Title page

Approval page



Acknowledgement         s

Table of content



Background to the Study

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Study

Significance of the Study

Delimitation of the Study

Research Questions




The Role of English Language in Nigeria from Historical


The Role in the Area of Education

Economic Growth

National Unity

Common Problems for Candidates who Speak English as a

Second Language

Effect of the First Language on the Second Language

Phonological Features

Morphology and Syntax

Lexis and Semantics

Summary of the Study



Area of the Study

Population of the Study

Sample of the Study

Instrument for Data Collection

Validation of the Instrument

Reliability of the Instrument

Administration of the Instrument

Data Analysis Technique


Result Presentation

Discussion of the Study








This research is focused on the comparative study of spoken English of students in selected public and private secondary schools in Ado local government area of Ekiti State.  The approach adopted for the study was a descriptive survey type. The population for the study consists of one hundred and twenty (120) students selected from different public and private secondary schools in Ado Ekiti. Findings from the study show that academic performance of students in the English language depends on various schools environmental factors, such as: availability of instructional materials, competent teachers, instructional facilities and school library. Base on the findings, it was recommended that some measures of attention should be given to spoken English both in public and private schools, debate and quiz competitions should be organized for all classes to develop the speaking and listening skills.  It was also noted that some standard private school have learning materials for students unlike public school.

It was also recommended that student communicate in English language within and outside the school premises



Background of the Study

          English is Nigeria’s official language mode of communication. As a matter of fact, it is Nigeria’s lingua franca.  As a result, students in Nigeria and many parts of Africa have to use this language as means of communication and learning.

English language is a major school subject on the Nigerian education system. It is not only a medium of instruction at all levels of education in Nigeria but a pre-requisite into entering into post-secondary institution. The  English language prominence in Nigeria through missionaries who arrived at Badagry  among which are Henry Townshed and Thomas Bineh  Freema in 1842, of the CMS missionary. Their main purpose is to expand Christianity all over the world. They were not here to preach the gospel but were also engage in educational activities.

The English language in Nigeria has a long history, Abiodun (2006) asserts that: historical records are silent with regard to the early development of English elsewhere in Nigeria. English language has been firmly entrenched in Nigeria educational system.

Kennedy (2001) opines that students or Nigeria children attitude towards the English language might be as result of exposure. Attitude to an English course may be influenced 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 the regarded as the language of communication co-operation and better understanding. It is the language of government and politics.

Bamisaye (2006) defines language as a means of communication between individual can be used in interpersonal communication and inter-group communicated. Communication within the same person and the same group, respectively. In either of interpersonal and inter group 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 areas. Language as a linguistic endowment is one of the major distinguishing features between man and animal. Both man and animal communicate but the latter lack the ability to use language to communicate Nigerians believe that without the English language we cannot do anything. Invariability, that makes it our lingua franca. It has been observed that in Nigeria schooling system, English language has advantage in private schools over public schools because of their mode of teaching. The learning of English by the Nigerian is the effort of the by the Nigerian is the effort of the Colonial government. The 1882 education ordinance compelled private system schools in Nigeria to teach English. It is stated that the subject of teaching shall be reading and writing or English.

According to Oyinloye (2007) the basic language skills are reading, speaking and listening. Oyinloye (2007) asserts that “reading is another skill which linguistics generally described as receptive skill, people need in order to collect or retrieve information. Writing is also a productive skill like spoken English  as a means of externalizing what has been internalized. It is a skill that can be taught at any state of language learning. What to write depends on the ability of the students or the learners. For a beginner, writing can take the alphabets. One interesting thing about these language skills is that they cannot be taught in isolation. There were some set of people who through schooling became parts and parcel of the language and these people were likely found to be the students of private schools. They are raised up by literate parents where they have been developed morally, intellectually, financially and even physically. This study is concerned with learning and use of the English language by children in selected private and public secondary schools in Ado local government area of Ekiti State. It is important that we need to understand the position (status and functions) of English in the society. Moreover, the Nigeria local language also has 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. According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, language is defined as the system of communication in speech and writing that is used by people of a particular country or area. Acquisition means the act of getting something especially knowledge or a skull.

Language acquisition also known as Mother Tongue, a child picks up this language first at his early stage, places where children originally have English language as their mother tongue include places like England, Canada, U.S.A, and Australia, but a child born and bred by Yoruba parents having English as the language spoken as the language spoken at home and in the immediate environment could have English as their mother tongue. The state of language acquisition begins from Birth-cry, Babbling, Lalling, Echolalia and true speech/ monosyllabic words.

