.
  2. Frankly speaking, the man loves his wife.
  • To be candid, I never knew we would lose the match

(c) Conjuncts; these are words or phrases that are used to link ideas. They play the role of conjunctions or linkers. Examples; the patient came to the hospital but he never saw the doctor. (But is used as a linker).

Though the students came late, the lecturer was absent. Conjuncts are also used to introduce new ideas. These conjuncts are transitional words or phrases like; in the first place, secondly, also, furthermore, before I proceed, in addition to the above, finally, in conclusion, etc.

Quirk (2000), also adds that adverbials may be integrated to some extent into the structure of the clause or they may be peripheral to it. If integrated, they are termed adjuncts. If peripheral, they are termed disjuncts and conjuncts, the distinction between the two beings that conjuncts have primarily a connection function. An adverbial is integrated to some extent in clause structure if it is affected by such clausal processes as negation and interrogation.

Ogbulogu (2004), defines adverbials as particles of adverbs used especially after verbs to show position, direction and movement. E.g. come back, break down, fall off, off down, back, etc. he went further to maintain that adverbs refer to all those words ending in -ly and which are mainly derived from adjectives. There are other structures that do not end in -ly or which are not just one word structures, but which are used as adverb. They are referred to as adverbials. According to Awa (2013) defines an adverb as “any word that modifies any part of language except noun, which is primarily modified by adjectives and determiners” that is adverb can modify verbs, adjectives, clauses, sentences and other adverbs, but most often they modified verbs.

Adverbs answer such questions as ‘how’, ‘which’ where’ to what extent and in what way. Obasikene (2001) maintains that adverbs exhibits three degree of comparison, the positive, the comparative and the superlative.  He further classified the comparison of adverb into: “regular and irregular adverbs”. The regular adverbs take the suffixes “–er” and “–est” to add to the basic adverbs to form their comparative and superlative form. The wrong use of adverbs and adverbials affect the students performance in the external examinations and in their construction of English language grammar. According to the chief examiner report, Mr. Eguridu (2015) states that in Nigeria, 1593442 candidates sat for the May/June 2015 West Africa senior certificate examination WASSCE in. only 38.68% obtained credits in five subjects and above including English language. This failure might be as the result of poor construction of grammar by students.

The competence of the students in the English language is challenged as a result of several problems in the construction and use of grammatical structures especially adverbs and adverbials. This may be as the result of non English language teachers teaching English language in some schools. According to little word (1984: 250) in Odoemenam (2007: 7) states that the learner uses his previous mother tongue experience as means of organizing the second language data. However Obeka (2011) says that most English language textbooks in our schools are too stereotyped. That is written as if they for learners of English as a native speaker.   Hence there is need to access problems with teaching and learning the use of adverbs and adverbials in secondary schools in Ezza North Local Government Area.




Statement of the Problem

A problem with the use of adverbs and adverbial is a problem in the construction of grammatical structures which mars proficiency competence in use 0f second language. The inability of the students to identify or use adverbs adverbials correctly gave rise to this study as errors in the use of adverbs in writing and speaking are clearly identified. It is obvious that the expressions of the students in English language are not worth listening to. This study sets out to identify the problems and prospects with the use of adverbs and adverbials among students of secondary schools in Ezza North Local Government Area, and to find out the extent to which the problems influence competence in the English language.



Education as a Key to Unlocking Underdevelopment in Nations




Background to the study

Education has long been recognized as a vital key to unlocking under-development in Nations. It is one of the major instruments for bringing about socio-political, economic, scientific and technological advancement of any country. Hence, the development of a society is closely tied to its level of educational attainment. This explains why most nations both developing and advanced, invest a significant proportion of their annual budget in the educational sector of the economy (Awe, 2003).          As important as education is, its immediate benefits are not easily discernible just as its actual direct cost and indirect cost is difficult to qualify exactly in monetary terms. But what nations are worried about is the quality and standard of education being offered in the school system especially in the universities.

University is a complex school system. The inputs such as  infrastructure, funds  and especially students, teachers, facilities etc., in the school system are transformed by ways of lectures, readings, seminars, counseling, interaction with colleagues  and other social activities and the outcome is expected to be enlightened, cultured, educated, nationalistic and self-disciplined  graduates. But a number of problems may exist within or outside the educational institutions that could make it difficult for effective teaching and learning.         University students everywhere experience some level of difficulties in the pursuit of their mission, vision and goals. Those associated with institutions in developing countries, as in Africa are numerous. Some of these problems ranges from cumbersome registration process and screening, lack of financial support, infrastructural challenges, lack of commitment and motivation to do or carryout a research work, incessant unrest of staff and students, balancing social life and academic life etc. (Sawyer, 2002).

Similarly, Enaohwo (2005) added that student enrollment continuously out stripped growth in basic input- a mere quantitative phenomenon without a corresponding qualitative support. The basic infrastructural support like classrooms, Laboratories, Hostel Accommodation, library facilities and office space that were available at the takeoff point have marginally expanded. Enaohwo’s  remarks are a confirmation of Sawyer’s  (2002), who pointed out that problems experienced  by the typical African university students include little or no attempts made to match intake with available spaces, the absence of commensurate growth in  human support and lack of Adequate provision of resources   generally in  African  universities has not yet been fully addressed.      Mouton, (2001); Shumba, (2004); Nyawaranda, (2005); and Pearce, (2005) Concur that students’ capacity to conduct research are constrained by institution-related challenges such as: lack of exposure of tutors or research skills, lack of internet services, lack of exposure to computer and lack of material. Fidzani (1998) conducted a study in university of Botswana, Gaborone to establish the information seeking behavior of students. Findings include that there was a heavy reliance on library books, textbooks and Journals as sources of information used for class work. The researcher reported further that students primarily relied on scanning the shelves or browsing through Journals rather than using the index and abstract data bases to locate information because they are much familiar with textbooks than reading online.

There tend to be some hindrances because of the state of our libraries, most textbooks and Journals in the shelves are only but ancient and Archival books that contain little or no information to guide students in doing their assignment and carrying out their project research work and these sometimes lead to lack of commitment and motivation to do either of this. Rather, they stress themselves to get material which only drain their zeal, time and resources (money). On this note, Anderson, Day, Maclaughlin, (2006) pointed out that time was a very limited resource for students carrying out research. Furthermore, lack of funds let students down in photocopying recent Journals textbooks and e-resources.  Consequently on this, the zeal and urge to carry out a quality research projected might be compromise. Anderson et al (2006) said the above because some of the students had to provide basic needs for themselves and families. These commitments competed with their assignment or research work.

What is today known as Ebonyi State University started with a resolution of the then Military Administration of Anambra State, which was later upheld under Chief Jim Nwobodo’s civilian administration. On July 30, 1980, the then Anambra State Government established the Anambra State-University of Science and Technology, ASUTECH by law no 7 of 1980, thereby establishing the first University of Science and Technology in Nigeria. The ASUTECH Edict no. 20 of 1985, put in place a four-campus structure with the faculties of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary medicine located in Abakaliki. Lectures started in the Abakaliki campus Faculty of Agriculture in November, 1987 with 55 students and 15 academic staff including students of the department of Horticulture and Plant Protection transferred from Awka campus of ASUTECH.

The Faculty graduated the first batch of students in 1991/92 academic session.In 1987, a pre-science school was established at the Abakaliki campus of ASUTECH. On August 27, 1991, Enugu State was created out of the old Anambra State so that ASUTECH campuses in Enugu and Abakaliki were inherited by Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT via Enugu State Government Edict no. 33 of 1991 and amended in 1995 with the Abakaliki campus remaining as the new ESUT Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. The College of Medicine was added a year later in 1992.At the creation of Ebonyi State in 1996, the Abakaliki campus of the then ESUT, was upgraded to Ebonyi State University College by Edict no. 5 of Ebonyi State, 1998 still affiliated to ESUT with Prof. Fidelis Ogah, former ESUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor as the first Rector. In 1997, the Faculty of Applied and Natural Sciences with 8 departments was added to the fledging University and later in 1998 when the ESUT Pre-Science Programme was relocated to Nsukka, the EBSUC Pre-Degree School commenced lectures in both Science and Arts in replacement of the former.

