THE EFFECT OF THE HOME ENVIRONMENT ON SECONDARY STUDENTS' ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
The purpose of this study was to identify factors that influence effective English language teaching and learning in secondary schools in Enugu State's Nsukka Local Government Area. The study was conducted using a random sample of seven secondary schools from both urban and rural areas. For the study, one hundred (100) English language students were used equally.
The questionnaire and structured oral interview were used to collect data, and simple percentages were used to answer the research questions. The results of the first and second scores were computed independently. Finally, the Pearson product moment of correlation coefficient was used to compare the first and second scores. Questionnaires were distributed.
The researcher distributed questionnaires to the respondents. SPSS was used to analyze the data collected. Tables, pie charts, and verbatim reporting were used to present data. The study's findings may aid in the formulation of policies aimed at involving the government, curriculum developers, and examination bodies in the planning of educational strategies to reconsider the influence of the home environment on academic performance for Nigerian students, where further research on the home environment is recommended by this study.
1.1 THE STUDY'S BACKGROUND
The English language plays an important role in the Nigerian school curriculum. The English language is one of the legacies left to Nigerians by the British that will be difficult to eradicate. This is due to the fact that it is the primary medium of instruction in our schools, of business transactions, and of communication on a national and international scale.
Because science and technology are “sine qua non” for development, it is also the language of industry. It is the language of mass communication and media propaganda. It is the language of novels, poems, short stories, music, and drama in literature and the arts. English is used in social situations for conversation and interpersonal relationships. It is also the key to furthering one's education. The lifeline of all activities in all walks of life, as well as the key to better job opportunities.
It is our official language, so every Nigerian must be able to read, write, and communicate in good simple English. This is critical if Nigeria is to overcome its health, economic, political, and social challenges. For example, health for all by 2020 will be unattainable if citizens are unable to read simple prescriptions in English; similarly, technology transfer will be impossible if many Nigerians are unable to read and comprehend relevant books written in English.
The language's standard is gradually deteriorating. This is because Nigeria's multilingualism has an impact on the English spoken by Nigerians. It is puzzling to see that secondary school students perform poorly in the West African School Certificate in English language Examination.
Because the majority of Nigerian parents are illiterate and cannot provide a conducive home environment for language acquisition or afford good schools for their children's education, teaching and the use of English language should be given prominent attention in secondary schools Azikiwe (1985). The environment will always have an impact on the language used.
The importance of mastery of English in the early stages of a child's life is far-reaching because it allows for effective communication, better understanding, and academic performance as the child progresses from one level of education to the next.
A child who has a strong command of the English language in primary school will have fewer difficulties reading and comprehending books and materials on science and technology, which are strongly related to social and economic development. As a result, there is a greater need for concern about effective English language teaching and learning in secondary schools, as well as secondary school graduates who are unable to express themselves meaningfully in English.
As previously stated, the English language is critical now that the country is focusing on technological, social, economic, and political development. A solid foundation in English should be laid for the children from the beginning, because the much-touted transfer of technology will be meaningless if the majority of Nigerians are illiterate in English, as most materials on science and technology are written in English.
Lack of understanding of these materials, as well as poor communication with experts, will undoubtedly stymie our efforts to achieve national development in all areas of life. Furthermore, for success in the current rural development campaign, which advocates literacy and awareness for rural dwellers, English should be given a priority position in rural dweller education so that they can contribute effectively to the improvement and development of their families, communities, and the entire nation.
English teachers play an important role in laying a solid foundation for the teaching of English as a subject. The researcher thus sought to learn about the influence of environment on students' English performance from English teachers in secondary schools as well as senior secondary students.
The English language, on the other hand, is not indigenous to this country. There was a time in Nigeria when no one spoke English. The English language first appeared on the linguistic map of the country around the middle of the 18th century. The language was developed by Britons. Other European languages, such as Portuguese, existed before the English language.
