INSTRUCTIONAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WIT THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS STUDENTS IN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
Background to the Study
and learning Literature-in-English is one of the ways one can attain
proficiency in the use of English language because literary works
especially those written in English make good use of language in
different ways to get their meaning across.
asserts that the learner of English as a second language (L2) if exposed
to Literature will internalize and consciously adopt the rhythm of
natural speech, economy and richness of diction, rhetorical and
organizational device from drama, poetry and prose. In Nigerian
secondary schools, available evidence shows that students’ use of the
English language leaves much to be desired (Abe, 1991: Onukaogu, 2002:
Fatimayin, 2004). Students can no longer converse fluently in English
and cannot write good essays. In addition, classroom observations and
Ogunnaike’s 2002 findings show that Literature is not properly taught by
teachers in most cases and that most schools do not have enough English
language teachers resulting in haphazard teaching and learning.
school education is the education children receive after primary
education and before the tertiary stage. One of the goals of secondary
education as contained in the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2008,
28: h) is to raise ‘a generation of people who can think for themselves,
respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of
labour, and…’ This is one of the things Literature-in-English can
develop in students. Literature-in-English is like a kaleidoscope where
one can pick up different kinds of useful ideas and teachings for one’s
Literature-in-English is one of the vital subjects of the
study in the Nigerian senior Secondary Schools. Literature-in-English as
a key school subject which refers also to the study books of art such
as drama, prose and poetry which are the genres of literature which
authors create, so as to improve their skills in the English Language
(De Naplis, 2002). The National Policy on Education (2004) confirms the
importance of Literature-in-English in Nigeria. It is listed as one of
the core subjects which are made compulsory for all secondary school
students in both the junior and senior secondary school classes, though
not yet implemented in many states of the nation. Also, students who
want to offer courses like law, Mass Communication, English and Theatre
arts must pass Literature-in-English at credit level in Senior Secondary
School Examination (WASSCE) to gain admission into any Nigerian
Tertiary Institutions. Examination (SSCE). Although, there is ‘
inconsistent rise in the percentage of credit passes from 1999 — 2011 in
the WAEC SSCE results for a period of 13 years, the rise remained below
50% of the total population of students who obtained their results at
Many factors have been identified to be responsible
for the poor state of students’ performance in Literature-in-English
which include: students negative attitude to reading, poor methods of
teaching, poor reading habit, students’ low language proficiency among
others (Lawal, 2000; Ogunnaike, 2002; Ezeokoli, 2002). To buttress these
research findings, evidences from the WAEC Examiners Reports for the
May/June 2007 and 2008 revealed that students rarely read the prescribed
texts because of their negative attitude to reading and poor linguistic
background. As a result of the above sha1low answers and responses were
given to the examination questions as indicated from these extracts
from WAEC Chief 1xminer’s Reports (2007 and 2008): A few do justice to
the questions candidates who were able to g can a few facts on the
content were not able to put their points across in concise English (p.
41) …..The performance of candidates was poor… but it is obvious from
the answers of the candidates that, the texts were not studied for the
examination as expected… (p. 48).
It is evident from these
reports that most students offering Literature-in- English as a subject
in Nigeria lack interest in the subject which has affected their
attitudes and performance towards the subject. It could be inferred from
these reports that students do not possess and utilize the actual texts
but relied on “study guides and notes”.
Besides students’ poor
performance in literature-in-English which has always been a major
justification for researchers’ investigation, one needs to consider
closely the global effect of inadequate teaching and learning of
literature-in-English on the society itself. It should be noted that the
students poor performance in literature is against actualizing the aims
and objectives of teaching literature-in-English in the senior
secondary schools and also the philosophy of Nigeria on education as
stated in the National Policy on Education (2004).
communication. In a good communication, there are three important
aspects. These include the person giving the information, the message
that is to be passed and the receivers.
According to Wikipedia
Encyclopedia, instructional refers to the practice of maximizing the
effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of teaching and learning
experiences. The process consists broadly of determining the current
state and needs of the learner defining the end goal of instruction and
creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition of knowledge.
Instruction may be aimed at teaching learners problems solving skills,
thinking and reasoning skills including perception memory, language etc.
many would agree that people learn better when they can build on what
they already understand known as “schemes” but the more a person has to
learn in a shorter amount it is to process that information in working
Dick and Carcy (2004), presented an instructional model
which addressed instruction as an entire system, focusing on the
inter-relationship between contest, content, learning and instruction.
According to Han, the component such as the instructor, learners,
materials, instructional activities, delivery system, learning and
performance environments interacts with each other and work together to
bring about the desired student learning outcomes.
defined problem as anything that is difficult to deal with or to
understand, therefore the problem associated with the use of
instructional materials in teaching and learning processes could be
centered on its misuse with the set objectives. It could be regarded as
obstacles against the smooth process of communication with the learners.