The major landmark that launched the institution/college to her present status came in 1999 when His Excellency, Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu, 1st Executive Governor of Ebonyi State announced the upgrading of the University College to a full-fledged multi-disciplinary University. The establishing law (Ebonyi State University law No 7,1999) received executive assents of His Excellency in January 14, 2000 with Prof. Fidelis Ogah as the first Vice-Chancellor. Resulting from the autonomous status, 4 additional faculties were created viz: the Faculties of Arts with six departments; Education comprising six departments and Management and Social Sciences having nine departments. In the year 2000, the Faculty of Law, School of Post­graduate Studies and Work and Study Programme (WASP), a week-end programme mapped out for workers who desire university education while retaining their jobs were established. In 2002, a new Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology was established. It took off in 2002/2003 academic year with Departments of Nursing Sciences and that of Medical Laboratory Sciences.

In December, 2008, the 3rd Governing Council was inaugurated by His Excellency Chief Martin N. Elechl, the 2nd Executive Governor of Ebonyi State and Visitor to EBSU, with His Excellency Dr Emmanuel Oko Isu (now late) as chairman. Prof-Francis Igboji Idike took over from Prof Fidelis Ogah as the new Vice Chancellor of the university in January, 2009.

Since then, the problem faced by Ebonyi State University students has been problem of multi-campus which sometime affects students studies as most of the Ishieke campus students (science related) will have to go to Presco campus to receive their lectures and sometimes quiz and some others (arts related) will have to get to the permanent site to get their studies, quiz and exams. This problem of multi-campus alone degenerate into other problems which the students will likely face. These problems include lack of information which sometimes may cause the student his/her lecture, quiz or exams, financial constraints, time of lectures amongst others. Other problems include high cost of leaving in the some parts of the campuses like Presco campus where most students prefer renting house in Ishieke campus and be attending lectures from there. Because of these problems and many more, there should be need for improvement and solution to most problems either by allowing the students to have their lectures in their respective campuses or merge all the campus to become one.

The problems faced by undergraduates in Ebonyi State Universities, many a time, causes service failure as the needs of these young ones need to be met for effective teaching and learning in our higher institutions. Hence, this study is geared towards ascertaining strategies for reducing the academic problems faced by undergraduates in Ebonyi State University.




Education as a Key to Unlocking Underdevelopment in Nations

Statement of the problem

There are unexpected difficulties and problems (Trimmer, 1992) and they may lead to academic failures. Hence, this study is conducted to identify and proffer solutions to the academic problems faced by undergraduates.      Schools, especially tertiary institutions, are complex social systems. And as result, a number of problems may exist within the institution that could make it difficult for the intended outcomes to be achieved. Those problems include: lack of adequate time management, students working at part-time jobs and/or students engaging in time consuming extra-curricular activities at the university, emotional issues such as loss, depression, and anxiety, lack of personal confidence, personal problems such as low ability; negative self-concept, anxiety, maladjustment, environmental influences such as poor classroom conditions and lack of home support.

Looking at the aforementioned problems influence student’s academic achievements, the demands of academic assignments almost require students to have the time management skills of a successful busy business executive. Unfortunately, not many students know adequate time management. Part-time jobs and time consuming extra-curricular activities at the university environment take or can possibly take students mind off their academic pursuits or what they want to achieve academically. Emotional issues such as loss, depression, and anxiety may cause students to feel inadequate or result in serious academic difficulties and failure. Lack of personal confidence leads students to indulge in examination malpractice which may implicate them and as a result they will face panel and thus, they may be suspended or there will be reduction in their grades. Personal problems such as low ability; negative self-concept, anxiety, maladjustment negatively influence students academic achievements. Environmental influences such as poor classroom conditions make students uncomfortable as they cannot study under such environment and they keep taking lectures in such classroom, most students may loose interest in coming to classes and they will end up not doing well in school. Lack of necessary home support such as financial support, food and otherwise make students vulnerable to failure in academic achievement.

