Effect of Games on the Achievement and Interest of Junior Secondary School Students in Igbo Grammar
This study was carried out to investigate the effect of games on the achievement and interest of Junior Secondary School students in Igbo grammar. The effect of gender and location on the achievement and interest of JSSII students taught using games were also investigated. Six research questions were generated and ten null hypotheses formulated to guide the study. After a review of related literature, a quasi-experimental study of non-equivalent control group design was adopted. Intact classes were used. The sample consisted of one hundred and ninety-seven (197) JSSII students drawn from eight Secondary Schools in Nsukka Education Zone. Multi- Stage Sampling techniques was adopted for the sampling. In the first instance, stratified random sampling technique was employed to draw four Secondary Schools each from Nsukka Urban and Rural Locations. The Stratification was on the basis of gender and location. The sampled schools were randomly assigned by balloting to the treatment and control groups. Regular Igbo teachers taught the students. Identified extraneous variables were controlled and all the groups were pre and post-tested with the achievement test and interest inventory.
An internal consistency reliability estimate of 0.82 using Kuder-Richardson formula 20 was computed for Igbo
vii grammar achievement test (IGAT) while an internal consistency of 0.63 using crombach Alpha formula was calculated for Igbo language interest
inventory (ILII). The data generated from the study was analyzed using 2×2~2an alysis of Covariance (ANCOVA), means and standard deviations.
The major findings of the study were. there was no significant effect of game strategy on students’ achievement in Igbo grammar. there was a significant effect of qame strategy on students’ interest “. in Igbo grammar. gender was a significant factor on both the achievement and interest of students in Igbo grammar, location had a significant effect on both the achievement and interest of students in Igbo grammar. the combined effects of variables method, gender and location had an influence on both the achievement and interest of students in Igbo grammar but when a pair wise comparison was made on the
independent measures, there was significant effect on achievement but no significant effect on interest. The Educational implications of the findings were extensively discussed, The limitations of the study were also exposed while some recommendations were made which viii
include, that emphasis should be given to equipping students with the necessary skills in using games since it proved efficacious in enhancing students interest. Seminars and worksho.p s should be organized by the various organs of government on the importance of use of innovative strategies like games in teaching and learning process especially in the area of language education. Emphasis of these seminars should be laid on gender and location factors on
Background to the study
The broad aims of secondary education within the overall national objectives of Nigerian education (FRN 1981) are as follows: “Preparation for useful living within the society, and preparation for higher education” (P.16). In specific terms, part of the mandate for the secondary school system is to develop and project Nigerian cultural heritage and to foster Nigerian unity with emphasis on the common ties that mite us in our diversity, (F.R.N. 1981). To achieve the stated objectives, the Junior Secondary School Curriculum is structured to include two Nigerian Languages in the core subjects, while the Senior Secondary School Curriculum provides for a compulsory study of one Nigerian Language In selecting two Nigerian Languages, students are required to study the language of their own area in addition to any of the three main Nigerian Languages, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, subject to availability of teachers.
Ideally, the Nigerian child at Junior Secondary School level has at least two Nigerian Languages which he/she should strive to acquire since doing so will
make himlher a n~uch more effective Nigerian in terms of communication with fellow Nigerians. Language and culture are inseparable and to separate a child from his language and culture at an early stage of his school education is to make him have no regard for his culture. Apart from seeing language as a means of preserving the people’s culture, it is the basic factor in communication as well as a formidable tool of social interaction (Olagoke, 1979: 16).
It is against this background that the then National Education Research Council, (NERC) with its usual innovative educational ideas, was mandated
by Joint Committee on Education (JCE) held in January 1982 to develop the curriculum for the three main Nigerian Languages for use at the proposed
Junior Secondary School.
