THE PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF LITERATURE-IN-ENGLISH (A STUDY OF SELECTED SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN OSE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AREA OF ONDO STATE)

THE PROBLEMS
AND PROSPECTS IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF LITERATURE-IN-ENGLISH (A STUDY OF
SELECTED SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN OSE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AREA OF ONDO STATE)
CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Literature-in-English
is one of the vital subjects of 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 credit level.  
Many
factors have been identified to be responsible for the poor state of students’
performance in Literature-in-English which include: student’s 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.  
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).  
Also,
there are several cases of moral decadence resulting from the decline of moral
and cultural values that the effective teaching and learning of literature-
in-English inculcates in the society. Literature-in-English used to be a tool
for promoting the moral values of respect for elders, faithfulness, endurance,
honesty, unity, love, commitment, humility, perseverance and hardwork these are
all declining very fast. As students were not able to actualize the values of
teaching literature-in-English that would have given a good orientation for
useful living in the society. The inability to actualize the aims and objective
of teaching and learning literature-in-English and that of fulfilling the goals
of Nigerian philosophy on education deprives the nation of cultural growth and
development. No wonder there are many cases of moral decadence all around in
the country among youths and adults. This informs the situation of injustice,
lack of peace and unity, corruption, bribery, greed, cultural stagnation and
professional declination in occupations like law, journalism and language
teaching (Gol-Ischall, 2001). A major problem of education has been identified
as students’ low interest in reading. It is very difficult to talk about
literature-in-English teaching and learning without thinking of reading as a
tool for enhancing good achievement in literature-in-English. Kolawole (2009)
affirms that if nothing is done to improve the low reading interest of students
in the secondary schools, students will soon get frustrated and lose sight of
the benefits of good reading habits. It is important that scholars in
literature-in-English and all other stakeholders in education rise up to find
solution to the declining situation of the study of literature-in-English in Nigeria,
considering its scope that covers all works of arts from different parts of the
country and in fact many parts of the world: African, Europe, America and lots
more.  
Students’
achievements at any level of education depend largely on the availability of
certain factors that could influence their effective learning of the subject
matter or the content of what is to be learnt. Students’ achievement
orientation could be improved through several approaches that involve
participatory activities with students’ literary text and learning outcomes (De
Naplis, 2002). They believe that the warm spirits in which information and
communicated through participation in various literary activities spur the
learner’s aspiration in the teaching and learning process. All that is done in
the classroom has various ways of aiding or hindering the students in their
quest to achieve and learn. On this premise, Cooke (2002) and Adebile (2011)
opine that the students’ individual worth and genuine could be practically
exemplified/or identified though activity – based lessons and students’
participation in literary club activities. This gives room for competition,
collaboration and cooperation at appropriate times during the literary
activities which will help to channel emotions away from disruptive behaviour
into constructive relation.  
Most
importantly, teachers’ leading role in students’ participation in literary club
activities is of vital importance. By guiding the students to correct their
errors or misconception in order to elaborate upon, expand, explain and
expatiate what they have just said, he/she is laying a firm foundation for
students’ aspiration and achievement. This will boost their ego rather than
deflate and lower their self-concept. This is likely to result in a fairly
consistent and frequent dramatic all-out performance of homogeneous conditions
and may also enhance the emotional security of some lowly or highly brilliant
students (Adebile, 2011).  
However,
the teaching of literature-in-English in Nigeria should not be limited to an
analysis of the linguistic element of the text or mere narration of the story’
for the purpose of answering examination questions, it should be taught and
learnt for the sake of literature-in-English itself; as an art worthy of appreciation
(Ayanniyi, 2009). Hence dynamic teachers who are suitably equipped with a broad
spectrum of reflective cognition, intellectual vision and managerial dexterity
are tending towards contemporary approaches (Oyekan, 2006). Considering the
contemporary pedagogical approaches to literature-in-English which are mostly
activity-based; teachers are expected to explicitly allow students’
participation in literary activities that are relevant to the teaching and
learning of literature-in-English, such that will help them take ownership of
their learning and improve their learning outcomes. This justifies the use of
literary activities: which include drama club and readers’ club activities as
predicators of students learning outcomes in literature-in-English. Olatunji et
al. (2003) describes literary activities as school based statutory clubs that
the societies generally referred to as “co-curricular activities”. He further
explains that they are integral pails of the school diversified curriculum
content such as press club, farmers club, science club, drama club, literary
and debating society, readers’ club, poetry participation in literary club
activities is not well related to the teaching of literature-in-English by many
scholars.
Language
educators and scholars in literature such as Ajimuda (2008), Yisa (2009),
Amokeodo (2012), and Owoeye (2009) believe that students must be intellectually
engaged and actively involved in the learning activities and that conventional
mode of instruction is failing to provide this engagement in a situation where
teachers transmit knowledge students who sit passively in the classroom and
listen. Teachers can meet these complementary goals by focusing on remedies
that make content relevant to the intended audience, increasing student-student
interaction in and outside the classroom and encouraging conceptual
understanding rather than rote memorization of facts (Afolabi, 2008).
Reading
literature is generally included in the language curricula of both primary and
secondary education. It is especially part of the Language(s) of School
Education. A separate consideration of literature across the curriculum does
not seem appropriate despite the fact that literature may sometimes serve as a
source for dealing with specific problems in ethics, religious studies or
history, especially with younger students. These phenomena seem rather isolated
and are usually not formalised through curricula.
Students´
attitude towards a subject is an important achievement in that subject.
Olaboopo, 1999; Ayanniyi, 2009; Odiaka, 2002; Ogunnaike, 2002; and Maduabuchi,
2008 have found that the attitude exhibited by learners towards the learning
process determine the importance students attached to that learning process and
what they will gain from learning situation. In line with the above, it is
assumed that learners´ motivation to read a given literary text and to get
engaged in literary activities is influenced by the feelings and dispositions
the hold about such literary activities may obviously lead to a change in their
cognitive development and learning outcome in literature-in-English.
Statement of the
Problem
In view of the crucial role
literature-in-English plays as a school subject in the senior secondary
schools, students’ low level of achievement in and attitude towards the subject
are the order of the day. This has been a source of concern to parents,
teachers, government and other stakeholders in the education of the child. The
need to improve students’ achievement and sustain students’ positive attitude
towards the subject has long been a topic of popular and academic interest in
Nigeria. Several efforts by researchers in literature-in-English to provide
solutions to this problem have been concentrated on providing effective
instructional strategies. Yet, these have not brought about significant
improvement in the teaching and learning of literature-in-English in Nigeria.
Besides, there is a decline in the moral values which the teaching and learning
of literature-in-English is supposed to inculcate in the learners and society
at large. This might be due to the fact that strategies experimented with
involved regimented classroom situations with its attendant treatment of
learners as passive learners. Scholars have therefore advocated the adoption of
informal instruction through utilization of school literary clubs activities as
a platform for promoting teaching and learning of literature. Therefore, this
study investigated the relationship between students’ participation in literary
club activities their achievement in and attitude to literature-in-English in
selected senior secondary schools in Ondo State.
Purpose of the Study
In other to carry out this researcher
work the following objectives were listed out: 
i.                  
To
identify students ability and learning styles in literature in English.
ii.                
To
know the curriculum structured and form that should be implemented in the
teaching of literature   
iii.             
To
know the teaching materials or aids to be use in teaching literature in English.
iv.             
To
know the quality and availability of teaching personnel in the teaching of
literature in English in secondary school.
Significance of the
study
It is expected that findings from
this study would provide relevant information on the usefulness of school
literary activities, as it is related to literature-in-English in the secondary
schools. The result of this study would provide a data base for evaluating the
use of literary activities as a means of improving achievement in
literature-in-English teaching and learning.
Hopefully, findings from this study
will be of immense benefits to students and teachers of literature-in-English,
curriculum planners, language educators, policy makers and all stakeholders in
the teaching of literature-in-English in a second language situation.
Specifically, the study would give
teachers insight into innovative approaches through students’ participation in
literary activities that promote students’ interest in learning
literature-in-English and their achievement in it as well. The study would help
teachers not only to encourage students to participate in literary activities,
but would be able to link school-based literary activities with effective
teaching of literature-in-English and use these to improve student’s
achievement in literature-in-English. The result emanating from this study
would provide basis for planning other school-based literary activities in
schools and also help to include such activities among the pool of helpful
teaching and learning activities for implementing the literature-in-English
curriculum for the senior secondary school education in Nigeria.
Scope of the Study
This study will not digress from its main purpose which the
problems and prospects in the teaching and learning of literature-in-English
students who offer literature in English as a subject in secondary schools in
Ose Local Government, Area of Ondo State will be used as respondent for easy
analysis of data. This will reduce cost and avoid complexity that may arise as
a result of having a very large population. But since in most cases the
characteristics of students are generally similar, the research findings would
be generalized to include all students of secondary school in Nigeria.
Research Questions      
            
