TEACHERS PERCEPTION ON MOTHER TONGUE AS DETERMINANT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
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Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 Objective of the study
1.4 Research Hypotheses
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
1.7 Definition of terms
1.8 Organization of the study
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
3.0 Research methodology
3.1 sources of data collection
3.3 Population of the study
3.4 Sampling and sampling distribution
3.5 Validation of research instrument
3.6 Method of data analysis
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.2 Data analysis
The rate of failure recorded every year in most external examination constitutes a major concern to the education sector. Every year government recruits more teachers into the system, capacity of various kinds are conducted at all time, yet the failure rate continues to increase. On this basis this study investigates teacher’s perception on mother tongue as determinant of secondary school student performance in English language. Survey research design was adopted, 200 secondary school teachers were randomly selected from secondary schools in Nigeria, to complete the self-designed instrument constructed for data collection in this study. The study employed frequency counts, percentages and chi-square statistical tools for the analysis of the collected data. The findings show that mother tongue interference has impact on the writing and spoken of English language among secondary school students. Another finding shows that, mother tongue hinder effective communication among students in class.
- Background of the study
Language is a means of communication and it contributes in no small measure to national building and development. It provides us with not only just a mode of interaction, but also with a capacity of representation. Everybody knows that language concerns the everyday lives of people their social interaction, economic, political and developmental situation. Language is a socio cultural phenomena on which has the characteristic role of communication as well as being an index of group’s identity. For language to be functional, it has to perform a communicative role. According to Farinde and Ojo (2001), they cited Gimson, stating that: language is a system of conventional vocal symbol used for communication by a whole community. Language is characterized by a set of vocal sounds which can be decoded. According to Akindele (1999) stated that, language is a system of symbol or vocal system by which human being communicate experience. Language helps human beings to express their feeling and thought to one another. According to Gimson (2000) “language is the institute whereby humans communicate and interact with one another by means of habitually used oral-auditory arbitrary symbols”. Language issues is therefore very important and sensitive because it touches the identity and ego of members of the community and thus posses’ problem. According to Ojo (2005) in introduction to sociolinguistics citing Gumperz (1968) defines speech community thus. “Speech community can be defined as most groups of any performance, be they small bands bound by face to face contact, modern nations divisible into smaller sub-regions even occupational association or neighborhood gangs”. Also citing Olumuyiwa (1997) defines a speech community thus. “Speech community can be defined as a group of people or individual using then same language or linguistic signal”. The Nigeria speech community is made up of many ethnic groups. The ethnic have various local languages, which serve restricted local need. The languages are mutually unintelligible. Multilingual speech community is a community where here or more languages are in use. Nigeria is an example of such with more than 250 ethnic group with a conservative estimate of 400 languages (Olagoke 1981 and Aziza 1998) it is therefore a multilingual and multicultural speech community whereby diverse languages and culture complete. It is also a community where apart from indigenous languages foreign languages also compete with other languages and culture. Within Nigeria a multilingual community, a child first acquires the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Mother tongue which could also be referred to as first language is the first language a person picked up in is early childhood. A first language does not mean first in the sequential sense of term but as other meanings. Similarly, the term “mother tongue” does not mean a mothers tongue or language. The term L1 and MT are interchangeable. Farinde and Ojo (2001) opined that, the first language (L1) or the mother tongue MT is the first language (L1) or the mother tongue is the first language a person pick up in his childhood. It is not learned but acquired. It is a language that encodes early concepts of the child.it is a language that fully identifies with personal or native culture of a multilingual person. Mother tongue is a language in which a multilingual person conducts his everyday actives in which he has the greatest linguistic facilities or initiative knowledge. It is the language in which for the effectiveness of its functions required the learner knowledge of all four basic skill of learning i.e. speaking, reading and writing. Mother tongue is defined as the language that person, or that a person speaks best, and so is often the basic for socio-linguistics identity. Also it is the language which a group of people considered inhabiting, and which eventually becomes their natural instrument of thought and communication. Such views are but merely reflections of the different methodological shift in English language teaching which have brought new and different outlooks in the role of mother tongue. The importance of English language acquisition as a stepping stone for proficiency. In other school subject cannot be over emphasized. The knowledge is important for educational, economic and national development of a country. Also English language as a school subject derives its importance from its utilitarian value to the larger society. English language is part of communicating administration and commerce. Salami (2002), greatly emphasized the importance of the use of language in strengthen communication among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. He further highlighted the need for improving the quality of spoken and written English among