EFFECT OF MOTHER TONGUE ON TEACHING AND LEARNING CHEMISTRY IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

 

ABSTRACT

The study aimed at investigating the effect of mother tongue on teaching chemistry in senior secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state. In carrying out the study, three research questions were   reviewed in line with the purpose of the study. The design of the study was quasi-experimental design consisting of pre-test, post-test statistics. The Population of the study consisted of sixty students randomly selected from two secondary schools in Ikere Ekiti One school constituted  the sample for the experimental group while the remaining one school was used as the control group. Three hypotheses were formulated and were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The data collected were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics such as mean, standard deviation, t-test and ANCOVA. The findings from the study showed that there was a significant difference between the performance of students taught with mother tongue method and those taught with English language. Also the result showed that the mean performance gain of male and female students taught with mother tongue was higher than that of those taught with English language but this increment was due to students’ gender. Recommendation made were that Chemistry teachers should make use of mother tongue to teach difficult chemistry terms; to be effective in focusing on chemical terms, teachers should make a point to include specific terms in their lesson plans, this will ensure that they emphasize and help students understand these terms.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page

Certification

Approval page

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Table of contents

Abstract

CHAPTER ONE:INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Statement of  Problem

Purpose of the Study

Research Questions

Research Hypotheses

Significance of the study

Scope of the Study

Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

Conceptual Framework

Concept of Language

Concept of Mother  Tongue

Effect of Mother Tongue Interference on Second Language Learning

Mother tongue and its Importance

Role of Language in the Teaching and learning of Science

Effect of Mother-tongue Interference on the teaching and learning of chemistry

Language Use in the Chemistry Classroom

Theoretical framework

Empirical Framework

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

Research design

Population of the study

Samples and sampling techniques

Instrument for data collection

Validation of the instrument

Reliability of the instrument

Administration of the instrument

Data analysis techniques

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULT AND DISCUSSION                              

Analysis of Research Questions

Test of Research Hypothesis

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

Summary

Conclusion

Recommendations

References

Appendix

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Mother tongue is defined as the language which a group of people considered to inhabitants of an area acquired in the early years and which eventually becomes their natural instrument of thoughts and communication

(Awoniyi, 2016). Mother tongue is the first language that a person learned. In terms of that view, the person is defined as a native speaker of the first language, although one may also be a native speaker of more than one language if all of the languages were learned without formal education, such as through cultural immersion before puberty. Often a child learns the basics of the first language(s) from family (Wikipedia, 2007).

It is therefore generally accepted that in teaching and learning processes, the mother tongue of the child is of utmost importance. For one thing, it categorizes a large part of the child’s environment, that is, it has names for most of the objects, actions, ideas, attributes and so on that are so important to him, as well as to any society. In many developing countries today, this is either local language or the language of the previous colorizing power. The mother tongue is the child’s environment and is the natural basis on which verbal skills can be built, children learn through communicating in a language, which they understood.

It was in recognition of the importance and contributions of mother tongue to education that made the Federal Ministry of Education in Collaboration with other educational statutory agencies include in the National Policy on Education published in 1977, revised in 1981, the use of mother tongue as a medium of educating pupils at the pre-primary and primary level throughout the country.

According to the National Policy on education published in 1977 revised in 1981, Section 2(ii) which stated that “Government will ensure that the medium of instruction will be principally the mother tongue or the language of the immediate community” also National Policy on Education stated that: Government will see to it that the medium of instruction in the primary school is initially the mother tongue of the immediate community and at a later stage English”.

The importance of Nigerian language in the educational process is stated in section 1.

“In addition to appreciating the importance of language in educational process, and as a means of preserving people’s culture, the government considers it n the best interest of national unity that each child should be encouraged to learn one of the three major languages other than his mother tongue”

The mother tongue therefore, is a part of the Nigerian culture; it conveys or transmits culture and itself in subjects to culturally conditioned attitudes and beliefs (Awoniyi, 2016). The positive results of the experiment in Mother Tongue Medium in Yoruba carried out at the then University of Ife empirically demonstrated the great advantages of mother tongue in primary education for scholastic attainment (Bamgbose, 2004) and even in the successful mastery of English as a second language.

