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PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTS OF INTEGRATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTS OF INTEGRATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR

 

ABSTRACT

The study was designed to empirically investigate the effect of Integrative Language Teaching Approach (ILTA) on secondary school students’ achievement and interest in English grammar. It also determined the influence of gender and location on students’ achievement and interest in
English grammar. The achievement and interest of students taught with ILTA were compared with those of students taught with the Form Based Approach (FBA). Ten research questions and ten hypotheses guided the study. A quasi-experimental design was used. Specifically, the nonrandomised
control group design, involving eight intact classes was used. The sample for the study consisted of 296 SSS II students from four co-educational secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area, which was the area of the study. A multi-stage sampling technique was used, first to draw the four co-educational schools and two intact classes from each school, and to assign schools to experimental (ILTA) and control groups (FBA). Two instruments, namely the English Grammar Achievement Test (EGAT) and the English Grammar Interest Inventory (EGII) were developed and validated. The internal consistency of EGAT was computed and found to be 0.95 using Kuder Richardson’s formula (K – R 20), while that of EGII was 0.71 using Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficient Method. Before treatment commenced, the EGAT and EGII were administered as pretest to the two groups in each of the sampled schools. The treatment lasted for one month. After the treatment session, the same instrument, with numbers re-arranged, were administered to the subjects to obtain the post-test scores. The data obtained were used in answering the research questions and testing the hypotheses. The research questions were answered using mean scores, while the hypotheses were tested using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) at 0.05 level of significance. The results indicated that ILTA had significant effect on students’ achievement and interest in English grammar, but gender did not significantly influence students’ achievement and interest in English grammar. Location was a significant factor in students’ achievement and interest in English grammar. The results also showed that there was no significant interaction effect of instructional approach and gender on students’ achievement and interest in English grammar. However, while there was significant interaction effect of instructional approach and location on students’
achievement in English grammar, there was no significant interaction effect of instructional approach and location on students’ interest in English grammar. Based on the findings, it was concluded that the study provided empirical evidence of the efficacy of ILTA in enhancing students’ achievement and interest in English grammar. By implication, if teachers of the English language adopt ILTA and practise it in their various schools, students’ achievement and interest in English grammar may improve. It was, therefore, recommended among others that government and other professional bodies should organize workshops, seminars and conferences to educate and sensitize the serving teachers on the use of ILTA in teaching English grammar.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Language is a unique endowment of man. It is an instrument of interaction which all human beings hold in common. Without language human societies may find it difficult to survive. This arises from the fact that they are in constant interaction with one another and language is an indispensable vehicle for such interaction (Anyanwu, 2002). Language helps man to communicate at several planes and in several ways, for several different purposes and for as many different times as he feels, needs, or is made to do so (Ajulo, 2002).
In Nigeria, the language that serves these communicative functions across diverse ethnic groups is the English language. English had access into Nigeria’s linguistic history through trade and colonization. Before its adoption as the nation’s second as well as official language, many indigenous languages like Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo had been in use for the consummation of the same human need of communication.

However, none of these indigenous languages was spoken by the majority of the people, thus making it possible for English to be used as the language for maintaining effective interaction across the linguistically divergent ethnic groups. In line with this, Ogbuehi (2001) aptly observes that the existence of many apparently unrelated languages made it imperative for English to be adopted as the official language in Nigeria since the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 1914. From the foregoing, it is deducible that the English language serves to bridge the communication divide which would have been occasioned by the multi-lingual nature of the Nigerian society. Williams (2004) states that in Nigeria, English is used as a second language and a medium of instruction. It is the language of education, administration, commerce, politics, law, etc.
Akabogu (2002) avers that in most nations, the dominant language is the language of government, business, education, the legal system, the learned professions, trade and commerce, the arts, culture and mobility of all kinds. In Nigeria, the only language that fits into this picture is the English language.

Thus, Akabogu asserts that this enviable status of English places it ahead of other languages in its importance for purposes of communication. Painting a picture of the global status and importance of the English language, Onuigbo and Eyisi (2009) state that in spite of the diversity found in the world of today, the English language remains an important centripetal force that cuts through the global village and pulls the divergent chords towards a central point. Onuigbo and Eyisi further point out that the computer “speaks” other languages, but the English language accounts for about 80% of the messages in the information superhighway.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTS OF INTEGRATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR

 

Therefore, as the language of the internet, more and more people are compelled to learn English as the viable global language for effective global networking. In the field of education, the role of the English language is important. The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) stipulates that English should be progressively used as a medium of instruction from the fourth year of primary school. It also makes English a core and compulsory subject at the junior and senior secondary schools. One is required to pass it at credit level before one can gain admission into any of the Nigerian universities (Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), 2007; Adepoju, 2008; Torty, 2010). The English language is also the index for measuring the quality of any senior school certificate examination result, as it is the subject which candidates must pass if their overall success in the examination is to have any value (Akabogu, 2002).
It follows, inexorably, that how well students progress in their academic pursuit is hinged to a large extent on their level of proficiency in English. This agrees with the observation of Feast (2002), that if students are deficient in the language of instruction (English), they will not perform well in the various school subjects that are taught with the language. This may explain why the English language is regarded by NERDC (2007) as the primus interpares (first among equals) among the core subjects in the secondary school curriculum.
The objective of teaching English as stated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) is to give the students permanent literacy and the ability to communicate effectively. Also, NERDC (2007) states that the senior secondary English language curriculum is designed to equip the students with an adequate range of words, sentences and sentence types to enable them communicate effectively in school and outside it, listen effectively to any speech or lecture as well as speak fluently and intelligibly.