school children. Meanwhile, the greatest shortcomings of many secondary school students seem to result from their anaemic reading culture, poor articulation and attitudes towards learning of biology (Usua, 1974; WAEC, 1984, 1985; Oyekan, 1993, 1995; Ahmad & Asghar, 2011, Akinwumi & Oluwafoise, 2011; Olukotun, 2014). The prevalence of poor spoken and written English, even among university graduates, was blamed on addiction to digital devices (television, videos, mobile games and applications); and absence of a compulsive reading habit in the society (The Punch, 2014; Olukotun, 20114). What then prevents interplay of language competence and performance in biology? Perhaps the main dilemma with the students’ inability to commit thoughts coherently into writing is hinged on poor conceptual understanding and use of the language. Obemeata (1978) observed further that many Nigerian children are victims of proficiency in the English Language as they speak very little at home. The problem worsens when they are also allergic to reading biology and allied science books for recreational pleasure, qualitative knowledge, incisive understanding and creative application of the subject matter someday. Their limited competence in the use of English language is likely connected with our bilingual or multilingual environments which do not offer many opportunities to hear and speak English, the second language (Osisanya, 1978; Afolayan, 1991). Understandably, many children are more engrossed in their mother tongue which structurally differs and interferes with the medium of instruction, interaction and communication. English language is not an indigenous language to Nigeria, due to the fact, that Nigerians already have their own spoken language (mother tongue). Every Nigeria learning English language is usually faced with a complex language situation in his process language development. Besides having to master his own language and other indigenous language, he needs to have a good command of English as indispensable tool in his daily life in a changing world. Language is our greatest invention, without it, trade, government, family life. Regions and the art would be either impossible or very different. The human being is characterized by the ability to communicate with his fellow human being, this chief characteristics is what distinguished the human from animals. The process of learning indigenous language begin very early in life, right from time early, an adult attempt to communicate with a child by using all kinds of sound to him and the child in turn begin to respond to the communication through imitation. The child proficiency in use of his mother tongue is accelerated by his constant exposure to language. This communication is made possible in human being by the use of two types of sensory stimulation, such as auditory and visual. Any normal human being with the normal human facilities possesses this type of sensory stimulation is being used. The importance of English language acquisition as a stepping-stone for proficiency in other school subjects cannot be over emphasized. The knowledge is important both for educational, economical and national development of a country. The importance of English language as a school subject derives mainly from its utilitarian value to the larger Nigerian society. English is the official language of administration and commerce. It is major language of science. Above all, Salami (2002) had emphasized the importance of the use of English language in improving communication among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. He further highlighted the need for improving the quality of spoken and written English language among school children. However, one of the current educational problems of public interest is that of poor level of achievement especially in public examinations (Kolawole 1998, Kolawole and Dele 2002). This problem of underachievement among school children has persisted in many subject areas such as Mathematics, English and Science (Ivowi, Okebukola, and Oladotun, 1992; Falayajo, 1997). This poor level of achievement in many subject areas may be due to poor foundation in English language at the primary school level. This poor level of achievement in many subject areas can be link to poor foundation in English language at primary school level, and there are several research reports that support the view that language inefficiency leads to poor academic performance. Many language teachers have not come closer to the pupils or students so that when such student makes mistake or find it difficult in learning English language they could easily identify where the problem of the students come from and how to correct and make the student understand the second language better. By understanding or learning or hearing the mother tongue of the student it would make them to aim to fashion out method, suitable for the student to learn the second language. In order for the student to speak fluently or write correct and convincing English, teacher has to set standards for the students so that they would be able to have competent use of the language. One way of setting such standard is for the teacher to make a particular accent of English language e.g. Received Personification (R.P) examines the significant of phonetic contract within the accent and find out whether any of the sound involved are not present in the language by his students. If some sounds are not present, the contract involving the difficulties when learning English language, so as far as mother tongue and the target are concerned units of sound in target language can be difficult to master because they are not in mother tongue. The essence of a particular sound in the mother tongue constitutes the difference between the mother tongue and English as second language. However, it will be of great importance if there should be a review in language policy on education which should contain recommendations that will make students to have enough exposure to the subject quite early from the primary school irrespective of the advantage of mother tongue. Some notable scholars suggested that “teaching and learning of English language should be more practice in our secondary schools and the number of years of study and teaching period should be increased”. Teachers of English language should endavour to always bring the reality to the classroom when teaching through the aids of instructional materials and their methodologies. All