THE LEVEL OF RESOURCE MATERIALS UTILIZATION IN THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AMONG JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Teaching and learning become pretty much interesting when resource materials are effectively and efficiently incorporated in the teaching-learning situation. It is necessary for the English teacher to effectively utilize relevant varieties of resource materials in order to arouse and sustain the attention of students in the class. The invaluable roles of resource materials in instructional process cannot be overemphasized. They are the ‘heart’ of instructional process because they are information carriers designed to meet the obligation of teaching and learning process. Achuonye, (2004).
English language teacher find the use of resource materials essential elements in his work. As a responsible administrator in the classroom, English teacher, has an important responsibility for efficient management of resources. There are divers materials used in teaching of English language and they can be categorized as: print and non-print; example include: journals bulletins, newspapers etc. The non-prints can be classified into: visuals, audio and audio-visuals. The visuals include: boards (chalk board, flannel board, notice board, and magnetic board), graphs, diagrams, charts, maps, posters etc.
According to McGraw-Hill (2005), teachers of English Language as second language should employ visual clues. They should rely on visuals as frequent as possible. When teaching vocabulary/reading, picture of the words should be provided. Teachers should also add explanation and point directly to objects or draw pictures when appropriate. English language teachers should use chart, graphs and other conceptual visuals and have students create similar visuals to summarize learning.
Doff (2002) posits that pictures can encourage the learner make sentences and expresses their feeling to the picture and convey their information about the pictures to others. Pictures are used to provide a context for language work that goes beyond the walls of the classroom. The uses of visual in English language teaching include providing a cheerful decoration and interest, stimulating students’ desires for knowledge and their general enthusiasm.
Homlva (2003) states that visual of any kind plays a vital role in educational process and in this case, it is impossible to imagine teaching any subject without using visual aids of different forms. She added that teaching anything including English language through various types of visuals provide a non-threatening atmosphere for learners. Wilson (2000) in her own view posits that the use of pictures may lead learners to a more abstract thought as well as the ability to distinguish ideas or demonstrate greater precision. Visual offers input, output, and/or feedback on materials concerned. They also enhance clarity and give meaning to the text. They are good for examination purposes because they lead the learners into their own knowledge and personal experiences through exposure to the stimuli presented before them. Visual materials are those materials that appeal to the sense of sight and touch of the learners. As mentioned earlier, they include blackboard, pictures, maps charts, graphs, diagrams, etc. In line with this view, Wilson (2000) pointed out that learners prefer visuals that are coloured, contained a story, relate to previous experiences and can be associated with places, objects, persons, events, or animal of which they are familiar with. Audio materials include, radio, language laboratory, telephone, audio-tapes etc.
Audio materials are instructional materials that appeal to learner’s sense of hearing. Tape and tape recorders are often used for teaching English language in the classroom. Listening to tape provides students with information not only regarding vocabulary and grammar but also about non-segmental of English language (pronunciation, intonation, rhythm, stress and pitch). Winter (2011) noted that learning to speak a language requires imitation. The teacher can play tapes containing suitable materials and asks the students to role-play the same. The teacher can also record the speech of students in English language lesson and play back the recording with the aim of correcting poor speech habits.
Listening to tape exposes students to spoken English of different varieties. This is to equip their proficient communicative skills. Amanda (1996) commented that students recognize their own deficiencies upon listening to the playback. Ekah (2005) posited that audio enable learners to develop communicative ability in the target language. She added that this will also enable learners learn the vocabulary and structures of the English language through the use of imitation and repetition.
An audio-visual material remains one of the variables of this work. They are those sensory objects or images which initiate or stimulate and reinforce learning. Edgar Dale sees audio-visual as those devices which communicate ideas between persons and groups in various teaching and training situations. These also are termed multi-sensory materials.
These devices help the teacher to clarify, establish, co-relate and co-ordinate accurate concepts, interpretations and appreciations which enable him to make learning more concrete, effective, interesting, inspiring, meaningful and vivid. Audio-visual aids provide significant gains in informational learning, retention and recall, thinking and reasoning, activity, interest, imagination, better assimilation and personal growth and development.