All these problems seemingly interfere with their studies and willpower to complete their academic programme successfully. As a result of this, quality education is sacrificed and standards fail. Hence, this study is needful.

Therefore, the cause of this study is to identify the strategies for reducing the problems faced by undergraduate students in Ebonyi state university, Abakaliki.


Education as a Key to Unlocking Underdevelopment in Nations








Background to the study

The development of reading comprehension in learners has long been investigated for two basic reasons: Literacy (reading to live) and academic achievement (reading to think). Reading comprehension is now the basic need of a citizen to live and to act successfully in his professional and academic contexts. It is even viewed to be the core language skill to build the development of all other language skills and sub skills such as Listening, speaking, writing, vocabulary and grammar (Anderson, 2012). In addition, the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have been the time of numerous migrations around the world and the use of world languages increased. Hence, in the modern linguistically diverse societies, the level of expectation for a person to function well is higher than those in the past local communities (Grabe, 2009).

Good comprehenders know how to control reading, to construct meaning, and to monitor their reading by using reading strategies appropriately. Lots of strategies have been devised and revised so far. However, choosing the appropriate strategy depends on different factors like, the level of students, the kind of the text, students’ culture and background knowledge, purpose of reading, etc.

McNamara (2007) mentioned three reasons to claim the necessity of reading comprehension strategies. First, many readers do not know exactly whether they are adequately comprehending the text. It is believed that acquisition of reading strategies help readers improve their comprehension calibration. Second, many readers have a misconception of comprehension. When they read a text, they settle for shallow levels of comprehension. These Shallow readers believe they have adequately comprehended a text if they can recognize the words and most of the sentences. However, “deep comprehension requires inferences, linking ideas coherently, scrutinizing the validity of claims with a critical stance, and sometimes understanding the motives of authors” (McNamara, 2007). Third, deep comprehension of technical text is a difficult challenge for nearly all adults even skill readers. As a result acquisition of better strategies of reading comprehension is needed as a lifelong reading. And finally, Lems, Miller, and Soro (2010) put it in their words: “Reading comprehension requires the use of strategies before, during, and after reading” (p. 172).

Reading comprehension strategies can be divided in two groups: single reading comprehension strategies and combining reading strategies.

Single Reading Comprehension Strategy: Different lists of reading comprehension strategies were identified by various scholars and organizations. Some reading strategies are repeated in each list showing the importance of them. Zimmermann and Hutchins (2003) identified following seven reading comprehension strategies (as cited in Moreillon, 2007): Activating or building background knowledge, Using sensory images, Questioning, Making predictions and inferences, Determining main ideas, Using fix-up options, and Synthesizing. Guthrie, Wigfield, and Perencevich (2004) identified the following as strong strategies which can assist elementary readers: Activating background knowledge, Questioning in reading, Searching for information, Summarizing during reading, organizing graphically, and Structuring story.

Combining Reading Strategies: Some researchers have examined how reading strategies work together in strategy packages (Guthrie et al, 2004). It seems reasonable since good readers coordinate a set of strategies to comprehend a text (Reutzel, Smith, & Fawson, 2005). Blachowicz and Ogle (2008) introduced two groups of reading strategies: reading strategies for informational texts which include: The KWL, Reciprocal teaching, External text features, Nonfiction book report , Text previewing, Tables of contents, Internal text structures, Text structure frames, I-Charts, Reciprocal teaching, Questioning the author, Levels of questions. Reading Strategies for Fiction Texts: Map literature circles, Bookmarks, Story problem solving, Story impressions, Sketch to stretch, Save the last word for me, Journal writing, Great books shared inquiry, Grand conversations, Book clubs, Literature circles, and Readers’ workshop.

It is therefore pertinent to begin with the notion that English language is a language without which there could not have been an entity called Nigeria (Ogunsiji and Olanrewaju, 2002). This Ezeokoli (2005) gave credent to when he also dispelled that English language is very crucial to the Nigeria education system .It is not only the medium of instruction especially at the upper primary, secondary and tertiary level of education but also the language of text-books. It is through the vehicle of English language that student accesses knowledge in other subject areas.

Yet, the academic performance of students both at secondary school and postsecondary school is worrisome .This Adesanoye (1994) pin-pointed while he referred to Adeniran that there is indeed a lot wrong with the performance in English even among University students and graduates for that matter. Djihed (2013) also confirmed that even among the Arab students, students perform poorly in General English which compound their reading comprehension difficulties.

To this effect, proficiency in the English language is essentially not only for academic success alone but to perform in life as various individuals. However, there is low proficiency in English language and this to a very large extent resulted in under-achievement among Nigeria senior secondary school students and those at the higher institutions (Olanipekun, 2012). This shameful failure Akinsolu (2010) axiomatically noted in the public’s unhappiness which becomes more prominent following the annual release of the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination results, since the student outcomes do not match the government and parental investments both at the senior secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Nevertheless, it is obvious that students’ academic performance in English language is abysmally low.

In this sense, the overriding need for English, not only as the language of instruction in schools alone but also as the language of science and technology even in technically inclined institutions has thus resulted in its integration in the Nigerian educational system at all levels. At the tertiary level, English or General English is taught as a compulsory subject in both the science and vocational faculties. Without doubt, English is significant to the students’ academic success, especially for graduate and post-graduate students as most of the documentations related to their field of specialization are written in English (Djihed, 2013). More accurately, these learners require English to comprehend texts written in English, which are related to their discipline.

On the rostrum of some the causes of poor academic performance in English language is attitude to the language and according to Okoye (1982), he averred that if we develop a negative attitude, it may seriously interfere with one’s performance not only in the examination but even in life. Some educators and social scientists have argued that peer influence contributes to a lack of effort and interest in school work as unfolded by Olanipekun (2012) while citing Bishop. These factors may be accountable for poor performance in English language.

The directed reading thinking activity (DRTA) was developed by Stauffer in 1969. The DRTA is a strategy that guides students in asking questions about a text, making predictions, and then reading to confirm or refute their predictions. In fact, DRTA provides the teacher an opportunity to guide students to think like good readers do by anticipating, predicting, and then confirming and modifying their ideas with the story. DRTA is mostly used with fiction, but it can be used successfully with nonfiction too. Blachowicz and Ogle (2008) believed that DRTA is one of the strongest ways which can help teachers engage students actively in the pieces of literature they are reading. Al Odwan (2012) noted that the directed reading thinking activity is a much stronger model for building independent readers and learners.

DRTA is designed to assist students in setting a purpose for reading; making, justifying, and verifying predictions; and coming to conclusion. DRTA encourages students to make prediction while they are reading. After reading segments of a text, students stop, confirm or revise previous predictions, and make new predictions about what they will read next. DRTA technique can help the students to study especially in extensive reading. As the teacher knowing that extensive reading become an important subject in reading skill. By using DRTA the teacher can improve the ability and intelligence simultaneously in teaching extensive reading in the English Language classroom.

From the foregoing, this study is geared towards ascertaining the application of Directed Reading and Thinking Activity (Dr.TA) strategy in the language classroom among JSS 2 students in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.




Statement of the problem

          The problem in comprehension could be a result of the lack of instruction in reading comprehension strategies. In searching for a solution to students’ poor comprehension skills all over the world, many researchers (e.g., Bongratz, et al., 2002; Cramer, Fate and Lueders, 2001; Song, 1998) found that reading strategies are beneficial in helping poor readers improve their comprehension skills.

DRTA is a motivating teaching strategy but yet to be utilized by the teachers in our secondary schools. Students enjoy making predictions and then finding out whether or not their predictions were correct and this shows that the application of Dr.TA strategy will improve the students performance in English language classroom. DRTA is also a very flexible strategy in that it can be used individually, with a small group, or with an entire class. It can also be used in any subject and can meet the needs of any levelled reader.

