PROBLEM FACING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ORAL ENGLISH IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background of the study
There is hundred of language source spoken n Nigeria. The major languages are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fulfulde, and Kanuri. The official language of Nigeria English (the former colonial language) was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country. English however remains an exclusive preserve of the country urban elite and is not widely spoken in the rural areas which comprise three quarters of the country’s population (Wikipedia 2015).
Speaking seems to be the most important skills of all the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) because people who know a language are usually referred to as speakers of that language (Faloye, 20015). The major goal of all English language teaching should be to give learners the ability to use English effectively, accurately in communication.However, not all language learners after many years studying English can communicate fluently and accurately because they lack necessary knowledge
A number of problem confront the teaching of Oral English on Nigeria Secondary School with particular reference to Secondary School in Agbor Local Government of delta state
These problems which do not only include external factors such as lack of laboratory materials but also teacher’s incompetence, have negative affected the teaching of spoken English.
One of the Chief characteristics of human being is the ability to communicate to his fellows complicated messages concerning every aspect of his activity. A man possessing the normal human facilities achieve in-exchange of information mainly by means of three types of sensory stimulation, auditory and visual. A child will learns from a very early age to respond to the sounds and tunes which elders habitually uses in talking to him and in due course from a need to communicate, he begins to imitate the recurrent sound patterns with which he has become familiar (Gimson 2000) However, the teaching of spoken English presents particular difficulties. This has been an enigma over the years that students in secondary schools complain bitterly. This has greatly contributed to the rampant poor performance of students in English both in internal and external examinations.
According to Obiri (2007). “Although many concerned pundits have charted numerous ways to simplify its teaching many more problems are mounting and need to be thoroughly addressed urgently as they are alarming.
According to an article “Nigeria poor Oral English necessitates communication development skills” posted on the website of Nigerian. Tribune in 2010, as part of the continual effort of the government to sanitize education primary and secondary school levels, an independent three day training.
The Tramers workshop was organized for selected teachers by the universal Basic Education Boards in Nigeria held in Lokoja, Kogi State, Courtesy of the natural organizing committee, presidents, school debate programme and development planning and management consultants. Abuja the workshop looked into various strategies to boost oral communication skills of Nigeria Students at all levels. One of the major strategies considered in workshop was the re-introduction of debate in school curriculum from primary school level.
Kennedy and Bolitho (1994) opine that students or Nigeria children attitude towards the English language might be as a result of exposure. Attitudes to an English course maybe influenced by students previous learning of the English language where the learning has not been successful, there is bound to be negative feelings towards the learning.
The English language becomes inevitable in Nigeria due to its functions. It is regarded as the language of communication co-operation and better understanding. It is the language of government and politics.
Bamisaye (2006) define language as a means of communication between individual and between groups. This implies that language can be used in interpersonal communication and inter-group communication. Communication within the same person and the same group, respectively. In either of interpersonal and intergroup communication, language is invariably the medium employed.
Language according to Oxford dictionary (18th edition) is the system of communication in speech or writing that is used by people of a particular country or area. Language as a linguistic endowment is one of the major distinguishing features between man and animal. Both man and animal communicate the former employs language in communication while they later lack the ability to use language to communicate. Nigerians believe that without the English language, we cannot do anything, which led to lingua franca. It has been observed that in Nigeria schooling system, the English language has advantage in private schools over public schools because of their mode of teaching. The learning of English by the Nigerians (blacks) is the effort of the colonial government. There was an ordinance that compelled private system schools in Nigeria to teach English. It is stated that the subject of teaching shall be reading and writing of English.
According to Oyinloye (2000) the basic language skill are Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Oyinloye (2007) asserts that reading is another skill which linguistics generally described as a receptive skill. People read in order to collect or retrieve information. The teaching of reading has to begin at the elementary stage. The teaching of course is usually combined with listening, the learner has to listen to the articulation of sounds or words produced by the teacher and later initiate.