The objectives of this curriculum (NERC, 1982) are as follows lo teach Students to express themselves correctly in the appropriate Nigerian Languages, employing opprobrium lexical and figures of’ speech: demonstrate the familiarity of and acquaintance with on utility to discuss and explain elements of the oral tradition of’ the language (Folktales, riddles, games, songs e.l,c.)reud and appreciable literature written in Nigerien Languages without difficultly and a( u reu,soundless speed; carry out continuous writing in Nigerian Language employing correct usage of grammar, idiomatic expression, orthography, punctation and other mechanics of’ the Language; maniSest creativity in Nigerian Language through composition of short stories, plays, news-sheets, word-games son,qs etc, in the language; acquire the necessary tool to cope with further stitches in Nigerien Languages, if so desired .Subsequently, the National Curriculum in Igbo Language was structured by NERC in 1982, in line with the above objectives. The,Fourth and fifth objectives which deal with the written and grammatical dimension of the curriculum are of particular interest in this study.
This is because the utility values of any language lie in the ability to communicate ideas effectively in written and oral forms. From the researcher’s experience as a classroom teacher, it seems that the ideas are most communicated through plays, games, short stories and songs. The Igbo curriculum ‘ package is comprehensive. It employs both thematic and conceptual approach in organizing the content. This curriculum package is designed to make the
efforts of the teacher, the implementers of the curriculum, lighter. This is because the objectives for each topic has been broken into specific terms,
teachers and pupils activities including instructional method and media have been outlined for each topic. It is doubtful if these methods are effectively
utilized, particularly in the area of grammar consisting of’ alphabets,C UITCIII orthography, the sound system (tone marking) vowel harmony, formation of
words and sentences.
The suggested methods (FME, 1982) for teaching the grammatical contents include, discussion, silent reading, use of games and songs. The researcher seems to believe that if all these innovative methods are properly used, Students will perform highly in the subject. However from the researcher’s experience, it is doubtful if teachers are familiar with the methods especially in the areas of games and role-playing. The methods teachers use are mostly lecture method, which is not activity based. To get teachers familiar with the methods advocated in the curriculum, government has initiated training and retraining of Igbo language teachers through sponsorship of fresher courses and seminars. In the same vein, the society for the promotion of Igbo Language and culture (SPILC) has produced teachers’ guide for the teaching of Igbo. The society’s effort in this regard is epitomized in its “C)kaasusu Igbo” – Igbo meta language.
In spite of these efforts to raise the status of Igbo Language, the subject appears to be badly treated and neglectre d in schools (Ume, 1978 and Egudu, 1984). For instance all the aspects of the grammar of Igbo language, literature, culture are given the same time on the school timetable while English language and literature, apart f’rom being separately treated, have five periods and three periods respectively in a week. Furthermore, research findings show that the Igbo grammar which deals with igbo alphabets, current orthography, the sound system including vowel harmony and word formation are poorly taught (Ogbalu, 1976, Ume, 1978, Anasiudu, 1986). Ume, (1978) also pointed out that recognition of lgbo alphabets and vowels including the rules guiding the formation of words which are so important in Igbo Language studies are not e(mphasized by teachers. He maintained that lack of recognition of alphabets and vowcls resulted in students’ inability to harmonize words.
The researcher’s interaction with few schools during the teaching practice exercise showed that Junior Secondary School students do not know how to read and write Igbo alphabets much less using the letters to form words. This situation which is in agreement with Ume (1978) and Azkiwe (1989), appeared to have resulted in persistent poor achievement and low interest of students in Igbo Language, (WAEC REPORT, 1993). The level of achievement in Igbo Language by students is not encouraging. To buttress this point, table 1 shows the SSCE results in lgbo of 5 schools in Nsukka Local Government
Area after a period of 4 years (1995 – 1998).
language, literature, culture are given the same time on the school timetable while English language and literature, apart f’rom being separately
treated, have five periods and three periods respectively in a week. Furthermore, research findings show that the Igbo grammar which deals
with igbo alphabets, current orthography, the sound system including vowel harmony and word formation are poorly taught (Ogbalu, 1976, Ume, 1978,
Anasiudu, 1986). Ume, (1978) also pointed out that recognition of Igbo alphabets and vowels including the rules guiding the formation of words
which are so important in Igbo Language studies are not emphasized by teachers. He maintained that lack of recognition of alphabets and vowcls
resulted in students’ inability to harmonize words. The researcher’s interaction with few schools during the teaching practice exercise showed
that Junior Secondary School students do not know how to read and write Igbo alphabets much less using the letters to form words.
This situation which is in agreement with Ume (1978) and Azkiwe (1989), appeared tohave resulted in persistent poor achievement and low interest of students in Igbo Language, (WAEC REPORT, 1993). The level of achievement in Igbo Language by students is not encouraging. To buttress this point, table 1
shows the SSCE results in Igbo of 5 schools in Nsukka Local Government Area after a period of 4 years (1995 – 1998). Table 1 shows that for the five, schools’ results pulled together, the total percentage of outright failures were 2 1 % , 29 % , 30 % and 34 % for the years 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 respectively. This shows that about one third of the classes that took the examination in three out of four years failed. Also ordinary passes which is equally regarded as failures in the GCE standard attracted 42%, 18%, 19% and 15% failure rates for the four years respectively. For the results of individual schools; School A had failures of about 25% and above in three out of the four years. School B had failures of about 25% and above for the entire four years , or an average of 33 % failure for 4 years. School D had failures of 34 % and above for the entire years, or an average of 52% failure for 4 years. While School E had
failures of 40% and above for three (3) out of the four (4) years or an average of 38% failure for the 4 years. This table therefore goes to prove that the students are not performing highly in SSCE in Igbo Language.
This result corroborated with the WAEC Chief Examiner’s Reports (WAEC, 1993, 1996, 1997) as they all pointed to the fact that students are not performing as expected in Igbo language. For instance, the report were unanimous in pointing out that candidates were unable to express themselves very well in standard Igbo, had poor knowledge of grammatical rules, and could not differentiate between a pronoun and a prefix, were unable to put diacritic marks where necessary ‘and many of them wrote in their dialects, The above-identified indices of poor performance are specifically related to Igbo grammar.
The contributory factors to this poor performance could be found among the followings: lack of interest by both parents, teachers and students (Afigbo, 197 1; Adiele, 1972; Nwadike, 1982), dialectal problems + (Nwachukwu, 1971 ; Ume 1978; Osisionwu, 1981 ; Emenanjo, 1987;), poor method of teaching (Okorie, 1979; Ubahakwe, 1982; Azikiwe, 1989) among others.
On lack of interest, Afigbo (1971) pointed out that the overwhelming a; majority of the educated Igbo have never been interested in their language.
He indicated that most of the elites cannot read or write in their own dialect in any script without tears. This societal problems have affected the students and teachers of Igbo, who are modeled by the societal norms. Similarly, Omeje (1997) indicated that, despite the fact that Igbo language has been a compulsory subject in all schools, students do not attach much importance to its study, since it is not a pre-requisite for entry into the universities and other higher institutions as compared to English. In the area of dialectical probl-ems, Emenanjo (1979) and Nwachukwu (1983) claimed that Igbo Language is seen as a difficult subject because it lends itself to many dialects. Onwudiofu (1984) confirms the above claims. He observes that the problems of dialectical influence made many students mix standard Igbo with their dialects.
This report agrees with the earlier indicated Chief Examiner’s report of 1993, 1996 and 1997. Research findings and personal experiences of the present researcher show that teachers do not use innovative methods outlined in the curriculum package in teaching Igbo. For instance, Onwuka (1981) observed that majority of our teachers do not use various methods in teaching the subject. He noted that the methods the teachers use like lecture and discussion are boring and cannot arouse the interest of students in learning, and this made some students resort to sleeping, chatting or moving out of the class during
Igbo lessons. This poor method of teaching made Ubahakwe (1979) comment that the Igbo language teachers are engaged in a psycho-linguistic
see-saw. That is an idea is conceived in Igbo, it is then coded in English in the class. This ugly situation affects the students’ performance in Igbo
language. Since innovative techniques seem to be lacking in the teaching of Igbo language there is need to try one which will be both activity oriented
and child centered to see whether it could arouse the interest oi’the students.
