ATTITUDES OF FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS TOWARDS LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE
This study examined the attitudes of female secondary school students towards learning of English language in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
The subjects for the study were secondary school students and teachers. A total of two hundred (200) subjects were drawn from four secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area. Forty (40) respondents (students) were randomly sampled from each of the two single sex schools i.e. Annunciation school and St. Louis Girls’ school. Twenty (20) subjects were sampled from each of the two (2) mixed schools. A total of one hundred and twenty (120) students make up of sixty females and sixty males participated in the study.
Questionnaire designed by the investigators were used to gather information for the study. Percentages were used to analyze the data.
The results showed that mother tongue, government policy peer group influence and inadequate facilities contributed to the poor performance of female secondary school students towards learning of English language.
Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made:
1) Publishers and authors should be encourage to write and produce relevant textbooks to cater for the level and understanding of different categories of students.
2) Only qualified people should be allowed to teach the subject so that the female students can improve in English language.
3) The NCE holders should be encouraged to further their study to University level so that they could be able to make meaningful contributions to the cognitive development of the students.
4) Government should organize seminars, in – service training and workshop for teachers.
5) Teachers are to educate the female secondary school students to read journals, novels, dailies and magazines like their male counterparts.
6) Teacher’s workload at the certificate class should be reduced to give room for efficiency.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents
List of Tables
Background to the study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the study
Significance of the study
Limitations to the study
Definition of Terms
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The meaning of English language
English as second to the Nigerian
Secondary school female students
Attitudes of female students towards
Factors influencing the attitude of secondary school female
Towards English language
Summary of literature review
Population and Sampling Procedure
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Discussion of Findings
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
LIST OF TABLES
Teaching Experience (in years)
The use of instructional materials
The qualification of the teachers
Comparison of performance of male and female students
Reading of periodicals
Male English lecturers are more than the female lecturers
Parent’s attitude to students speaking English
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is a process which helps individual to develop his abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are of positive and meaningful value in the society in which you live. It is the pillar of nation building. In order to accomplish this goal effectively, an official medium or language is required (Osoba, 1987).
Language is a human vocal noise or its graphic representation used systematically and conventionally by members of a speech community for the purpose of communication. Language is the main process through which the teacher puts information across to learners.
The learners respond to teaching mainly by means of language.
English language is one of the most popular language of instruction. English language is the second language of Nigeria apart from the indigenous mother tongue languages. It is used daily outside the mandatory official contexts at home, market place, religious houses, clinics, hospitals, departmental stores, social gathering, used for writing signboards and so many purposes.
For some years ago, in the defunct Ekiti mouth Local Government area, secondary school female students, performance in English language examination in most of their post primary institutions have not been encouraging compared with their male counterparts.
Even now, in Ikere Local Government area, the nonchalant attitude of the female students also has its own effect on the performance of the students at the final school certificate Examination. The girls are generally lazy and have not cultivated the habit of reading novels, journals, dailies to widen their vocabularies and improve their expressions.
Taking into consideration the importance of English language, it serves as a medium of instruction above the lower primary. In Nigeria society, English language has been accepted as a second language, so it is the vehicle of all other subjects taught in the schools.
Hardly, could females secondary school leavers speak fluently or write in simple and correct English like their male counterparts. For instance, the last senior secondary Examinations result in English language was that, many female students had F9 in the subject.
For many decades, Nigerian females have been working silently in the background contributing in no small way to the socio – economic development of the country. It is only currently that their contribution is being gradually recognized and appreciated when few females that are able to speak English language fluently manage to get to the top.
Even, some men are afraid of marrying females that can speak English fluently as wives, this is because they feel that such females would know more of their civil rights and as a result they would not be submissive to their husbands or not play the part of a kitchen “care taker”.
English language, as a course, holds the key to future academic progress in Nigeria. To have the opportunity to read or study any course, either in the University, Polytechnic or College of Education, a candidate must have a solid or a very sound pass in the examination set on the language by one of the examining bodies notably the West African Examination Council (W.A.E.C).
Unfortunately, however, in spite of increased awareness, secondary school female students today still face a lot of handicaps and restrictions indeed, in the context of ultimate achievement and comparative figure, it is clear that a lot more still needs to be done to remove the barriers in the way of encouraging female students in learning English language.
Clearly, the number of females who have made it to the top via learning of English language is like a drop in the ocean when compared with the number of top flight male executives.
This is particularly because, men had a headstart in matters of male learning English language, it is because the prejudices and restrictions that gave female that initial advantage have tended to persist. For instance, male lecturers in the department of English language in Ondo State College of Education are more than the female lecturers. It is therefore on the above disparity that necessitate the researchers to embark on a research to investigate the attitudes of secondary school female students towards the learning of English language.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of this study is to determine the problems of secondary school female students towards learning English in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. This study is designed to provide answers to the following questions:
i. What is the level of performance of secondary school female students in Ikere Local Government Area?
ii. What are the factors responsible for the poor performance of the female students in English language?
iii. What can the teachers, society and Government do to improve their performance?
iv. Can peer group and societal influence interfere positively or negatively with the learning of English language?
v. Is there any differences between the students and teacher’s perception of the variables that could interfere with the learning of the English language?
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is for the researcher to investigate the general attitudes of secondary school female students towards the learning of English language in Ikere Local Government Area.
Also to find out to what extent that these attitudes are being influenced. Again, to know the extent which socio – economic status of students and sex of the students affect the learning of English in the classroom teaching and learning.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Considering the problems already stated, the following research questions will be used in carrying out the investigation.
i. Do secondary school female students have good foundation of English language at home?
ii. How are the secondary school female student performing in English language?
iii. How many years of teaching experiences have you?
iv. Do teachers used instructional materials in schools?
v. What factors contribute to the level of their poor performance?
vi. Are there enough qualified and responsible teachers to handle English language in schools?
vii. Are the male executives more than the female executives.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research findings could direct the attention of parents and teachers to the poor performance of secondary school female students in learning of English language in the school covered by this study.
The significance of the study lies on the needs:
i. To make the secondary school female student aware of the importance of English language.
ii. Society should encourage the secondary school female students to speak English always.
iii. Parents to try and buy the necessary textbooks.
iv. Society should provide public library in Ikere Local Government area.
v. Government should stabilize the educational systems.
1.6 LIMITATIONS TO THE STUDY
This study is limited to only one hundred and twenty students of four selected secondary school female students in Ikere Local Government Area.
Though, there are nine secondary schools in Ikere Local Government area, but this study is limited top four secondary schools as a result of limited resources and time factor.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
From the topical issue of this research, the terms that need to be defined for the total and absolute understanding of this work are: learning, language and Bilingualism.
LEARNING: learning is the process by which we profit from past experience. It results in a more – or – less permanent change in behaviour. It can be consist of one or more of three steps.
i. Inventing an original solution to a problem or thinking.
ii. Committing a solution to memory or memorizing.
iii. Becoming efficient at applying the solution to a problem or forming habit.
LANGUAGE: This has been defined in various ways such as:
i. A system of medium of communication which is mutually intelligible to members of a particular speech community sapir (1921).
ii. A purely human and non instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols.
iii. O.I Barber in “the story of language” saw language more than anything else, as what distinguishes man from the rest of the animal word because it is the greatest tool which makes human culture possible.
BILINGUALISM: This is a situation where the person acquires and uses two languages.