It is also designed to ensure that students can read materials of varying lengths and difficulty effectively, and write logically with grammatically correct sentences. Contrary to expectation, the objectives of teaching and learning English at the secondary school level seem not to be achieved. Marja (2008) asserts that students from secondary schools demonstrate narrow range of ability in the English language. Azikiwe (1998) also states that the effective use of English is what many students lack, lamenting that the achievement of students in the subject in the school certificate examination does not fall in line with the great importance attached to it.

Low achievement of students at the senior school certificate examinations has become a recurring decimal as evidence from the results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), and the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) attest. In elucidation, the NECO Chief Executive’s Report (2010) states that out of the 1,116,195 candidates that sat for the June/July 2010 examination, only 245,890 candidates, representing 21% of the candidates, had credit passes and above in English.

On the other hand, Olatunji (2010) reports that the result of the May/June 2010 WASSCE was very poor as about 75% of the candidates did not pass the English language at credit level. Out of the 1,351,557 candidates who sat for the 2010 examination only 451,187 candidates obtained credit pass and above in the English language. Ozordi (2010) states that according to the Head of National Office of WAEC, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, the figure represents 25% credit pass in English as against the 7.5% and 18.41% credit passes obtained in 2009 and 2008 respectively. These indicate a high failure rate in English over the years.

The WAEC Head of National Office, cited in Ozordi (2010), attributed these failures and general weaknesses of the candidates to insufficient qualified teachers and candidates’ unpreparedness for examinations. He also bemoaned the following factors as responsible for candidates’ low achievement: failure to follow instruction, misunderstanding and misinterpretation of questions, poor spelling, illegible handwriting, poor grammatical expressions and ignorance of the rudiments of English.
Ignorance of the grammar of the English language is one of the main factors which the WAEC Chief Examiners’ Reports (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) pointed out contributed to candidates’ failure in the subject. Grammar, also called structure or grammatical structure (Opega, 2005) is the set of patterns in which the words of a language are arranged in order to convey meanings. It is also the proper arrangement of words in sentences (NERDC, 2006). For Baldeh (1990) grammar refers to the patterns and forms of a language used and accepted by the native speakers of that language.
Lester (2001) sees it as the rules of the language that have been acquired and are used unconsciously by a speaker. Thus, it can be inferred from the foregoing definitions that grammar is the principles and rules that allow the organization of words and sentences into coherent, meaningful language acceptable to the native speakers of the language. Writing on the pivotal place of grammar in the English language, Ogenyi (2002) and Akinbode (2008) agree that grammar is the spinal cord of any language and the user’s mastery of it determines his competence and performance in the language.

Also, Palmer, cited in Baldeh (1990) asserts that the central part of a language is its grammar. Grammar is the “mechanics” and “calculus” of language. It is grammar that makes language so essentially a human characteristic and man is not merely homo loquensi (language-speaking human being) but also homo grammaticus (grammatical human being). Oji (2002) further maintains that a second language learner has to command to a considerable degree the grammar of a language before he can make pretensions to the mastery of it.
At the secondary school level in Nigeria grammar is broken down into topics in the junior and senior secondary education curricula. These topics include those on nominal groups (nouns, pronouns, noun phrases, nominalization), verbal groups (tense, aspect, sequence of tenses, phrasal verbs), nominal group plus verbal group (concord, transitive and intransitive verbs), adjectival/adverbial group (adjectives and adverbs), adjectival and adverbial phrases and clauses. However, NERDC (2006) specifically enjoins English language teachers to pay particular attention to concord (subject verb agreement) and tense (present and past) as they teach grammatical elements. This may be because concord and tense run through all structures irrespective of the topic to be taught. Concord and tense are therefore the aspects of grammar focused on in this study.
In the Senior School Certificate Examination grammar is integrated into papers 1 and 2 of the English language examination. Paper 1 examines candidates on letter/essay writing, comprehension and summary. In letter/essay writing, grammar is tested under expression and mechanical accuracy, and it takes 30 out of the 50 marks allocated to that section (WAEC, 2012). In comprehension and summary, every correct answer given is first checked to ascertain whether it is grammatically flawless before it is awarded full marks; if not, half a mark is deducted for each grammatical error committed for each answer (WAEC, 2012). Paper 2, on the other hand, is the objective test. This part tests candidates’ knowledge of lexis and structure (grammar) with a ratio of 45: 55 in favour of structure (Osisanwo, 1990).
In teaching the grammar of the English language teachers adopt one approach or the other. According to Richards and Rodgers (1995) an approach is a set of correlative assumptions dealing

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTS OF INTEGRATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR

 

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