Among the strategies outlined in the Igbo curriculu~n package, the one that appears very motivating and interesting in terms of usage is game,
since every one is involved in one type of game or the other. However, as a teaching strategy, a game may mean a lot more. Learning games are
problem oriented. They have planning stage, execution stage and more importantly the de-briefing stage. Teaching 8anles are often associated with
simulalions probably because both of them involve role playing and the create problem solving situations. However, Games and simulations methods are quite different from each other. A game is played when two or more players compete or cooperate for pay offs according to a set of rules (Peason and Smith, 1986). In games, there is a winner and a loser. Game as teaching strategy is child centered.
Children play games easily without the aid of instructor. Also games allow for healthy competition among the competitors while simulation is centred
on posing and solving real life problems. Many researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of games in their various subject areas. For instance Anikweze (1988) proved that games were superior to conventional method in enhancing interest of students in Geography. Jones (l986), Obanya, (l987), Ibiam (1 987) and Okoye, (1993) also determined the usefulness of games as a teaching strategy both in science and social science subjects. However, learning games are not without their problems. They appear to be time consuming. Evaluation of learning accruing from them might be diffidult, Finally,
playing of the game might become more important to learners than learning from the game. Although the use of games as a teaching strategy has been
demonstrated to be effective in subjects like geography, sciences, and social sciences, Its effectiveness is yet to be determined in the teaching of Igbo
Similarly, even though gender gap in coinprehension and expression in any language remain inconclusive, it is a general belief that girls are more prone to learning of language than boys. (Terman & Tyler, 1954). The question of whether games should show such gender gap with respect to Igbo language becomes crucial. In like manner, Emenanjo (1979) and Nwachukwu (1983) observed that there is dialectical interference in Igbo grammar. The question of the influence of school location on students’ performance in lgbo grammar using the games technique needed to be addressed.
Effect of Games on the Achievement and Interest of Junior Secondary School Students in Igbo Grammar
Statement of the Problem
There is evidence to show that the level of attainment in Igbo language and in written grammar in particular is lower than expected in the
secondary schools. The Chief Examiner’s Reports (WAEC, 1993, 1996 & 1997) indicated that candidates were unable to express themselves very well
in standard Igbo, had poor knowledge of grammatical rules, could not differentiate between a pronoun and a prefix, were unable to put diacritic
marks where necessary and many of them wrote in their dialects. This low level of achievement has been attributed primarily to poor teaching
1 methods (Madubuko, 1991). The methods presently in use by teachers of Igbo language as pointed out by Okorie(1979), is mainly lecture method. Probably, the non-use of innovative methods that are problem solving oriented such as games, simulation and project method could be the main cause of poor performance of students’in Igbo language. This is because the lecture method dominantly used seems to make students passive participants in the teaching process
(Okorie, 1979). More importantly, lecture method does not allow teachers to adapt learning to the level of students understanding (Mkpa, 1987). Consequently, teachers find it difficult to adapt lecture method to the teaching of rudimentary aspects of Igbo grammar such as vowel harmony
and word formation. Thus, students find these aspects of Igbo grammar difficult. There is then the need to seek ways of making the teaching of Igbo
grammar more effective in order to enhance students’ achievement and interest. Therefore, the problem of this study put in question forms are as
follows: To what extent will the use of games positively influence students’ achievement and interest in some aspects of Igbo grammar? Also how does
location and gender affect students’ achievement and interest in Igbo?
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study was to find out the effect of some games on achievement and interest of Junior Secondary Students in igbo
Grammar. Specifically, the study intended to:
(a) determine the effect of games on the achievement of students taught vowel harmony and word formation.
(b) determine the effect of gender on the achievement of students taught using games
(c) determine the effect of location .on the achievement of students taught using games.
determine the effect of games on the interest of students taught vowel harmony and word formation.
determine the effect of gender on the interest of students taught using games.
determine the effect of location on -the interest of students taught using games.
determine the interaction effect of games method and gender on students’ achievement and interest in Igbo grammar.
determine the interaction effect of game method and location on b students’ achievement and interest in Igbo language.
Effect of Games on the Achievement and Interest of Junior Secondary School Students in Igbo Grammar