According to Ashby (2001), performance refers to how well or badly
somebody do something; meanwhile instructional problem affects the
academic performance of the students. If the processes used in
communicating with the students is not smooth or the instructional
material is misuse with the set objective, then the students will
perform negatively. Instructional problems therefore are those obstacles
that pose difficulty in dealing with in the process of communicating
skills, attitudes and values to the learner.
These obstacles which among others include:
Methodologies: According to Abdullahi (2009), methodologies employ in
any teaching matters in that it acts as a driver that drives the
instructions to the learner.
Meanwhile if wrong methodology is employ to a particular instruction while teaching it present confusion to the learner.
Wrong usage of the Instructional Materials with the set Objective: The
set objective is a point of focus of the teacher while teaching.
Akinsoba (2009) added that the usage of instructional material should be
done in accordance with the set objective otherwise it leads the
learners far from what they ought to understand on a particular topic.
Improvisation of Instructional Materials: According to Dahar, M.A.,
Faize, F.A., Nywaz, A. and Dahar, R.T., (2010), improvisation is making
something or someone using whatever is available usually because you do
not have what you really need. It presents obstacle to communicating
skills, attitudes and values improvisation does not suit the topic
because improvisation are made when there is no instructional materials.
Okeke (2009) stressed on the need to provide adequate instructions for
the teaching and learning of English language.
Lack of Instructional
Materials: Some of the topics being treated or thought in English
Language do not lend themselves to usage of instructional materials.
Onuigbo (2003) outline some of the topics in English Language that do
not lend themselves to instructional materials, these include word
stress, sentence stress, intonation and the second system of English.
Nelson-Jones, R. (1996) published an influential taxonomy of what he
termed the three domains of learning; cognitive (what one knows or
think), psychomotor (what one does physically) and affective (what one
feels or the attitude one has). These taxonomies as stated by him are
what instructional material touches, so any topic that does not have
instructional materials cannot reflect to the cognitive, psychomotor and
affective domain of the learners. Sweller (2006), measured the effects
of working memory load, and found that lack of instructional materials
has a direct effect on the performance of the learners.
Instruction: The language used while teaching with instructional
materials matters. Langdon (1998) added that the outcomes of this
instruction may be directly observable and scientifically misused or
completed and assumed when it is used with wrong language. Languages of
instruction have far reading implications on the performance of the
students in various areas. One of the areas is in School Certificate
English language. Poor performances have been recorded in School
Certificate English Language in recent times. According to Richard
(1999) the poor performance of students could be attribute to misuse of
instructions, wrong application of methodologies to reflect to
cognitive, psychomotor and Affective domains of the learners. It will
not be out of place for one to blame these poor performances on the
instructional process. Poor performance in school certificate English
language is an unacceptable development in the students’ carrier.
Statement of Problem
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Objective of the study
major objective of this study is to examine Instructional problems
associated with the poor performance in school scertificate literature
in English language by sss 3 students in Ikere local government area of
The specific objective is to
- The extent to which poor methodologies pose problems to instructions while teaching literature in English
- The extent to which lack of instructional materials pose problem in teaching of literature in English.
- The effect of teacher qualification in teaching and learning of literature in English
- The effect of teachers instructional competencies on student performance in literature in English
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- To what extent does poor methodologies pose problems to instructions while teaching literature in English
- Does lack of instructional materials pose problem in teaching of literature in English.
- What are the effect of teacher qualification in teaching and learning of literature in English
- Does teachers instructional competencies have effect on student performance in literature in English
Significance of the Study
study is significant because, the identification of causes and possible
remedies for poor performances of students in literature in-English
will help reduce the problems encountered in teaching and learning of
literature in-English on the parts of the teachers and students.
usefulness of this research work in the educational system cannot be
over emphasized. If the result of the study is properly utilized, it is
going to be of benefit to the students, teachers and policy makers.
The research work will help to educate students on the instructional
problems associated in teaching and learning literature in English.
The study will disclose to the teachers the obstacles that pose problem
in dealing within the process of communicating skills, attitude and
values to the learner.
The study will also disclose the topics that
do not have instructional material, so that the government can help and
make provision of such materials.
Scope of the Study
study is limited to selected secondary school in Ikerre local
government area of Ekiti State. For the purpose of a better result,
students offering literature in-English in SSS3 as well as teachers of
literature in-English in SSS3 in the selected schools will be asked to
supply information on the research.
the purpose of financial limitation, the study is carried out in
selected schools within Ikere Local Government. Some factors have also
determined the limit of the study to cover the area are:
- Provision of instructional materials for the student
- Provision of conducive environment for the learning
- Good qualify teachers for the students to teach the literature in-English.
- Provision of library facilities for the student.