i.           
How
adequate are English Language textbooks for secondary schools on teaching
English tenses?
          
ii.           
Do
English Language teachers at secondary school, support supplement what English
textbooks offer on tenses?
       
iii.           
Are
English language teachers at secondary school aware of the inadequate
information on tenses offered in English language textbooks for secondary
school?
       
iv.           
Are
English teachers at secondary schools aware that student’s common mistakes in
essay writing are largely wrong use of tenses?
Definition Terms
Literature-in-English: The discipline that studies the English language and
literature. 
Teaching: Is a process of impact knowledge to
or instruct someone in how to do something, especially in a school or part of a
recognized programme.
Learning:   Is
a knowledge or skill acquired through experience or study or by being taught.
Prospects: The possibility of future
success.
Literature: Is
a written works, especially those regarded as having artistic merit.



CHAPTER II
REVIEW
OF LITERATURE
This
chapter reviews the related literature for this study under the following
sub-topics:   
v Concept
of Literature-in-English
v
Literature-in-English
and its Indispensable Role
v Reasons
for the study of Literature-in-English
v Teaching Literature-in-English in
Nigerian secondary schools
v Problems of teaching and learning
Literature-in-English
v Approaches to solve the Problem of
Teaching and Learning Literature-in-English
v Summary of Literature Review
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