Language learning which is the second language (L2) is learned in addition to the mother tongue. It is often the language of instruction, often learnt in the classroom at school. The acquisition of the second language is often impaired by the mother tongue. There is always a problem of interference. A child often tends to think in his mother tongue while expressing himself in the second language.

Krashen (2000), treats language learning as a conscious process acquisition as subconscious process. To learn a language consciously, the learner must know the underlying rules of the language, his attention is consciously focused on the formal features of the target language and he applies the knowledge of the rule. This is what accounts for the differences between sound language acquisitions in children. Oyinloye (2007) added, that the acquisition of language does not mean that one knows everything about the language. It is not a criterion that one can use such a language completely, even when one can speak the language, it is imperative that one has to be literate in language. This means that language teaching either the mother tongue or the second language must follow specific patterns. If a user of a language has to be literate in that language, the user’s use must be in target because language acquisition does not mean ability to read and write in that language.

To some extent, second acquisition or learning in children could be a conscious and formal process of making the learner masters the target language. That is linguistically homogenous, where all the speakers speak the same language. Thus, almost every linguistic group in Nigeria is at least minimally represented in some cities especially the cosmopolitan Lagos. Consequently, many of the children born in Lagos are neither Lagosian nor native of Yoruba which is the language of the western Nigerians. Such children living in Lagos many grow up to first acquire their mother tongue. This mother tongue is acquired without the help of any teacher. Mother tongue is very important in the life of an individual because it is the first language with which man is exposed to the world around him.

Statement of the Problem

The English language as a second language has affected students in the learning of various aspects of English skills most especially the area of spoken skill which leads to the poor grammatical expressions within and outside the school environment.

Also, for most Nigeria English learners, learning the ability to speak and write intelligible and acceptable expressions in the target language is a task yet to be accomplished.

Therefore, this study intends to investigate the following problems.

  1. How students personal interest will be a factor for their use of English while communicating.
  2. How the influence of spoken English will be ascertained in student’s speech.
  • Ability of students in private and public schools at making use of English as a medium of communication.
  1. Level of educational attainment of the parents and the effect in their children’s use of English.
  2. Extent to which teachers make use of English as language of instruction in the classroom.
  3. Extent to which students communicate with English in school premises.

Purpose of the Study

          The purpose of this research is to comparatively analyze the spoken English of secondary school students of selected public and private school in Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

Specifically, the study has the following purpose.

  1. To study the status of English communication skills of the students studying at higher secondary level.
  2. To compare the English communication skills of the students studying at higher secondary level in schools in Nigeria.
  3. To compare the English communication skills of the student studying at higher secondary level in Government and Private schools.
  4. To compare the English skills of the students studying at Higher secondary level in government and private schools in rural area.

Significance of the Study

          The study could be useful to students, 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 to know the importance of spoken English.

Also, it will enable teachers to encourage students to communicate often in English language and not to be shy when they want to use the language. The study will equally be useful for the curriculum planners to ensure adequate provision for extra curriculum activities like debate and group discussion.

Delimitation of the Study

This study deals with comparative analysis of spoken English in selected private and public secondary schools in Ado Ekiti. The selected schools are:-

  1. Anglican Grammar school, Ado Ekiti
  2. Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti
  3. Success International School, Ado Ekiti
  4. Holy Child Catholic Secondary School, Ado Ekiti
  5. Baptist High School, Ado Ekiti
  6. Olaoluwa Muslim College, Ado Ekiti

Research Questions

For the purpose of this research, the following questions are raised.

  1. Can the influence of spoken English be ascertained in students speech?
  2. Do students have personal interest in the use of English language while communicating?
  • Do students in private schools communicate in English more than those in public school?
  1. Are parents level of educational attainment responsible for their children’s use of English?


The following null hypothetical statements are made with respect to the objectives of the study.

  1. There is no significant difference between the English communication skills of the student studying at secondary level in schools of rural area and urban area
  2. There is no significant difference between the English communication skills of the students studying at secondary level in Government and private schools in Nigeria.
  • There is no significant difference between the English communication skills of the students studying at secondary level in Government and private schools in urban area.


          The following assumptions are made, since spoken English is one of the major factors affecting students, performance in oral English. Teachers encounter problems in the classroom since most of the students find it difficult to pronounce words correctly. Therefore, the researcher has assumed the following.

  1. Students in junior and senior secondary schools are potential participants for the researcher.
  2. The research will help to solve the problem of inability of secondary school students to communicate in English language,
  • The research will help the students in public and private secondary schools to develop interest in English language.
  1. The research will create more awareness on the relevance of English language for students in public and private schools.



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