This research investigates the causes of widespread English language failure. English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. English is introduced at the basic, secondary, and university levels of education in Nigeria. In addition to other topics, students are required to study English.
At the secondary and primary levels in Nigeria, English is taught in all classes. The project was broken down into five chapters. The first chapter addresses the study’s context, description of difficulties, research questions, and significance.
The second chapter reviews relevant literature. The third chapter discusses the study’s methodology and population. The fourth chapter discusses the analysis and interpretation of obtained data. The fifth chapter contains a summary of findings, a conclusion, and recommendations.
The researcher prepared and presented a structured questionnaire to respondents in the study area as the data collection instrument. The study employed a total of one hundred respondents, and the basic percentage approach was used to facilitate calculation by the researcher.
Lack of instructional materials in the teaching of the English language has a negative impact on the academic performance of students, according to the study’s findings. Lack of in-service training for English language teachers has a negative impact on the academic achievement of students.
The researcher concluded by making the following recommendations: (1) the government should organize in-service training for English language teachers to improve their English language skills; (2) teachers should also improve their English language teaching skills by conducting more research in the subject area; and (3) students should not fear English language as a subject, but rather embrace and take it seriously. (4) School authorities and the government should supply instructional resources for the teaching of English language. (5) English language discussions should be arranged in schools to motivate students to do more work in the subject.
1.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
Diverse authors have attempted to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the causes of the widespread failure of secondary-level English language pupils in the United States and beyond. Multiple studies on this topic have been undertaken in both developing and industrialized nations. In poor countries, several researchers found that school factors were more essential than family considerations for pupils’ English proficiency. Regarding Nigeria, no specific research has been conducted on the subject. Therefore, additional research is required to investigate the causes of the widespread failure of secondary school students in the English language in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria.
In a study conducted by Hasan (2005) on the “English Language Curriculum at the Secondary Level in Nigeria,” he discovered that 82% of rural and urban secondary school students complain that English is not used sufficiently in class, with an average of 68% of teachers admitting that they do not facilitate the practice of the four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) of the English language in the classroom.
Another survey demonstrates that educated instructors at the secondary level of the English language in Nigeria are more effective than untrained ones (Johnson 2001). In addition, Stephen Krashen (2002) proposes the ‘affective filter,’ which consists of a variety of psychological elements, such as fear, motivation, and self-confidence, that can either promote or impede the learning of a second language.
Snow (2004) argues that pupils of all ages and from all cultures will have different intellectual and psychometric capacities. This is evident in both general and specialized past knowledge, personal thought and work methods, and interest and motivation throughout learning. Moreover, these variances are frequently closely related to differences in pupils’ academic development.
Malaka (2001) has investigated the motivational issues in teaching-learning English as a second language at the secondary school level, with a focus on Nigerian norms. Rashid (2005) conducts study on solutions to address communication obstacles in Edo State, Nigeria’s target language environment.
He discovered that different new characteristics have emerged in relation to the problems and potential usage of techniques in target language communication. The majority of interviewees (85%) acknowledged that nervousness, hesitancy, and inhibition have a detrimental effect on people who are not very proficient in English speaking.
Wilkins (2004) notes that a teacher is a key variable in foreign language circumstances, and that teachers’ abilities and dispositions have a significant role in fostering the environment for language acquisition.
According to Gardner (2005), second language acquisition is a socio-psychological phenomena. It focuses on the development of communication skills between members of one cultural community and those of another. Krashen (2002) argues that second language learners with high motivation, self-confidence, self-efficacy, a positive self-image, and a low level of anxiety are well-equipped for success.
Gardner and Lambert (2002) have stressed the importance of investigating each language-learning context separately, implying that the configuration of variables acquired in one context is not always applicable in another context. For instance, the historical, political, social, and cultural motivations of South Asian learners are profoundly distinct from those of South-East Asian or African learners.
Jayanthi (2002) examines the classroom interaction of Punjab’s high school pupils. Her research reveals that factors such as students’ intelligence, shyness, evaluative capacity, commitment, psychological conditions, observation of world knowledge, time factors, interactional awareness, and interaction with text, among others, play a significant role in the effectiveness and efficiency of their interactions.
English’s role in Nigeria is marked by its multifunctionality. For example, English has been used for many years and for a variety of purposes, including medium of instruction in higher education institutions, method of international communication, and language of the Supreme Court, and it is gradually becoming a part of the sociocultural system.
According to Walberg’s (2004) theory of educational productivity, nine components are required to boost students’ cognitive and affective outcomes. These variables include (a) student aptitude variables or prior achievement, (b) age, and (c) motivation or self-concept as it relates to learning a task; the instructional variables of (d) Quality of instruction (e) Quality of instructional experience (f) Home environment (g) Classroom or school environment (h) Peer group environment, and (I)Mass media (especially Television).
This exact topic (factors impacting pupils’ English proficiency at the secondary level in Egor Local Government Area, Edo State) has not been the subject of an exhaustive investigation. On the basis of the reality of students, English teachers, school principals, guardians, community members, and education officers at the secondary level in Nigeria, it is necessary to conduct research in the two sub-districts, sub-urban and rural, in Nigeria.
In Nigerian society, English is a language of communication. As a Lingual Franca, it is a language of medium instruction that is useful in many aspects of life in Nigeria. The use of English as a second language between the encoder and decoder is advantageous.
It is a language intended for use as a medium of communication by school instructors (teachers). English is a required subject for university admission, WASSCE, NECO, NABTEB, and other public examinations.
In numerous ministries, parastatals, universities, business centers, cyber cafés, embassies, airports, seaports, and on our major highways, English is the primary language of communication. Without English, it would have been challenging for the typical Nigerian to survive and engage with the rest of the world.
The natives of Britain or the United Kingdom, which includes Wales under Queen Elizabeth’s jurisdiction, Scotland among the Scots, Northern Ireland, and the English people of England, were the original proprietors of the English language. The English language progressively become an international language as a result of the British colonization effort to explore the entire planet.
All English-speaking nations, including Nigeria, should comprise the Anglophone countries. Ghana, India, the United States, Egypt, and south Africa are members. As a result, English has progressively become the dominant language of teaching for everyone.
English has gradually become a lingua franca, a means of communication for both the wealthy and the disadvantaged in our society. As second language learners, the majority of Nigerians struggle greatly with speaking and writing English since they cannot speak and write like native speakers.
Numerous of our native languages have been absorbed into the study of the English language in our daily activities.
1.2 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
Nigeria’s educational system is united. In terms of religion, culture, socioeconomic conditions, etc., however, the local communities are diverse. Nigeria has a long history of academic attachment to the English language for second language acquisition.
In spite of this, it is commonly acknowledged that the level of English proficiency of our students is not commensurate with the time they devote to learning the language. In this context, Huq (2006) comments that despite the significant amount of time given to English instruction, the general proficiency and accomplishment of the majority of secondary school graduates is inadequate and disproportionately poor.
The English Language performance of pupils in public examinations such as WAEC and NECO has been noted to be among the lowest compared to other fundamental disciplines. Approximately 90% of failures fail the English section (Nigeria Education Statistical Book, 2005).
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary goals of this study are to:
i. Determine the causes of the widespread failure of English language pupils in the Egor Local Government Area.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
In the setting of the global marketplace, the knowledge of society, and the era of digital information technology, English proficiency is becoming increasingly crucial and significant. Dr. Mohamad Farashuddin (2011) stated, “English competence is essential for the nation to eradicate poverty, starvation, disease, illiteracy, and humiliation.”
This study aims to contribute to the enhancement of English instruction in secondary schools in Nigeria. By elucidating the elements that influence students’ English proficiency, this study aims to propose a method for improving accomplishment and policy input.
This study’s findings can be utilized for a variety of applications. It will primarily aid teacher-trainers, educational administrators, policymakers, researchers, and instructors in Nigeria in identifying the characteristics most likely to improve English proficiency among pupils. This study will attempt to identify areas where efforts can be taken to improve English teaching and learning environments in Nigeria, including both rural and suburban secondary school students.
What variables influence the English language proficiency of secondary students in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State?
What is the true state of English proficiency among secondary pupils in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State?
Which policy inputs are effective for enhancing English proficiency among pupils in the Egor Local Government Area?
SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH
The scope of the study is restricted to five secondary schools in Egor Local Area, Edo State. Teachers and students participating in the research constitute a representative sample of the study population in the study area.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A circumstance, event, or influence that contributes to a result is a factor.
Achievement is the effective completion of a task requiring work, skill, or daring.
Cognition relates to how an individual comprehends and behaves in the world. It is the collection of skills or procedures that comprise practically every human action.
Cognitive talents are brain-based capabilities necessary for accomplishing every activity, from the simplest to the most difficult.
Affective: Denoting or pertaining to mental diseases whose predominant symptom is mood instability.