From the foregoing, the study tends to ascertain the application of Directed Reading and Thinking Activity (Dr.TA) strategy in the language classroom among JSS 2 students in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi St





This study focused on the determiners as structural components of the noun phrase; uses and abuses in secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The main objective of the study was to investigate the determiners as structural components of the noun phrase, uses and abuses by secondary school students. Four research questions were used for the study. The study adopted a survey research design. The population of the study was 2000 students selected from ten chosen secondary schools within the area of the study. The sample of the study was 200 students randomly selected from schools in Ohaukwu L.G.A. Data collected was analyzed using mean and standard deviation. The study revealed that the determiner has been abused by secondary school students and that unqualified teachers are used in the teaching of English language. Based on the research findings, recommendations were made.



Background to the Study

The noun phrase according to Ogbulogo (2004) is an important aspect of the English grammar. It starts with determiners which are placed at the beginning of those phrases. Determiners are specific or general.  Although English Language is thought to be one of the most important languages in the world. There are many reasons why English is so important. One of the reasons is that English is spoken as the first language in many countries.

There are 104 countries where English is spoken as the first language. English is the language of so many countries, more people in the world speak Mandarin Chinese as their first language (L1). Mandarin Chinese is spoken in sixteen countries even in countries where English is not the native language, people use it for business and tourism. English is used for these purposes in most countries. English is the official language of the United Nations. English is also the official language of airlines and airports. All airline pilots that fly to other counties must be able to speak English.

There are different kinds of English like British English, Canadian English, American English and Nigerian English. These are not separate languages. They are dialects. A dialect is the way people in a particular place speak their native language. In one place, people might have name they like to use for something that is not used in another place. For example; in Britain, they call the building where a motion picture is watched a cinema. In America, they call it a theater.

This is just a different way of talking about the same thing. Both of these words are correct. It is important to remember that any form of English that you learn is good. There are no better versions of English. There are only different ones. Although English language is now the language of government business and commerce education, the mass media, literature, agriculture as well as external communication there are still some issues in the way our secondary school students use the English language.

Noun phrase has determiner as its integral part with this structure NP+det+N, where NP; is noun phrase det, determiner, determiner etymologically came from a Latin word ‘determinur, meaning ‘limit or boundary’. According to Onyeka (2013) determiner is a word that comes before a noun to show what it refers. John (2007) states that determiner is a word class that determine or set the limits of a noun phrase showing whether the phrase is definite or indefinite limiting it in some other ways such as through negation.

It is a word used before or after a noun to give more information about the noun. They always precede or come after nouns or adjectives in English to show the person or things being referred to. The term embraces, several categories of words which in dictionaries and olden books are called adjectives and pronouns. Determiners are words that mark the presence of noun in a sentence that is they announces that a noun or it’s equivalent is coming.

The commonest determiners are articles (definite and indefinite), the possessive pronouns such as my, our, their, his, and such words as another, each, either, enough, some etc. According to Christopher C. and Sandrel, determiner is appropriately given to words which function as adjuncts and show their head to be noun. Moreso, determiner is any word that comes before a noun be it a pronoun or adjectives, it serves as a signal that a noun is soon to follow.

If the noun is preceded by adjective, the determiner precedes the modifier. Determiners include the following; a, an, all, least, less, many, both, no, certain, more, most, neither, next, other, own, these, the, where, few, little, every, any, even ordinal and cardinal numerals (first, second, one, two) etc. are also classified as determiners. The above words were drawn from several different words that can be use as determiners, words that have been inflectionally defined as adjectives, pronouns, quantifiers etc in our context however, they may be seen as structural words which modify our impression of nouns.

Equally, a determiner can identify a person or thing, this pen, those books, this is my brothers’ car. Onwe (2010) states that determiners are words or group of words that marks the presence of a noun. They include articles, demonstratives, quantifiers and possessive determiners. www/ determiner. Html states that the determiner class is one of the structural classes that straddle a word and its functions on the other hand, our most common determiners constitute small closed structural class at the end of the spectrum are the possessive nouns which function as determiner while retaining their membership in open class noun.