Audio-visuals include television, audio-slide, audio pictorial, video tape etc. The above make learning more meaningful and permanent, stimulate and sustain learner’s interest. That is, when an English language teacher effectively utilizes these resource materials, it will enhance students’ academic performance in the language. The use of audio-visual materials in teaching and learning comes into the branch of knowledge known as Educational Technology. They aid learning and help in realization of educational objectives. The application of audio-visuals aids in the field of education started in 1973 at Vienna. During the time, an exhibit from an American school with maps, charts, textbooks and other equipment won the admiration of the people. Subsequent exhibitions at Paris in 1878 and Merbourne in 1880 marked the ignition. Education Technology today tends to be a system rather than simply a package of instructional materials. Teachers of today use a variety of visual aids such as overhead, films, film loops. They also use audio aids like tape recorders, radio and language laboratory. Amuah (1986) observed that “teachers now use instruction materials in a more specific way.” They use them to structure and evaluate their teaching. Pestallazi also mentioned that “Sense impression is one of the conditions of human learning.” In this case, students learn better because the teacher has appeal to more than one of their senses during instructions, that is, they understand better when they hear and see what the teacher talk about. Studies done in the past with regard to availability of resource materials and its utilization revealed that teaching learning resources are not always in schools.
Resource materials which are the teaching aids and instructional materials serve as an important tool to effective teaching of English language. These equipment motivate learners, sustain their interest and promote student academic performance .Library materials is yet another important tool as it serves to collect and preserve information, organize information and disseminate it. The availability of resource materials motivate the students to intensify their learning of English language.
Fuller (1996), stated that adequate provision of resource materials in schools have been found to have a positive effect on students’ academic performance. Among such resource materials are; wall charts, graphs, posters, textbook, newspaper, magazine, journal picture, computers films, DVD, television, tape recorder. There are subcategorized into audio, audio-visual and visual. It then follows that without effective utilization of these materials to teach English Language, teaching may not yield good result. Resource materials enable students learn faster, remember longer, and gain more accurate information. Learning materials enhance communication, enrich learning environment and stimulate learning. They are selected for use based on the objective in hand, learner characteristics, availability of the materials etc. Singh, (2008). Teacher’s competence is also a variable regarding this study. A teacher is someone who has gone through a level of professional training and is both certificated and actually teaching in an institution. A competent teacher is the one who is capable of directing resource materials to meet the needs of the learners in the teaching and learning situation. He is able to improvise in the case of deficiencies in needed resource materials. He has to ask himself some relevant questions in relation to his readiness to teach. For instance: to what extent is he aware of the characteristics of the group of learners he has to handle? To what extent can he communicate effectively with his learners? What are the resource materials that are effective in teaching a particular lesson which would enhance attainment of specific objectives? All these and many more are what make a competent teacher. It seems important that teacher should arrange different teaching materials in order to make students remember the lesson taught. A good foreign language teacher (English language) has to prepare the visuals and audio materials he will use while he is preparing a lesson plan. Also, he has to know how and when those materials will be used during the course of teaching process. The most important consideration is that the materials should meet our students’ needs as Cunningsworth put it “Students particularly more sophisticated adults and teenagers need to feel that the materials from which they are learning have to be connected with the real world and at the same time they must be related positively to the aspects of their inner make up such as age, level of education, social attitudes, the intellectual ability and level of emotional maturity.” Cunningsworth,(1984).