Writing is also a productive skill like speaking linguistics often describes inviting as a means of externalizing what has been internalized. It is a skill that can be taught at any stage of language learning. What to write depends on the ability of the students or the learners. For a beginner, writing can take the form of making stroke or curves and later the alphabets. One interesting thing about these language skills is that they cannot be target in isolation.
It is however, strongly speculated that the use of English language in Nigeria pre-dates the first known written English by Equiaro in 1789 and the use of language through British missionary and administration activities. There are some set of people who through schooling became part and parcel of the language and these people were likely found to be the students of private schools. They are raised up by literate parent where they have been developed morally, intellectually, financially and even physically. This study is concerned with the learning and use of the English language by children in selected Nigerian schools. It is important that we need to understand the position (status and functions) English in the society.
Moreover, the Nigeria local languages also have their individual and collective status and functions quite distinct from those of the English language. In addition, we shall examine the concept of Language acquisition and Language learning.
I wish to maintain that though efforts have been put in place to improve spoken English, a good result is yet to be seen. Students in secondary schools contribute to perform below average in Oral English . The cause of this negative development is certainly because a lot of energy are being channeled only towards the learners problems and not the problem of teaching. The problems confronting the teaching of Oral English in Nigeria arise from teacher incompetence, inadequate instructional materials disgust for the emphasis on British accent, poor teaching skill, poor motivation for the students and other problems which could have been caused by school proprietors or the government.
This research work is therefore designed to investigate the problem facing teaching and learning of Oral English among secondary schools students in Agbor Local Government of Delta State.
Statement of the Problem.
The English language has affected students in the learning of various aspects of English skills most especially the area of spoken skill which leads to their poor grammatical expressions within and outside the school environment.
Also, for most Nigeria English learners, learn the ability to speak and write intelligible and acceptable expressions in the target language is a task yet to be accomplished.
The main concern of the this investigation is to identify problems that are negatively affecting the teaching and learning of Oral English in Secondary Schools. The inquiry will also look at the efforts that have been put in place to tackle the problem of teaching and learning of spoken English. The work identifies workable solutions to the teaching of Oral English in Secondary Schools
Objective of the Study.
The major objective of this study is to investigate the problem of teaching and learning of Oral English in selected secondary schools in Agbor Local government.
The specific objective is to;
- To determine the problem secondary schools students and teachers face in teaching and learning of Oral English
- To investigate students attitude towards learning of English language
- To determine if teacher qualification and working experience have effect in teaching and learning of spoken English
- To find out if mother tongue interference have effect on students Oral English
For the purpose of this research the following questions will guide the study:
- What are the problems secondary schools students and teachers face in teaching and learning of spoken English?
- Does students attitude have effect on teaching and learning of English language?
- To What extent does teachers qualification and working experience have effect in teaching and learning of spoken English?
- Does mother tongue interference have effect on students spoken English?
The following research hypothesis will be tested at 0.05 level of significance
- Problem facing teaching and learning of Oral English have signifant effect on students spoken skills
- Teachers qualification does not have significance effect on teaching and learning of Oral English
- Mother tongue interference does not have effect on students Oral English
Significance of the Study
The study could be useful to students, teachers, educational agencies and the society as a whole. It will help them to know the importance of spoken English. The outcome of this study could be useful in convincing various schools, authorities and educational agencies.
Also, it will enable teachers to encourage students to communicate often in English language and not to be shy while they want to say anything.
This study is significant to the extent that it will help to elevate the current status of Oral English which must have been responsible for the turning out of students who are only half-educated in English Language students undergo courses in English both at the primary and secondary schools levels and still get out only to speak bad English. This study hopes to unveils some of the mysteries surrounding the aspects of English by trying to understand what the teachers understand by Oral English as they are pupils and students, this significance of this study will be beneficial to the principal and proprieties in secondary schools. Thus, English teaching should enable the students to think for themselves and express ideals clearly and secondly in realistic situations.
Scope of the Study
This study is aimed at investigating the problem in teaching and learning of Oral English in some selected secpndary schools in Agbor Local Government Area of Delta State. The study would cover five randomly selected secondary schools in the local government.