materials for learning English language subjects should be supplied. By so doing this, problem of woeful result during examination will be fully overcome, because it is when firm decisions foundation in English language is being laid that a better performance will show case. However, Akinbote, Olusegun and Iruegbe (2003), had a different view on the use of English language in the early years of primary and lower secondary school. Both of them were of the opinion that mother tongues really help teacher and students in the process of teaching and learning, not only also to preserve and value their culture but also to develop it lexically. According to these two authors, the use of English language in the early primary and junior secondary schools will give the average primary and lower secondary school children the opportunity to be sufficiently literate in both the mother tongue and other languages and that, at all level children will have mental translation of all concept presented in English language to their mother tongue so as to gain more meaning of the concept presented. At this time it is very imperative to see whether mother tongue has bearing on the English language usage among the secondary school students.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Interference is the influence of one language, dialect or other linguistic features upon another’s phonology, grammar and vocabulary. In the course of using English as a second language, there is inter-lingual interference. That is, the influence of one language upon another’s phonology, grammar and vocabular’y. The language which a group of people considered to be inhabitants of an area acquire in their early years and which normally becomes their natural instrument of thought and communication may interfere with the second language, and these interferences may manifest itself in any aspect of the language such as phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. When an Igbo man for instance says; “I hear a smell” to mean “I perceive an odour” or when the Hausa man says “I am coming here yesterday” to mean “I came here yesterday; or also when the Ikwerre man says “did you hear me” to mean “did you understand me?”; they transliterate the syntax of their respective mother tongue into English Language. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate teacher’s perception on mother tongue as determinant of secondary school student performance in English language.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to investigate teacher’s perception on mother tongue as a determinant of secondary school student performance in English language; but to aid the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objectives;
- To ascertain the effect of mother tongue on the academic performance of secondary school student
- To investigate the relationship between mother tongue and student academic performance in English language
- To examine the role of teachers in curbing the effect of mother tongue on student academic performance in English language
- To examine the effect of parent accentuation on the student performance in English language
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
To aid the successful completion of the study the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: mother tongue does not have any significant effect on the academic performance of student in English language
H1: mother tongue does have a significant effect on the academic performance of student in English language.
H02: there is no significant relationship between mother tongue and student academic performance in English language.
H2: there is a significant relationship between mother tongue and student academic performance in English language
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of the mother tongue in the education of a child cannot be overemphasized. Psychologically; the proper development of the child is closely boring with the continued use of the language he has spoken from birth, the language of his parents, brothers and sisters, friends and people he is used to. It is the language in which he has acquired in his first experience in life, dreams and think, and in his feeling and emotions. It is a paramount fact that a child education should begin with his mother tongue since it is the language of his culture, of all the elements that characterize a linguistic group and distinguishes them from other group’s whether in art, music, dance, attitude and beliefs, customs, festivals, behavior etc. This does not create a barrier between him and his less educated parents but, what is worse; it may cause him to despise the language of his people in favor of a foreign one. It is not agreed on, however that the factors are essentially the same.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers teacher’s perception on mothers tongue as a determinant of secondary school student performance in English language. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors that limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Mother tongue: Native, language, the first which is normally acquired by human being in early childhood through interaction with other member of his own native speakers. This can also be called primary language, its one’s first language of interaction.
Second language: Foreign language, any language other than the native language or mother tongue. A second language usually learnt and not acquired through interaction with other.
Interference: The errors native made by carrying over the speech habit of the native language or dialect into a second language or dialect. The interference can be noticed in features of pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary when a person is learning to master the pattern of second language.
Transfer: The process or result of carrying over speech habit from one language to another e.g. language teaching, the patterns of the mother tongue or when translating lexical items may be borrowed from the native language. Negative features that are not available in the mother tongue are to features that are present in the second language. This means that there are some distinctive features inherent in the mother tongues that are transferred to the second language.
Positive common features: Are those features that are present both in first language and the second language.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.
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