Method of teaching refers to the various ways employed by teachers in passing information to students. Teaching on general note is a complex activity, thinking of devising just a single method of teaching seems not adequate. It is expected that a good teaching should appropriately use necessary methods, and this should lead the students into investigating and differentiating between facts and opinion in other to confirm or refuse or possibly ascertain more knowledge and skills within the scope of learning. According to McGraw-Hill (2005), teachers of English language as a second language should employ visual cues and effective teaching methods in the delivery of instruction. They should rely on visuals as frequent as possible. When teaching vocabulary/reading, pictures of the words should be provided. Teachers should also add explanation and point directly to objects or draw pictures when appropriate. English language teachers should use chart, graphs and other conceptual visuals and have students create similar visuals to summarize learning. Lack of innovation in the teaching methods in use hinders effective learning and adversely affect the academic performance of students in English language. He further said that in opinion to some teacher’s claim of having acquired the adequate knowledge of teaching methods, they do not actually make use of these methods in effective teaching in the classroom.
Etuk (2002) observed that a number of factors should inform the teacher’s choice of any given teaching method. Some of these factors are content of the curriculum, availability of instructional materials and teacher’s knowledge of the use of materials present.
Statement of the Problem
The study of languages involved a wide range of concept. Language is a significant culture of a people and because of its human quality, it is dynamic and gives problems and difficulties to learner. English language is a second language to Nigerian thus, learning it becomes problematic. The use of teaching materials become imperative in this regard. For instance, spelling, punctuation and others need a wide range of teaching aids in form of radio , television, dramatized lessons and the likes. The essence of these teaching materials is to facilitate learning and ensure remembrance. Unfortunately, most English teachers do not make use of resource materials while teaching. This may be informed by many factors such as lack of skills at the part of the teacher, unavailability of resource materials, poor utilization among others. Close observation of students’ result over the years has revealed a general decline in the academic performance in English language. Students’ performance in English Language at both internal and external examinations is increasingly poor and there tends to be a mass failure in the examinations. The reason could be blamed on the fact that there are areas of English language that pose serious challenges to students, which reduce their outputs. These areas cannot be taught properly or effectively without the employment of varieties of relevant resource materials to make learning practical and hence more effective.
The absence and shortage of these resource materials make English language learning uninteresting, uninspiring and boring for the students. Lack of interest goes with lack of attention. Students do not pay attention because they are not inspired to do so. They end up lacking proficiency in the subject (English language). The issue of unavailability and inaccessibility of media, non-existence of Education Resource Centers (ERC), incompetence of teachers, large class-size, lack of good facilities, fund and media acquisition.
Against this background that the researchers deem it necessary to find out the extent of the utilization of resource materials in the teaching of English language among junior secondary schools in Uyo L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this research was to ascertain the level of resource materials utilization in the teaching of English Language among junior secondary schools in Uyo L.G.A. The specific objectives of the research study were to:
- To assess the extent to which adequate resource materials for teaching of English language are made available to junior secondary school students in Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
- To identify the relationship between the utilization of resource materials and academic performance of students in junior secondary schools in Uyo.
- Identify the problems militating against effective utilization of resource materials in teaching of English language among junior secondary school students in Uyo L.G.A
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study;
- What is the relationship between the use of print materials and students’ performance in English language?
- What is the relationship between the visual aids and students’ performance in English language?
- What is the relationship between the use of audio-visual aids and students’ performance in English Language?
The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
- There is no significant relationship between the use of print materials and students’ performance in English Language.
- There is no significant relationship between the use of visual aids and students’ performance in English language.
- There is no significant relationship between the use of audio-visual resource and students’ performance in English Language.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
At the completion of this seminar, the researchers are optimistic that the study would be of profound benefit to students, teachers, researchers, scholars and the generality of the public. The study is aimed at revealing the extent to which resource materials are available
among junior secondary schools in Uyo and its effects on their performance in English Language. It also suggests ways through which pedagogical standard and learning could be improved in schools to the benefit of students. The findings of this study would also enlighten teachers on how they can appropriately utilize resource materials to make the teaching and learning of English language effective and easier to the benefit of the students. Furthermore, the study would reveal the problems that militate against effective utilization of resource materials for teaching and learning English language, and will also suggest ways through which the problems can be best tackled.
Also, the findings of this study would serve as reference point to future researchers in this field and also vital source of information to scholars in this area. The study when completed would serve as source of enlightenment and information to any member of the public interested in knowing more about the use of resource materials in teaching English language to students.