Experience shows that chemistry learning poses substantial challenges at all levels of instruction (from secondary school to university) and for all the aspects – understanding concepts, experimental procedures and problem solving procedures, and being able to relate experimental procedures and observations, or problem solving procedures, to concepts. Learning challenges largely derive from the nature of chemistry as the science of substances, where the understanding of properties and events of the microscopic world of atoms and molecules is the key to understanding the macroscopic behaviours of substances (broader reflections on the relationships between the nature of chemistry and the learning challenges will be incorporated in a separate, philosophy-based work). Students’ difficulties with regard to understanding the particulate nature of matter, or relating it to macroscopic descriptions and phenomena, have been the objects of numerous studies in the last decades; a meaningful review would go beyond the size and the scope of the current work; some pioneering works like those by Ben-Zvi, Eylon & Silberstein (2016), might be recalled as examples of investigation questions and approaches.

The major challenge for educators is the design of options that can help facilitate students’ understanding of chemistry. This work focuses on the utilization of language analysis as a tool to provide clarifications and to engage students actively.

A number of studies (Wellington & Osborne, 2001; Brooks, 2006; Fang, 2006; Mammino,   2010, 2012, 2013; Marshall et al., 2011) indicate the crucial role of language mastery in determining learning success. Teaching and learning depend on teacher- learner communication (including the communication realised through a textbook or other learning resources) and on the learners’ ability to develop thoughts. Language is the most fundamental instrument of thought (Bruner, 1995) and, therefore, of cognitive processes (Chomsky, 1995), as well as the most fundamental communication tool. Communication is a two-side enterprise and its effectiveness depends on crucial aspects for each side. The communication effectiveness of language in education depends on the degree of rigour and clarity (Mammino, 2000) with which sentences are built and assembled to form a text (where the term text includes both written and verbally-expressed sentences or sets of sentences) and on the learners’ ability to identify all the information conveyed by the text, which, in turn, depends on the learners’ language mastery. Therefore, language mastery is a major key for the teaching and learning process and for conceptual understanding.

Statement of Problem

This research is designed to find and analyze the influence of mother tongue interference on the teaching and learning of chemistry it is therefore an attempt to bring together in an accessible from where the mother tongue can give the needed wrap to chemistry teachers and to enhance the performance of students.

It was observed that most of the chemistry teachers during teaching always   speak mother language  to communicate with the students as a result of this most of the students find it very difficult to pronounce and write some of the chemistry terms with English language. It was on the note that the researcher intended to go into this research to find out the effect of mother tongue  in teaching and learning of Chemistry in Senior secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti

Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study is the find out the Effect of mother tongue in teaching chemistry in senior secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state

The specific objective is;

  1. Find out if there is any difference between the Chemistry achievement scores of students taught with mother tongue method and those taught with English language prior to the experiment.
  2. To determine if there is significant difference between the chemistry achievement scores of students taught with mother tongue method and those taught with English language after the experiment.
  3. To find out if there is significant difference between the chemistry achievement scores of male and female students taught with mother tongue method and those taught with English language after the experiment.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study

  1. Is there any difference between the Chemistry achievement scores of students taught with mother tongue and those taught with English language prior to the experiment?
  2. Is there any difference between the chemistry achievement scores of students taught with mother tongue and those taught with English language after the experiment?
  3. Is there any difference between the chemistry achievement scores of male and female students taught with mother tongue and those taught with English language after the experiment?

Research Hypotheses

The following null hypothesis where formulated to guide the study

  1. There is no significant difference between the Chemistry achievement scores of students taught with mother tongue method and those taught with English language prior to the experiment.
  2. There is no significant difference between the chemistry achievement scores of students taught with mother tongue method and those taught with English language after the experiment.
  3. There is no significant difference between the chemistry achievement scores of male and female students taught with mother tongue method and those taught with English language after the experiment.

Significance of the Study:

This study will help to expose the numerous factors that influence the interference of the study of chemistry by the mother tongue or native languages. It will also identify the effects of this interference on other study area that are based on the use of the English language as the basic communication.
This study will enable teachers to identify their problems in chemistry. This study will also enable student to understand how to apply chemical concept.

The Scope of the Study

This research is on the influence of mother tongue in the teaching of chemistry in senior secondary schools. The study will focus on SS 1 to III students in five selected secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State  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.

 


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