EFFECT OF COMPUTER BASED LEARNING IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Background of the Study
English language has become one of the most important languages in the world. It is widely used in all areas of human endeavour, nationally and internationally. The global use of English Language is found in television programmes and in the internet. There are more websites made in English than in other languages. Realizing the importance of English, many people have taken it as a second Language. Since English speaking countries are very important part of global economy and its advancement, other political and country leaders must either learn English or find someone who understands English to interpret for them. Therefore, politics is one arena where English is important. The English Language according to Obanya, (2012) fills a huge communication gap. It helps to facilitate contact between Nigerians of diverse language groups. The English language is the first language on the school curriculum; hence it is regarded as a core subject. A credit in the English Language is considered compulsory for the award of many of the country’s certificates.
According to Ahmed (2009) the English Language is an indispensable language of communication in Nigeria at both personal, national and international levels.
However, the teaching of English Language is associated with a lot of problems. It takes a long time to learn a new grammar system and thousands of new words. It also takes a lot of practice to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in a new language. English Language is taught everyday in schools time table and students’ performances at the examinations are still not satisfactory, Ahmed (2009).
The National Policy on Education (NPE) (2004), in Nigeria emphasizes that children should be properly taught. The policy is also of the opinion that teaching and learning in Nigeria should lead to students’ acquisition of skills and competencies geared towards solving their problems and that of the society.
The situation of general poor performance in English Language spreads through all levels of Nigeria’s educational ladder including primary, secondary and post-primary institutions (Keston 2009). In the view of Osunde and Ogiegbaen in the West African Examination Council Chief Examiner’s Report (2005), student’s poor performance in English Language is a long standing one. Annual reports from the West African Examination Councils (WAEC) (2005) reveal woeful performances from students who have made enrolment for the English Language examination a yearly ritual. It is worrisome to note that the performance of these students have continued to deteriorate year after year in English Language despite all stake holders’ effort. The West African Examination Councils (WAEC) reports reveal that most candidates who take the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) lack foundation in English grammar and usage. This implies that they are not well taught by their teachers.
The situation is pathetic, as a lot of factors may be responsible for the poor performance in the English Language examinations. One of these factors is the traditional content /knowledge oriented curriculum, which is still very much practised today. Teachers seem to have clung fast to the old fashioned ways and have refused to embrace the new trend of the total curriculum experience of the modern teacher. A modern teacher is a teacher who has seen the need to incorporate computer based learning material in teaching and learning process. Onwuka, (1998) had criticize the content /knowledge –oriented curriculum like the one practiced by the teachers of the English Language. Such curriculum does not go beyond merely imparting knowledge to the students. Teachers have to go by the new technology, that is the use of computer in teaching and learning for a better performance.
In language, a computer can present words to be spelt, sound to be made, instructions to be followed. Computer can be used to evaluate students’ performance and direct students backward, forward, and sideways for appropriate learning activities, (Bada, 2009).
Most researches by experts reveal lack of computers for use in schools. English language being a core subject, will need adequate availability of computers for all teachers and students, hence the awareness of computer usage to teachers and its availability is very important. Several strategies have been proposed and adopted over the years which have helped in one way or the other but have not led to improved performances of students in English Language. (Fakeye, 2010) went further to report that the availability of computer and its connectivity to the internet tend to non-existence in virtually all the schools. The level of use of computer for teaching depends on the availability of computer. (Anigbogu 2003) opines that not being aware of what computer can do limits teacher’s ability to desire the use of computers even when they have serious problems beyond the competence of conventional technologies. Bluhim (1987) opines that educational administrators were scarcely aware of the use of the technology as a tool for decision-making. Training is needed if the potential impact of ICT in educational organizations is to be realized.
Therefore, the benefits of computer can only be enjoyed by a computer literate population, that is, teachers, students and the public. In a bid to achieve this, the federal government made computer education one of the subjects to be offered in both junior and senior secondary schools (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1998). Moreover, in May 2000, the minister of science and technology introduced Fit it -yourself (FIY) computer assembly kits to be used in both secondary schools and tertiary institutions (Ayeoyenikan, 2000). Since its introduction, there have been relatively few studies on the level of teacher awareness and extent of utilization of teachers and computer use.
Computer awareness refers to the ways in which computers may have an impact on education. Computer awareness programmes familiarizes the students/ teachers with computer technology and the basic principles on which computer works including some elementary basic programming (Yusuf, 2008).
There is need to examine teachers’ awareness of the extent of utilization of computer such as in instructional delivery process (e.g the use of computer –assistant language learning). In modernized world, almost every aspect of people’s life is affected in some ways by computer. The development of Information Technology (IT) has spread through the application of computers in learning process, which is generally known as Computer Assisted Learning (CAL). A computer is used for the sake of facilitating people in learning, such as learning language. Computer is only a tool and a medium. Hence, its ability to perform is dependent on the users. In this case, the computer is an intermediary, it is merely a part of the entire learning process, (Hartoyo, 2008).
Computer based learning (CBL) is an approach to language teaching and learning in which computer technology is used as an aid for presentation, reinforcement and assessment of material to be learned, usually including substantial interactive elements.
Computer based learning (CBL) studies the role and the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in second language learning and teaching. Computer based learning (CBL) programme presents a stimulus to which the learner must respond. The stimulus may be presented in any combination of text, still lineages, sound and motion video. The learner responds by typing at the keyboard, pointing and clicking with the mouse, or speaking into a microphone. The computer offers a feedback, indicating whether the learner’s response is right or wrong, and in the more sophisticated CBL programme, attempting to analyze the learner’s response and to pinpoint errors.
For many years, foreign language teachers have used the computer to provide supplementary exercise. In recent years, advances in computer technology have motivated teachers to reassess the computer and consider it a valuable part of daily foreign language learning. Interactivity is a crucial strength of the new technology. The computer is interactive by virtue of the fact that the user can gain control over learning and therefore becomes an active participant in learning process. Interactivity also allows the instant feedback from the computer. The interactivity of computer makes it especially suited for implementing learner- centred teaching method. Warschauer (2008) asserts that computer makes any information needed widely and easily available irrespective of distance, computer is indeed a motivator to teaching and learning. However, this current study is interested in finding out the effect of computer based learning on students academic performance in junior secondary schools students in English language
However, there are teachers who are still using the traditional method of teaching which is basically teacher centered. Students are passive listeners while the teachers actively do the talking alone in traditional method. The learners are undoubtedly cheated because they are expected to be involved in the teaching and learning process which is lacking in the traditional teaching method.
The student, who actually wants to learn English language, needs to take charge of his/her own language learning instead of just passively listening to the teacher. The student must be able to carry out a plan for developing the language skills whether the teacher is there or not. This can be done more effectively through the use of computer which assists learning with ease. In the digital era, the development in various aspects of computer technology has gone beyond imagination and expectation. Computer has a lot of application in the field of education; it is useful in the teaching and learning processes. Computer literacy is very much needed for teachers as well as learners. Computer improves both teaching and students’ valuable connections with teachers, other schools and a wide network of professionals around the globe . Creating computer awareness for teachers is essential. The availability and utilization of computers in schools is another important factor to consider if there must be any meaningful benefit in the use of computer to teach.
Statement of the Problem
In this contemporary age where the society has gone digital and computerized, it is surprising that teachers still use the traditional method of teaching the English language in most secondary schools. This method is the type that the teacher actively do the talking alone with the chalkboard and the students passively listen whether learning is talking place or not. There has been consistent decline in students performance in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and West African Examination Councils (WAEC) probably because of the methods teachers use in the teaching of the English language.
In this information age, computer has made a triumphant entry into education in the past decade, it has brought significant benefits to teachers and students alike. The search for an appropriate teaching of the English language has been on for many years and computer has been proven very useful in this regard.
The use of computer for better teaching remains impeccable. The English language teachers are teaching everyday as stipulated on the school time- table. At –times students are being engaged in Extra –Mural Classes, yet the performance of students in the English language remains poor. The situation in Ikere seems the same.
There has been a world –wide demand for a re-orientation of teaching and learning towards greater use of ICT facilities. The successes of such demand, however, depends largely on the level of awareness of computer use by English language teachers, computer availability and its actual use in classroom instructions.
The problem of this study, therefore, is to find out how the inclusion of Computer based learning materials could influence positively the teaching and learning of English language in Ikere Local Government Area in Ekiti.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to find out the effect of computer based learning in teaching and learning of English Language in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
The study specifically seeks to;
- Examine the extent of awareness of teachers on the use of computer bases learning in teaching English as a second languages
- Find out the extent computers are available for use in the teaching of the English language;
- Examine the extent teachers who are computer literate are available?
- Find out how competent English language teachers in the use of computer software for teaching.
Significance of the study
The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized as many researchers in the fields have made useful observations towards its impacts on the fields of education and other human endeavour. Hung, (2007) asserts that the use of computer has improved students’ writing skills, Shams (2006) examined the use of computerized pronunciation practice as a tool in the reduction of foreign language anxiety. The result showed that the students who practiced with computer did experience significant improvement in the quality of their pronunciation. The diffusion and use of computer in education is very important because it will lead to improvement in teaching and learning process. In developing nations, ICTs have brought a technological reduction whose utilizations and production have been somewhat limited but whose potentials diffusion hold a great promise in accelerating the performances of both the teachers and students in our educational system. The internet and the rise of computer –mediated communications in particular have reshaped the uses of computers for language learning. With CBL, teachers are not the source of information any more, but act as facilitators so that students can actively interpret and organize information they are given, fitting it into prior knowledge (Dole, et al 1991).
Besides the above theoretical significance of CBL provided by experts, there is practical significance that this study will proffer. The study seeks to spur the government to make effort in providing computers for use in schools for teaching and learning. The government will also see the need to train teachers to be computer literate. Moreover, the outcome of this study will sensitize both teachers and students to make use of computers for better academic performance.
Scope of the study
The study is concerned with the effect of computer based learning on effective teaching and learning of English Language. The study cover four secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State, the study used one hundred students and twenty teachers in the four secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti state.
The following research questions directed this study.
- What is the extent of awareness of teachers on the use of computer in teaching English as a second languages?
- To what extent are computers available for use in the teaching of the English language?
- To what extent are teachers who are computer literate available?
- How competent are English language teachers in the use of computer software for teaching?
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