Common grammatical errors in English by JSS 3 students in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State
Background to the Study
English language, upon which this study is based, is generally accepted as a means of communication. Every segment of the Nigerian populace including civil servants, the elite, market women and even jobless people on the street make use of English.
The English language is a second language (L2) in Nigeria previously meant for communication between the colonial masters and their different colonies. This was to enable them transact their businesses successfully (with the motive of Christianity, colonization, and economic empowerment) and easily in all African nations. It, therefore, did not matter to them whether what was spoken and written was correct or not.
The grammatical problem started initially with African students of the colonialists who were taught little and who also learnt from observations and imitation. As a result of this, there are many linguistic problems in the spoken and written English grammar in primary, secondary and tertiary institution in Africa generally and in Nigerian in particular.
Grammatical errors have posed serious problems in written essays to the JSS 3 students in secondary schools. The errors are also observed among undergraduate students of higher institutions and some learned citizens in the society. This problem gives much concern to the teachers, parents, the government, the society and even to students themselves. Since the English grammar can be said to be the engine for learning English language, the researcher has determined to investigate critically and analyze some of the grammatical errors in our secondary school student (JSS 3) written essays and make suggestions for improvement.
Statement of the Problem
For a long time, there have been complaints by West African Examination Council (WAEC) Examiners, teachers of English language, parents and other individuals about the falling standard of English language. These poor performances of students are found in secondary school examinations particularly in JSS 3 students who lay much emphasis on Examination results as the ultimate measure of attainment because very often English Language examinations serves as the only means of assessing students’ proficiency in the use of grammar and its rules. There is a general belief that inefficiency of the teachers in teaching English grammar or English language to the students have a way of affecting the students’ ability to express ideas correctly in English language, especially in the use of grammatical Concords. Other areas of their poor performances include poor spellings, punctuation, wrong use of tense and wrong formation of plurals (Brown, 2000).
These problems are attributed to the interference of the first language (L1) (or mother tongue) with the use of English language (Brown, 2000). All these deformities in the system gave the researcher concern to carry out the research work. The problem of this study is what are JSS3 students’ common grammatical errors in English Language in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate into common grammatical errors in English by JSS 3 students in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study will:
- Analyze JSS 3 students’ grammatical errors in vocabulary building.
- Ascertain JSS 3 students’ effectiveness in comprehension passages.
- Determine JSS 3 students’ performance in daily application of the rules of concord.
- Analyze JSS 3 students’ application of phonology in students’ use of grammar.
Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense significance to the students, teachers and future, researchers in spoken and written English as our official language of communication both in written and spoken forms.
To the students, findings of this study will be of immense benefit to them for effective writing and speaking of English. To the teachers, findings of the study will ignite their passion in appreciating their different areas of teaching grammar and developing best ways of correcting students’ daily errors in grammar.
It is hoped that this work will help in sorting out the common English grammatical errors of Junior Secondary School students especially in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. English composition is imperative in the analysis of students’ written English. English composition is imperative for effective teaching and learning.
It will be of immense benefit to teachers as it will expose them to the strategies that will help students minimize the errors committed by the students in their expressions and so help them speak correctly. Specifically, it is hoped that the recommendation will also help English teachers to teach the students the basic rules guiding grammatical usages.
This work will also be beneficial to Ebonyi State Government as they will see the necessity of employing trained and competent teachers of English language who are entrusted with the teaching of English language. Finally, the work will serve as a reference point for future research work on the common English grammatical errors in the secondary school in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Scope of the Study
The study was based on analyzing the grammatical errors in JSS 3 students written English in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The study is based on classifying the errors, finding out the gender that commits the errors most and finally the gender that performs better in students written English.
Four research questions were formulated to guide this study. They are as follows:
- What are students’ common grammatical errors in vocabulary building?
- How effective are JSS 3 students in comprehension passage?
- How do JSS 3 students’ apply the rules of concord in written English?
- How do JSS 3 students apply the rule of phonology in their daily grammar usage?
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Related literature shall be reviewed under the following sub-headings:
- Conceptual framework
- Theoretical framework
- Empirical Studies
- Summary of the reviewed literature