In between are the subclasses of determiners and that belong to the clossen pronoun class: demonstratives, possessives, and pronouns all function as determiners and of cause as pronouns they function as nominal’s (in fact, “pronominal” would be a more accurate label than pronoun). In the midst of all the nouns, pronouns, adjectives and articles a student is expected to learn, the determiner is often left untaught or taught incorrectly and this led to the abuse or wrong use of the determiner amongst our secondary school students. Adeogu (2001) quoting the Chinese philosopher Confucius aptly put it thus:

If the language is not correct, then what is said is not correct, if what is said is not correct or what is meant, if what is said is not what is meant, then what aught to be done remains undone. If this remains undone, words and arts detoriates…(41). Abuses could be traceable to mother tongue interference since most Nigerian languages do not have any separate morpheme for the article. Most of the times when students are made aware of the need for them to use determiners in speaking and writing of the English language, they use them redundantly or use one when another is appropriate in sentences. Because of these, it therefore become necessary to examine how the determiner function as structural component of the noun phrase, how they are abused (either omitted or wrongly applied) and show how they are to be used correctly both in speech and writing of our secondary school students.


Statement of the Problem

Despite the way the English grammar has been taught in our schools these days, the English grammatical structure constitute one of the various problems learners of the English language face. They encounter some hitches both in their written and oral expressions of the English grammar. Klesch and Marrylynn (2008), maintain accuracy of expression; ‘if one does not say exactly what he mean, one cannot expect the listener or reader to understand what one is trying to communicate’. This is the case with determiners, learners of the English language normally encounter some difficulties in their use of determiner and these problems include: wrong use of determiners, omission of determiners where they are compulsory, wrong ordering of determiner where more than one is required and redundant use of determiners.

The determiner as a structural component of the noun phrase: it’s uses and abuses by secondary school student both in private and public schools in Ohaukwu Local Government of Ebonyi State. This being problem, the study therefore attempt to investigate how our secondary school students use the determiner and provide the ways that determiners should be used in both writing oral expressions.

Purpose of the Study   

Determiner to speakers of the English language is as important as hoe to the farmers and as the salt to a cook. This is because the knowledge of how to apply determiners in both speech and writing exercises make for accurate and effective use without abuse of the English grammar in writing and in speech.

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the determiners as structural components of the noun phrase, its uses and abuses in secondary schools. The specific purpose of this study is to:

  1. Determine the wrong usage of determiner.
  2. Determine where determiners are to be omitted in sentences.

iii. Determine the problems learners of English language encounter in their use of determiners.

  1. Determine the causes of the problems learners of English language encounter in their use of determiners.

This research work will be limited to discovering the meaning of the determiners in English language and how they function as structural component of the noun phrases, it’s uses and abuses by secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Scope of the Study

This research work will be limited to studying determiners of the English grammar to show how they function as structural components of the noun phrase and how students abuse them in secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Significance of the Study

This study will be useful to students, teacher of English language, English language text book authors and educational planners.

This study will provide useful result to any effort made towards solving the problems learners of English language normally encounter in their use of determiner especially in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Students will be helped through the findings of this research work to know what determiner is all about and how it is used and this will enable them to enhance or improve their speech and writing exercises. To the teachers it will help them improve positively in their teaching of the determiners in our secondary schools.

This study will also be of great importance to the English language textbook authors as it will enable them do more work on determiners and its uses. Educational planners will equally benefit from the findings of this work because it will enable them restructure the curriculum to create more space for the teaching of determiners so that both students and teachers alike will make a successful and functional education in their speaking and writing skills. This work when completed will also be of a great help to future researchers who may venture into this very topic.

Research Questions

The following research questions are formulated to guide the researcher in carrying out the study.

  1. What are the ways in which students use determiners wrongly?
  2. Where should determiners be omitted in sentences?
  3. What are the problems learners of English language encounter in their use of determiners?
  4. What are the cause of the problems learners of English language encounter in their use of determiner?