THE PROBLEM OF TEACHING ORAL ENGLISH IN SOME SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background of the Study
The history of the development of the English language in Nigeria dated back to the beginning of the establishment of trading Contact and later of Colonial Empires of the Nigeria Coast by the British. However, the deliberate propagation of English in the educational systems among the ethnic groups in Nigeria began with the educational activities of the missionaries in the South in the middle of the 19th middle of the 19th Century. It later extended to the North in the same. Century
However, the essential purpose to which language is put by man is communication. Communication affects every aspect of his activity. It is the root of all his actions as it results from his desire to be in contact with his human beings. As Adegbile (2007), not as the use we make of language, mother tongue or foreign fundamentally the same”. Which holding this assertion as true, it is equally necessary to add the effectiveness of any language whether mother tongue lies in its purpose and appropriate application in a variety of Social situations.
The English language as a means of communication has since a unique role in Nigeria. It is the official language of the country. As the official language it is the language of administration in general of legislation of education and of commerce trade and industry. Because of the linguistic late re-generality of the Country, it is also the language of national Unity. This means that English language serves the purpose of inter-ethnic communication and understanding. This comes about because the language of one ethnic group is union eligible to another and this can create unhealthy suspicion and rivalry among tribes in the country.
Consequently, the language plays an important role in Nigeria and in the life of educated Nigeria. It is inevitably the passport to higher Education, social status and gainful employment.
Unlike in those earlier days, the English language has become locally adapted in Nigeria some synchronic studies of the language in contemporary Nigeria have appeared in which emerging Nigerianism” in English are examined. Examples of such studies are those carried out by Brown (2001), Burns (2009), Bygate (2012) and Deang (2012). These Scholarly studies have examined this variety of English knob as “Nigerian English” The above fact captures the essence of this research which is aimed at examining the problems associated with oral English which is an important aspect of the English Eanguage.
Furthermore, English is the language of science and technology, commerce, industry, mass media, and official institutions success in English in the key to decent employment, admission to Post Primary Institutions. Ferris & Tagg (2010) says many people took pride in the command of English an equivalent to intellectual competence.
It is through the field of education that the entrenchment of English is most noticeable; it is learnt as a school subject and as a medium of instruction. It therefore means that it is through the English Language that the Nigerians child’s access is made known. English is learned and not acquired because it is to most Nigerians a second language.
In learning English, there is the basic assumption that there is already a primary language which is the learner’s mother-tongue. (NMT) or first language. The first language is acquired and not banned. Acquisition of the first language takes place unconsciously in a non-formal situation, it is learned implicitly informally and naturally. English is learned against the background of the first language in a Nigerian situation. It is learned in a sequence in a formal situation. In view of this, English serves as a second language (i.e) to a Yoruba child who already has the Yoruba a language as his language (LI). He is referred to as a speaker of English as a second language and a bilingual because he has two languages at his disposal.
Most of the phonological characteristics of the English of Nigerians would of course be traced to the transfer of features from the first language to the Second language. It has been observed that secondary school students substitute English Sounds for their own sounds because of the resemblance they feel when pronouncing for instance, (n) in /όᵔt/ and / kᵔt/ but an ‘Kut’ respectively is pronounced as / /. Therefore ‘but’ and ‘cut’ are pronounced as ‘but’ and ‘k t’ because /ᵔ/ vowel is not attested in Yoruba Phonology, because of the above reasons it could therefore be necessary to find out the degree of problem encountered by students in oral English.
Statement of Problem
Nigeria today, English is used as a second language, that is language learnt by a person in addition to his native language. English as a second language is therefore the language of administration, politics and social life of most Nigerians.
As English is used as a second language in Nigeria, it therefore becomes necessary to learn English most especially the oral aspect in school, so most Nigerians acquire English language in school and they do not begin to speak or write English until the age of six.
As a result of this, there are common errors associated with most speakers of English. It has been observed that there is a general problem in the oral aspect of English as the second language of the pupils. There is therefore the interference of mother – tongue i.e LI on L2. This interference constitutes a great problem to the teachers, government and students pose some difficulties in the teaching of oral English, because of the above points, the causes of these problems will be looked into in this research work.
Purpose of the Study:
The purpose was to identify the factors affecting the quality of teaching oral English which possibly might be responsible for the poor performance of Secondary school one students. Furthermore, the purpose was to give suggestions on how to improve the teaching of oral English Language in Ondo State with particular reference to some schools in Akoko South East Local Government Area.
In order to validate the various assumptions made about the problems confronting the affective teaching of oral English in schools, it is desirable that a number of questions need to be raised to provide solutions to the problems. The following are the relevant research questions.
- What are the facilities available for the study of oral English in the Senior Secondary Schools One in Akoko South East Local Government Area?
- What are the attitudes of the teachers towards the teaching of oral English in Akoko South East Local Government Area?
- What is the attitude of the students towards oral English in Akoko South East Local Government Area?
- What are the roles played by the government towards effective implementation of Oral English?
Significance of the Study
It was hoped that the work would help to identify the factors affecting the quality of teaching oral English in Secondary Schools One Senior Secondary School level.
The study, it was hoped, would help the teachers and school administrators to solve the problems affecting the quality of teaching oral English, thereby raising the standard of students performances and reducing their frustrations in further educational pursuit.