1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Language is the vehicle of social interaction and we need effective language to function properly in the work place, social interaction, and indeed, for functional literacy. It must be emphasized that "a person is functionally literate when he has acquired the knowledge and skills in reading and writing which enable him to engage effectively in all those activities in which literacy is normally assumed in his culture of group" (Gray, 1969). In an analysis of the senior secondary school certificate results in English language between 1988 and 1996, Olapoopo (1998), indicated that the percentage of failure was between 53.36% and 72.71%. English language teachers play a fundamental role in their learners’ learning and academic achievement. Effective and efficient learning on the part of the students highly depends on teachers and the actions they take in their classes (Markley, 2004). The way teachers behave and the methodologies they exploit in their teaching, to a large extent, depend on their perceptions of effective teaching and their beliefs about teacher efficacy (Ghaith & Shaaban, 1999). It also affects the way they understand and organize instruction (Chacón, 2005). Therefore, the teachers’ perceptions of an effective teacher can highly influence their teaching and as a result their learners’ learning (Dembo & Gibson, 1985; Goddard, Hoy, & Hoy, 2000). Students also bring their own beliefs about learning and their perceptions about effective teachers into classroom and their beliefs seem to have obvious relevance to their expectations of the course (Horwitz, 1988). Some characteristics of effective teachers are universal, but others are domain-specific. Different groups such as teachers and students (Brosh, 1996; Lang et al., 1993), males and females (Witcher et al., 2001; Minor et al., 2002), good students and less-good students (Koutsoulis, 2003), and students with different majors (Check, 1986) held different views on effective teachers. These studies except Brosh’s were conducted outside the domain of foreign language education. Considering the uniqueness of foreign language education in terms of subject matter knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and socio/affective skills, the characteristics of effective foreign language teachers (EFLT) need to be investigated in-depth rather than merely applying what was found in general education to foreign language education.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
A rich and stimulating language environment during the early years and beyond is essential to the development of verbal and intellectual skills necessary for language learning. Malinowski (1991), asserted that composition writing is a difficult skill to acquire, and recommended therefore, that teachers must use a variety of methods for teaching English Language. Ellis and Tomlison (1980), recommended some basic skills to be taught to learners so that they can write essays proficiently. Such skills include spelling, punctuation, linguistic skills and convention of style. Reyner et al (2001:57), ascertained that "many good teachers are adaptive rather than rigid in their approach to teaching children and only loosely base their instruction on a given method". There are odds against the Nigerian students in learning English. Trifonovitch (1981) indicated that a student is automatically placed at a disadvantage when he already has a language of his own and he is asked to learn another language. Majority of secondary school students in Nigeria already have various mother tongues before they are admitted into school. Nigeria is reputed to have over 250 languages. With the poor performance of students and graduates in English Language in Nigeria, educators, parents, employers are worried and concerned. The problem therefore is, what factors are responsible for the general poor performance of Nigerian students in English as a second language. For As a result of this, the researchers therefore aim at looking into the effects of teaching methods in the teaching and learning of English Language with regard to proficiency achievement of the students in the Language, and at the end suggest possible solutions for effective teaching and learning of English Language.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine influence of teaching method in the teaching and learning of English Language in secondary schools. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Any venture into the problem of teaching and learning is a step further in the advancement of education. Therefore this study is expected to be of help to the English Language teachers in improving teaching/learning process in secondary schools. It is also hoped that it will motivate them to be more creative and more interested in the Language so as to make the teaching and learning of the language rich and lively at all time. In addition, it is also hoped that this survey would help the school administrators and the policy makers in Sokoto state and the federation at large to improve their services to the schools if the recommendations given by the researchers will be implemented. Moreover, it will also help in understanding various problems affecting the teaching of languages especially English Language so as to make necessary corrections as the future of our youth depends on the background we are able to provide for them and it is on this background that they are going to be developed. The findings of this study would be beneficial to curriculum planners, English language teachers, educators and students. The outcome of this study would enable curriculum planners to review the curriculum in line with the compulsion of the use of instructional materials for the classroom instruction. The idea of teachers doing the teaching without the integration of instructional materials would be reduced to the barest minimum and maximise teachers‟ effectiveness in the classroom. This study would also make students actively involved in the teaching and learning process as their attentions would be more attracted when taught with the instructional materials and as a result, improve and develop students‟ cognitive aspects of learning. Text-book writers would find the result of this research beneficial by recommending appropriate teaching aids specifically for content in the course of writing text books.This study would also assist teachers in the selection of appropriate instructional materials in impacting the required knowledge to the students‟ in the area of cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain in order to achieve the desired educational goal.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on influence of teaching method in the teaching and learning of English language in secondary schools.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
English Language: English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca. English is the third most spoken native language in the world, after Standard Chinese and Spanish.
English Language Teaching: The practice and theory of learning and teaching English for the benefit of people whose first language is not English.
Teaching: Is the process of attending to people's needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things. We are looking at teaching as a specific process – part of what we do as educators, animators and pedagogues.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS