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Declaration      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           i

Certification    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           ii

Dedication      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           iii

Acknowledgements    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           iv

Table of Contents       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           v

Abstract          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           viii


1.1       Background to the Study       –           –           –           –           –           –           1

1.2       Statement of the Problem       –           –           –           –           –           –           6

1.3       Objectives of the Study          –           –           –           –           –           –           7

1.4       Significance of the Study       –           –           –           –           –           –           7

1.5       Research Questions     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.6       Null Hypotheses         –           –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.7       Delimitation of the Study       –           –           –           –           –           –           9

1.8       Definition of Terms    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           9


2.1       Theoretical Framework           –           –           –           –           –           –           11

2.1.1    Transfer of Learning Theory   –           –           –           –           –           –           11

2.1.2    Cognitive Learning Theory     –           –           –           –           –           –           14

2.2       Conceptual/Empirical Framework      –           –           –           –           –           16

2.2.1    Creativity in Grammar Translation     –           –           –           –           –           16

2.2.2    Mother Tongue Interference               –           –           –           –           –           19

2.2.3    Pronunciation of Vowels and Consonants and Creativity in Grammar

 Translation     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           23

2.2.4    Intonation and Creativity in Grammar Translation     –           –           –           26

2.2.5    Stress and in Creativity Grammar Translation            –           –           –           27

2.2.6    Rhythm and Creativity in Grammar Translation        –           –           –           29

2.3       Empirical Framework              –           –           –           –           –           –           30

2.4       Summary of Literature Review          –           –           –           –           –           36


3.1       Area of the Study       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           37

3.2       Design of the Study    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           38

3.3       Population of the Study          –           –           –           –           –           –           38

3.4       Sample and Sampling Techniques      –           –          –           –           –           39

3.5       Instrumentation           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           39

3.6       Validation of the Instrument              –          –           –           –           –           39

3.7       Reliability of the Instrument   –           –           –          –           –           –           39

3.8       Administration of the Instrument       –           –          –           –           –           40

3.9       Method of Data Analysis       –           –           –          –           –           –           40


4.1       Analysis of Research Questions         –           –           –           –           –           41

4.1.1    Research Questions One         –           –           –           –           –           –           41

4.1.2    Research Questions     Two     –           –           –           –           –           –           42

4.1.3    Research Questions Three       –           –           –           –           –           –           42

4.1.4    Research Questions Four        –           –           –           –           –           –           43

4.2       Research Hypotheses  –           –           –           –           –           –           –           44

4.2.1    Research Hypotheses One      –           –           –           –           –           –           44

4.2.2    Research Hypotheses Two      –           –           –           –           –           –           45

4.2.3    Research Hypotheses  Three  –           –           –           –           –           –           46

4.2.4    Research Hypotheses Four     –           –           –           –           –           –           47

4.3       Major Findings of the Study  –           –           –           –           –           –           48

4.4       Discussion of Findings           –           –           –           –           –           –           49


5.1       Summary                     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           54

5.2       Conclusion      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           55

5.3       Recommendations      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           55

5.4       Suggestion for Further Studies           –           –           –           –           –           56       




The main purpose of the study was to examine Mother Tongue Interference on Students’ creativity in grammar translation in Uyo Local Government Area f Akwa Ibom State. A forty two item five point Likert scale questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. Four Research questions were formulated to guide the research, while the Hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted a survey design. The population of study consisted of 6098 Senior Secondary two (SS2) students in all the public schools in Uyo Local Government. A total of 200 respondents were randomly sampled from four public secondary schools. The instrument used was ‘Mother Tongue Interference on Students’ creativity in grammar translation questionnaire (MTISCGTQ). The instrument passed through face validation by the researcher’s supervisor and two experts from the Faculty of Education. A reliability test was conducted through the administration of the instrument to randomly selected 30 senior secondary (SS2) students that were part of the original sample used for the study. To test hypothesis, Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used for research questions and hypothesis. The findings revealed that students’ creativity in grammar translation method is influenced by pronunciation of vowel and consonant, students’ intonation ability, students’ achievement on stress and rhythm. It was recommend that students should be introduced to English language in their formative years and teachers should encourage students to devise means of producing good expression and articulations through constant practice and tecniques.



Background of the Study

Today, every community in the world has a distinctive language used by its inhabitants for communication purposes. This is because language is a veritable tool through which human beings are able to interact and express their thoughts and feelings. Hence, every human being born and brought up in a particular speech community definitely acquires the language of that community effortlessly, that is, without undergoing any formal training on the application of grammatical, morphological and phonological features of language. In other words, the speaker gets acquainted with the structural patterns of the language and uses them fluently in various communication processes that permit its usage. In this direction, Eka (2000) noted that such language happens to be the first language (L1) of the person which is alternatively referred to as the mother tongue.

The phrase ‘mother tongue’ refers to the first language a child is exposed to from birth without any formal education. Such language serves as a mark of cultural identity. According to Bathurst, D. & S. G. Shankar (2002), every community has a particular language that is spoken by its habitants. In Akwa Ibom State for instance, Ibibio is being spoken as the general language of Akwa Ibom citizens among other minor ones like Oro and Annang. As a natural language, its syntactic, morphological and semantic features differ from other natural languages in the world such as English, Yoruba, Hausa, Ibo and so on, (Essien, 1990). In view therefore, when an Ibibio speakers comes in contact with another language such as English for instance, which he or she has not been adequately exposed to it’s different grammatical and phonological patterns, the task of using the target language (English) correctly as a medium of communication becomes challenging. This difficulty according to Afangideh and Enighe (2001) is caused by the interplay of the speaker’s mother tongue interference on the second language which in this case is English.

The phrase ‘mother tongue interference’ is used by language scholars and experts to describe the situation in which the person’s first language (L1) exert a tremendous influence on the learning and usage of another language, (Eka, 2000). Eka further stressed that this influence maybe observed more easily and readily at phonological level of analysis, though the semantic levels are also revealing. Such phonological levels of interference experienced by a typical Ibibio speaker in his attempt to speak English are manifested on the areas of pronunciation, intonation, rhythm and stress. The word ‘pronunciation’ as used in the context of this research work refers to the way words or sounds of a particular language is articulated or uttered. In view of this, certain consonants such as /ɵ,đ,v/ among others which are present in English seem to be lacking in the Ibibio language. Therefore, when these sounds are seen in words like ‘though’ /ɵɔ:t/, ‘breathe’ /brI:đ/ and ‘verse’ /vƷ:s/, an Ibibio speaker tends to pronounce them as, ‘tought’ /tɔ:t/, ‘bread’ /brI:d/ and ‘fes’ /fes/, (Eka, 2000).

Another aspect of mother tongue interference between Ibibio and the English language is intonation which is variation in the rise and fall of the voice in speech. The Ibibio language is tonal in nature, that is, the Ibibio speaker’s tone suggests the word classes and their meanings whereas in English, a change in tone by the speaker affects the entire sentence. Rhythm on the other hand is the flow of speech in communication. It is an important ingredient in speech since it helps to bring out the harmony inherent in language. Stress is the degree of prominence a word, sound or syllable receives during articulation. Its importance is that it helps to convey the proper meaning and word classes, (Roach, 2009).

Inadequate knowledge and inappropriate utilization of all the aspect of mother tongue interference of Ibibio on English language is perceived as the reason for student’s poor academic outcome especially on the spoken aspect to the English language. The influence of mother tongue interference on students is a negative influence as it is evident in their low creativity in spoken and written English. This has become a nagging problem to Nigerians owing to the fact that English is the only officially recognised medium in which Nigerian can interact with other countries of the world. This statement runs parallel with Azikiwe (2001) that ‘inspite of the official and public emphasis on English, the schools do not seem to be producing an adequate number of pupils who are sufficiently creative in English; the performance of candidates in terminal examination in English has never be satisfactory. Their understanding and use of English has not attained a stand considered reasonable by our diverse mother tongue interference on English language among others’.

From the above assertion, it is obvious that students in Nigeria especially those in Akwa Ibom state still lack an appreciable level creativity in English inspite of its multifarious functions. The word ‘creativity’ as used in the context of this study refers to the ability or degree of competence demonstrated by the individual as an aggregate of his knowledge of the language which in this case is English language. Evidence of this lack of creativity on the English language particularly among students who speak Ibibio as their mother tongue is manifested in the poor academic outcomes in public examination such as: WAEC, NECO, GCE, among others (Eka, 2000).

Grammar translation method on the other hand, is a language teaching method used in delivering lessons. Grammar translation (GTM), according to William (1992) “emphasizes the study of the forms of language rather than the communicative use of language”. It is a mentalistic approach to language learning since the readers are taught to develop the capacity to identify the components of the phrases and clauses and be able to tell which part of speech a particular word belongs to. It is predicated on the knowledge of what a part of speech is.

This method was adopted for the teaching of literature written in foreign languages called foreign language literature. The essence was to enable the readers read and appreciate literature texts written in this medium. This method of language teaching was formulated based on the notion that the best way to help second language learners have a mastery of the second language in terms of ability to speak and write is to make them master the grammar of the second language. This explains the emphasis placed on grammar teaching and the downplaying aural-oral-drills. According to Manni&Genereux (1995) The learners are expected to be familiar with the grammar of the second language hoping that the familiarity will help them to speak and write the language better. The learners are exposed to the rules like the rules of concord.

There are also disadvantages of the Grammar-Translation method. The Grammar Translation puts too much emphasis on reading and writing and neglects listening and speaking. Knowing a large number of grammatical rules cannot ensure that students can use them appropriately in real communicative situation. In Grammar-Translation method, the texts are mostly taken from literary works. The language learned often doesn’t meet the practical needs of the learners. According to William (1992) Memorizing grammar rules and bilingual word lists does not motivate students to actively communicate in the target language. Over emphasis on translation can never emancipate the learners from dependence on the first language.

From the above explication, it is without doubt that grammar translation method involves no learner participation. But, there are certain activities that can be carried out to initiate creativity in grammar translation. So far, from the examination of scholar’s view on the influence of mother tongue interference and creativity in grammar-translation method, it is obvious to note that student’s inability to speak English can be traceable to the problem of first language acquisition which in this case is Ibibio and there are creative ways of translating using one’s mother tongue. It is therefore based on this premise that the researcher beams her research light on the influence of mother tongue on students’ creativity in grammar translation.

Statement of the Problem

The outcome of the influence of mother tongue interference on students is quite unimpressive and is a call for concern. The poor performance in spoken English to a great extent is caused by mother tongue interference with the target language despite the provision of the national policy on education (FRN, 2013) that English should be used as the medium of instruction from the fourth year of primary education to tertiary institutions. The English language, though Nigeria’s ‘Lingua Franca’ is learnt as a second language and this leads to an inseparable influence of mother tongue which has therefore become a problem to Ibibio speakers.

Additionally, the grammar-translation method of teaching though endowed with terrific advantages is incapacitated in the area of emphasizing on the learner’s corresponding ability to perform in the language in various situations. It is based on this appalling situation that the researcher beams her search light on ‘the influence of mother tongue interference on students’ creativity in grammar-translation’.




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