ATTITUDES OF FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS TOWARDS LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE

ATTITUDES OF FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS TOWARDS LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE
ABSTRACT
This study examined the attitudes of
female secondary school students towards learning of English language in Ikere
local government area of Ekiti
State.
The subjects for the study were
secondary school students and teachers.  
A total of two hundred (200) subjects were drawn from four secondary
schools in Ikere Local Government Area. 
Forty (40) respondents (students) were randomly sampled from each of the
two single sex schools i.e. Annunciation school and St. Louis Girls’
school.  Twenty (20) subjects were
sampled from each of the two (2) mixed schools. 
A total of one hundred and twenty (120) students make up of sixty
females and sixty males participated in the study.
Questionnaire designed by the
investigators were used to gather information for the study.  Percentages were used to analyze the data.
The results showed that mother
tongue, government policy peer group influence and inadequate facilities
contributed to the poor performance of female secondary school students towards
learning of English language.
Based on the findings of the study,
the following recommendations were made:
1)               
Publishers
and authors should be encourage to write and produce relevant textbooks to
cater for the level and understanding of different categories of students.
2)               
Only
qualified people should be allowed to teach the subject so that the female
students can improve in English language.
3)               
The
NCE holders should be encouraged to further their study to University level so
that they could be able to make meaningful contributions to the cognitive
development of the students.
4)               
Government
should organize seminars, in – service training and workshop for teachers.
5)               
Teachers
are to educate the female secondary school students to read journals, novels,
dailies and magazines like their male counterparts.
6)               
Teacher’s
workload at the certificate class should be reduced to give room for
efficiency.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page
Approval page
Dedication
Acknowledgements
Abstract
Table of contents
List of Tables
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the study
Research questions
Significance of the study
Limitations to the study
Definition of Terms
CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The meaning of English language
English as second to the Nigerian
Secondary school female students
Attitudes of female students towards
English language
Factors influencing the attitude of
secondary school female
Students
Towards English language
Summary of literature review
CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research Design
Population and Sampling Procedure
Instrumentation
Data Analysis
CHAPTER FOUR
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Results
Discussion of Findings
Interview
Observation
CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATION
Summary
Conclusion
Recommendations
REFERENCES
APPENDIX



LIST OF TABLES
Table 1
Teaching Experience (in years)
Table 2
          The
use of instructional materials
Table 3
          The
qualification of the teachers
Table 4
          Comparison
of performance of male and female students
Table 5
          Reading of periodicals
Table 6
          Male
English lecturers are more than the female lecturers
Table 7
          Parent’s
attitude to students speaking English



CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1           
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is a process which helps
individual to develop his abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour
which are of positive and meaningful value in the society in which you live. It
is the pillar of nation building.  In
order to accomplish this goal effectively, an official medium or language is
required (Osoba, 1987).
Language is a human vocal noise or
its graphic representation used systematically and conventionally by members of
a speech community for the purpose of communication.  Language is the main process through which
the teacher puts information across to learners.
The learners respond to teaching
mainly by means of language.
English language is one of the most
popular language of instruction.  English
language is the second language of Nigeria apart from the indigenous
mother tongue languages.  It is used
daily outside the mandatory official contexts at home, market place, religious
houses, clinics, hospitals, departmental stores, social gathering, used for
writing signboards and so many purposes.
For some years ago, in the defunct
Ekiti mouth Local Government area, secondary school female students,
performance in English language examination in most of their post primary
institutions have not been encouraging compared with their male counterparts.
Even now, in Ikere Local Government
area, the nonchalant attitude of the female students also has its own effect on
the performance of the students at the final school certificate
Examination.  The girls are generally
lazy and have not cultivated the habit of reading novels, journals, dailies to
widen their vocabularies and improve their expressions.
Taking into consideration the
importance of English language, it serves as a medium of instruction above the
lower primary.  In Nigeria society, English language
has been accepted as a second language, so it is the vehicle of all other
subjects taught in the schools.
Hardly, could females secondary
school leavers speak fluently or write in simple and correct English like their
male counterparts.  For instance, the
last senior secondary Examinations result in English language was that, many
female students had F9 in the subject.
For many decades, Nigerian females
have been working silently in the background contributing in no small way to
the socio – economic development of the country.  It is only currently that their contribution
is being gradually recognized and appreciated when few females that are able to
speak English language fluently manage to get to the top.
Even, some men are afraid of marrying
females that can speak English fluently as wives, this is because they feel
that such females would know more of their civil rights and as a result they
would not be submissive to their husbands or not play the part of a kitchen
“care taker”.
English language, as a course, holds
the key to future academic progress in Nigeria.  To have the opportunity to read or study any
course, either in the University, Polytechnic or College of Education,
a candidate must have a solid or a very sound pass in the examination set on
the language by one of the examining bodies notably the West African
Examination Council (W.A.E.C).
Unfortunately, however, in spite of
increased awareness, secondary school female students today still face a lot of
handicaps and restrictions indeed, in the context of ultimate achievement and
comparative figure, it is clear that a lot more still needs to be done to
remove the barriers in the way of encouraging female students in learning
English language.
Clearly, the number of females who
have made it to the top via learning of English language is like a drop in the
ocean when compared with the number of top flight male executives.
This is particularly because, men had
a headstart in matters of male learning English language, it is because the
prejudices and restrictions that gave female that initial advantage have tended
to persist.  For instance, male lecturers
in the department of English language in Ondo State College of Education are
more than the female lecturers.  It is
therefore on the above disparity that necessitate the researchers to embark on
a research to investigate the attitudes of secondary school female students
towards the learning of English language.
1.2           
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of this study is to
determine the problems of secondary school female students towards learning
English in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.  This study is designed to provide answers to
the following questions:
i.                  
What
is the level of performance of secondary school female students in Ikere Local
Government Area?
ii.                
What
are the factors responsible for the poor performance of the female students in
English language?
iii.             
What
can the teachers, society and Government do to improve their performance?
iv.             
Can
peer group and societal influence interfere positively or negatively with the
learning of English language?
v.                
Is
there any differences between the students and teacher’s perception of the
variables that could interfere with the learning of the English language?
1.3           
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is for the
researcher to investigate the general attitudes of secondary school female
students towards the learning of English language in Ikere Local Government
Area.
Also to find out to what extent that
these attitudes are being influenced. 
Again, to know the extent which socio – economic status of students and
sex of the students affect the learning of English in the classroom teaching
and learning.
1.4           
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Considering the problems already
stated, the following research questions will be used in carrying out the
investigation.
i.                  
Do
secondary school female students have good foundation of English language at
home?
ii.                
How
are the secondary school female student performing in English language?
iii.             
How
many years of teaching experiences have you?
iv.             
Do
teachers used instructional materials in schools?
v.                
What
factors contribute to the level of their poor performance?
vi.             
Are
there enough qualified and responsible teachers to handle English language in
schools?
vii.           
Are
the male executives more than the female executives.
1.5           
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research findings could direct
the attention of parents and teachers to the poor performance of secondary
school female students in learning of English language in the school covered by
this study.
The significance of the study lies on
the needs:
i.                  
To
make the secondary school female student aware of the importance of English
language.
ii.                
Society
should encourage the secondary school female students to speak English always.
iii.             
Parents
to try and buy the necessary textbooks.
iv.             
Society
should provide public library in Ikere Local Government area.
v.                
Government
should stabilize the educational systems.
1.6           
LIMITATIONS TO THE STUDY
This study is limited to only one
hundred and twenty students of four selected secondary school female students
in Ikere Local Government Area.
Though, there are nine secondary schools
in Ikere Local Government area, but this study is limited top four secondary
schools as a result of limited resources and time factor.
1.7           
DEFINITION OF TERMS
From the topical issue of this
research, the terms that need to be defined for the total and absolute
understanding of this work are: learning, language and Bilingualism.
LEARNING:
learning is the process by which we profit from past experience.  It results in a more – or – less permanent
change in behaviour.  It can be consist
of one or more of three steps.
i.                  
Inventing
an original solution to a problem or thinking.
ii.                
Committing
a solution to memory or memorizing.
iii.             
Becoming
efficient at applying the solution to a problem or forming habit.
LANGUAGE: This
has been defined in various ways such as:
i.                  
A
system of medium of communication which is mutually intelligible to members of
a particular speech community sapir (1921).
ii.                
A
purely human and non instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and
desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols.
iii.             
O.I
Barber in “the story of language” saw language more than anything else, as what
distinguishes man from the rest of the animal word because it is the greatest
tool which makes human culture possible.
BILINGUALISM:
This is a situation where the person acquires and uses two languages.



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