They came around the Niger Delta and Lagos as early as the 16th century. The introduction of the English language in Nigeria was aided by trade. The pattern of trade was cocoa in exchange for gunpowder and clothing materials, using the trade by barter system.
The trade expanded to include the trans-Atlantic and trans-Saharan trades, which became known as “the triangular slave trade” (1879). Slaves brought to America learned English there. Aside from the slave trade and explorers, the missionaries were the first to make a concerted effort to spread the English language. The Church Missionary Society, also known as (C.M.S. ), was the first to settle in Badagry.
Following them were the Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists, before the Catholics arrived. They came to preach and educate people about the evils of the slave trade. One of the factors that contributed to the spread of English learning was the need for missionaries to have people who could read the Bible (lay readers) and translate it into their native language. As a result, schools were established to train lay readers, catechists, and so on. There were clergymen who helped spread the language, such as Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther.
In schools, Queen's English was taught, followed by religious knowledge and arithmetic, known as the 3Rs. The native languages were first documented with the assistance of missionaries. With the arrival of missionaries came colonialism and the establishment of the English language in Nigeria. They came to protect their countries, and as time passed, district courts and government domains unknown to most Africans appeared.
During the colonial era, colonialists made English the Queen of subjects so that civil servants could serve them with it as a working tool. They began awarding grants-in-aid based on the quantity and quality of English taught in the school. With colonialism, the English language became firmly established in Nigeria. Other factors, in addition to these, have contributed since then. In Nigeria, the educational system has promoted the English language: Hence,
It is a subject that is taught.
It was used as a teaching medium.
It served as a yardstick for accreditation.
It was also promoted as an upward mobility criterion.
It became an access subject for higher education, which means that if you want to attend a higher institution, you must be fluent in English.
Again, socioeconomic factors have aided the growth of the English language in Nigeria. It provided employment opportunities since the colonial era. Those who worked with the white man were reverted. As a result, it provided an above-average social status. Until recently, mastery of the English language was associated with prestige.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The local government of Nsukka is a bilingual society. It is mostly populated by lower-class citizens. This is why “vernacular” is commonly used in Nsukka Local Government Area, particularly among secondary school students.
It has been observed that the physical environment in which a society lives is often reflected in its language, particularly in the structure of the lexicon – the way distinctions are made by means of a single world (Trudgil, 1971). For example, the Bedowin Arabic language has a large camel vocabulary, whereas the Fulani of Nigeria only has one label. Similarly, many words will be used to express cold in temperate region communities and hot in tropical environments, as well as in the Nsukka Local Government Area environment.
Since the government implemented the educational language policy in the country, it is undeniably true that environmental disadvantage has played a significant role in the problems, but there are also other factors that have contributed to the total differences in English language mastery by students in secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area, such as:
Non-use of learning activities, insufficient skilled teachers, inability to operate audio-visual equipment with the aid of electricity, interference with mother tongue, interference with pidgin English, lack of adequate library facilities, poor social infrastructure facilities; physical condition of classroom situation Inspectorate evaluation of schools is lacking. Finally, there is a social class issue, as well as a lack of instructional materials and poor teacher preparation.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the relationship between the English language and society in student education, as well as in the growth and development of any community, cannot be overstated.
The English language is important to the government because it is used for government and administration purposes, such as documentation of government records, administrative instructions and minutes, legislation, and court records and proceedings.
Again, English is most noticeable in the field of education, as it is introduced as a subject in the first years of primary school and as a medium of instruction from the third year of primary school up to university level. This effectively means that the Nigerian child's access to the world's cultural and scientific knowledge is largely through
English because the products of the schools will be absorbed into types of employment where English is the official medium of communication and where proficiency in English is a necessary qualification, implying that English's pre-eminent position in the educational system is likely to remain for a long time.
Furthermore, English is the dominant language in the media. All national newspapers are published in English, as are radio programs, non-musical programs, and newscasters. The majority of television programming is in English.
As a result, the primary goal of this research is to investigate how some environmental factors influence students' English performance, as well as the opportunities and challenges that students face. Furthermore, the study is intended to make some recommendations.
1.4 THE STUDY'S IMPORTANCE
This research will be extremely useful to students, teachers, parents, educational planners, language planners, and the government.
(a) It will instill in the learners/students a desire to study and master English.
(b) It will enable teachers to be committed by making adequate preparations for their lesson notes and lesson plans.
(c) For parents, the feedback they receive from their children's results will motivate them to encourage their children's language acquisition.
(d) Educational planners would be most favored because the study will take the form of an evaluation of what they have previously planned, thereby taking into account the implementation of this policy. This research will help language planners identify issues that their schools face within this language community and design appropriate instructional materials for effective English teaching and learning.
(e) Finally, the government will benefit from this work. It will allow them to make available trained personnel as well as material resources for the effective implementation of the policy. They will also be geared toward developing and providing learning facilities and equipment such as textbooks, audio-visual devices, conducive classrooms, and other language laboratories to aid and motivate students in the proper method of studying English.
In conclusion, because children are affected by the quantitative and qualitative limitations of the parental language model, this study will be an invaluable asset to parents in shaping their children's English language performance.
T.R. Bimie (1972) and E.A. Hewit (1968) discovered in a study that English teacher achievement is closely related to parental education and occupation. According to them, this is due to students being exposed to a variety of incorrect forms of English.
As a result, these children pick up slangs, words, and linguistic registers that they later find difficult to abandon. “The influence of a good home background is an invaluable aid to the child's future language development,” Durojaiye says.
1.4 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
To what extent has parents' economic status influenced their children's English language performance?
How has the education level of parents influenced students' English language performance?
How has family size affected students' English language performance?
1.5 DELIVERY LIMITATION
This study is specifically concerned with the impact of the environment on the performance of English language students in secondary schools in Enugu State's Nsukka Local Government Area. In this context, the environment includes the physical school environment, the community environment, the home background (socioeconomic status), language teaching and learning facilities, and language teaching professional background-teaching skills and commitment.
This study is limited to secondary schools in Enugu State's Nsukka Local Government Area. The research was hampered by a lack of time, funds, and cooperation from the few people interviewed. This study had a relatively short time frame. However, the researcher was able to visit all of the locations he intended to visit for data collection.
In addition to time constraints, there was a financial constraint in terms of transportation to and from the town where the researcher needed to gather information for the completion of this work.
1.7 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
To suit the purpose of this study, some terms used in this study have been defined in their operational terms, such as:
Environment: This refers to the student's overall personal behavior as well as the conditions and influences that affect his or her development and life.
Teaching Aids/Learning Activities: These are materials that help or promote the process of teaching and learning, such as textbooks, audio-visual equipment, chalk, chalkboard, biro, flashcards, and charts.
Pidgin English: A language that developed when people from various linguistic backgrounds needed to communicate; primarily used for mutual intelligibility.
Lingua-franca: A recognized official language in a multilingual society.
Interference: The negative influence of one language on another, usually due to improper translation.
One requires proper mastery, while the other requires an imperfect mastery.
Mutual Intelligibility: Mutual understanding between language speakers when each speaks.
Home Environment: A child's family environment has an impact on him or her.
Mother Tongue: A child's mother or parents' native language.
1.8 Research Organization
The research is divided into chapters. The first chapter includes the following sections: the study's background; a statement of the problem; the study's purpose; the study's objectives; the study's hypothesis; the study's significance; a definition of a significant term; and the study's organization.
The second chapter contains a review of the literature. The third chapter discusses research design, target population, sampling procedure and sample size, research instruments, research instrument validity and reliability, data collection procedure, data analysis, and ethical considerations. The fourth chapter is about the findings and discussions. Conclusions and recommendations are covered in Chapter 5.
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THE EFFECT OF THE HOME ENVIRONMENT ON SECONDARY STUDENTS' ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE