COMPETENCE AND PERFORMANCE IN THE USE OF IRREGULAR VERBS BY SELECTED SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
It is believed by linguists that the Irregularities of the English lexical and primary auxiliary verbs are among the causes of the poor performance by the senior secondary schools students in the written English. This study, Competence and performance in the use of Irregular verbs by selected Senior Secondary Schools Students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state, identified how the S.S.3 Students in Ikere Ekiti used Irregular lexical and primary auxiliary verbs in the written English. The objective and written essay tests were the instruments used in the data collection. The research questions were answered using frequency counting and the hypothesis were tested using r Pearson at 0.05 level of significance. The result of the tested hypothesis indicated that there was no significant relationship between the use of Irregular lexical and primary auxiliary verbs on both objective and the written essay and the performance as r calculated is greater than r critical. However, Irregular lexical verbs are more difficult than the Irregular primary auxiliary verbs in the objective test. Practice based approach should be used to teach Irregular verbs, WAEC and NECO should set questions on Irregular verbs; The use of effective teaching strategies are among the possible remedies offered that could eliminate the problem of Irregular lexical and auxiliary verbs at the Secondary Schools level.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
- Background to the study
- Statement of the problem
- Objectives of the study
- Research questions
- Research Hypothesis
- Significance of the study
- Scope and Delimitation
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.2. Concept of Competence and Performance
2.3. The concept of Irregularity of English
2.4. An overview of Irregular verbs
2.5. Theoretical framework
2.6. Summary of review of related literature
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.2. Research design
3.3. Population for the study
3.4. Sample size and sampling procedure
3.5. Instruments for data collection
3.6. Validity and reliability of the instruments
3.7. Procedure for data collection
3.8. Procedure for data analysis
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS
4.2. Analysis of research questions
4.3. Hypothesis Testing
4.4. Discussion of Findings
4.5. Implication of findings
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.2. Summary of the work
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- Background to the Study
It is known by the linguists English language is not consistent in some of its linguistic items. These include Irregular verbs, Irregular plural formation of some nouns, inconsistencies between spelling and pronunciation of some words. It could be said that these inconsistencies which occur in English may be influenced by the fact that the English language derived most of its linguistic terms from Greek and Latin. Accordingly, variation in English, British and American form of usages in particular, citing an example where Quirk, (2002: 111) states that “American English uses the regular form of the past and past participles of the verbs “learn” and “burn” as “learned” and “burned”. But British English favours the Irregular past participles of the verbs “learn” and “burn” as “learnt” and “burnt”.
Similarly, it is hard if not impossible for the learners of English as a second language to use English as the native speakers of the language. The statement could be related to “If you learn a second language, you have to memorize its words and learn its rules. That is why learning a second language can be difficult”. This is to say there are no two different languages that are exactly the same in their linguistic features which include Phonology (the study of sound system) Morphology (system of words formation), Syntax (patterns of words arrangement), and Semantics (study of linguistics meaning of words, sentences and grammatical relation). Jones (1986), gave an example of the English word “brother” which in the Sanskrit language is written as “bhater” Latin as “frater” and “phrater” in Greek, which all refers to “brother” in terms of meaning. However, looking at these words, one could easily understand that morphologically they are different. This means, the issue of language universals does not mean having exactness of the linguistic items of two different languages, rather it means having some common language features, such as, word classes, sentences, phrases, which enable the native speakers of a given language to express themselves. As Yule (2005: 248) states “while many linguists have recognized the extend languages are subject to variation, they have also noted the extent to which all languages have common properties. “Those common properties, called language universals”. Therefore, Irregular verbs are the major concern of this research and are part of these English Irregularities are said to be problematic to the learners of English as a second language, Ayandele (2010:7), defined Irregular verbs as the verbs which “yield their past forms when vowels are changed or left unchanged”. They do not take –ed or –d. Also, Ataman (2002:16) explains that, “Irregular verbs are not consistent in form when tense changes as in tear – tore – torn”. Based on these quoted definitions of Irregular verbs, it could be said that these are verbs which ignore the rules of forming the past and past participle forms by adding–ed or –d to the verb base as the regular verbs do. They form the past and past participle forms by using different inflectional applications which are said to be confusing.
Nesbitt (2001: 18), Hellen (1985: 47) and Grieve (1970: 144) believe that Irregular verbs “are somewhat confusing, a bit more complicated than nouns and you must learn their form three”. Here, it has been made clear that the Irregular verbs of English are problematic to the learners of English, which in turn affect their written English performance in the continuous classroom exercises, assignments, tests and terminal examinations. The Irregularity of verbs gives a wide gap in our knowledge. The curriculum and teaching strategies for Irregular verbs designed in this study could be used to bridge the gap. Besides, it could be said that similar research to this researches were carried out previously on the topics which are related to verbs, such as, Alobo (2005), Aliyu (2011). However, conducting this research at this time is also important because it could be different from the previous ones in terms of approach, illustration, subjects and instruments. This research work will cover the aspects of irregular lexical verbs and irregular primary auxiliary verbs which affect the writer English performance of the S.S.3 students of the Senior Secondary schools in Ikere Local government area, so that the difficulties they face in the use of irregular verbs could be minimized. This hopefully may result in the improvement of their writer English performance.
1.2. Statement of the problem
It could be said that the learners of English as a second language, the S.S.3 students of the Senior Secondary Schools in Ikere Local Government area in particular sulter from the English irregularities, such as, the irregular verbs (lexical and primary auxiliary verbs) which results in their poor performance when writing in English during their classroom exercises, tests and terminal examinations. Also, it is assumed that regular verbs could be easily and effectively learned because of their definite system in the formation of their past and past participle forms. That is, by adding simple-ed or or –d to the infinitive (verbs base) form which is contrary to the irregular verbs. Accordingly, transfer of knowledge of the regular verbs past and past participle formation by the students to irregular verbs which is wrong is a also a problem and results in the poor performance in students written English. Likewise, variation between British and America forms of irregular verbs confuses the students which make their written English poor. Also, the students who learn English find the use of irregular verbs difficult because the English language is not their mother tongue (L1).
Moreover, infrequent use of a Standard English dictionary by students to misuse irregular verbs which in turn results their poor performance in the written essay. This is to say the irregularities of English Lexical and auxiliary verbs affect the written English performance of the Senior Secondary school students.
1.3. Objectives of the study
Broadly, this study is aimed at determining how the learning and using of the English irregular verbs affect the written performances of the students in English.
Specifically, the study has these objectives:
- To find out the type of difficulties that the Irregular lexical and auxiliary verbs use, pose to the performance of the S.S.3 students.
- To identify which verbs are more difficult to use by the Students between the Irregular primary auxiliary verbs in the multiple choice test.
- To find out the relationship between competence and performance in the irregular verbs use in students written English.
1.4. Research Questions
From the objectives stated, the following research questions were raised:
- What are the difficulties that Irregular lexical and primary auxiliary verbs use, pose to the performance of the S.S.3 Students?
- Which verbs are more difficult to use by Students between the Irregular lexical verbs and irregular primary auxiliary verbs in the multiple choice test?
- Is there any relationship between competence and performance in the students essay writing?
1.5. Research Hypothesis
Based on the specific objectives in this research, the following null hypothesis were tested:
- There is no significant relationship between the English irregular lexical verbs use in the written English and performance of the S.S.3 students in the selected Senior Secondary Schools in Ikere local Government area.
- There is no significant relationship between the use of English Irregular primary auxiliary verbs in the objective test and performance of the S.S.3 Students in the selected Senior Secondary schools in Ikere local government area.
- There is no Significant relationship between competence and performance of students in the use of Irregular lexical verbs in the objective and students essay of the S.S.3 students in the selected Senior Secondary Schools in Ikere local government area.
1.6. Significance of the study
This research attempts to find out the relationship between the use of English irregular lexical verbs and primary auxiliary verbs in the written English and performance of the S.S 3 students in some selected senior secondary schools in Ikere local Government area.
In particular, the study could benefit the following people: student, Researcher and Curriculum planner. The students could benefit from the study in their learning and using the irregular lexical verbs and primary auxiliary verbs in their written English, through identifying and using the correct form of verbs. It could also benefit the future researchers who have similar topic in the review of previous studies especially on the title of the topic, instrument, results and making of critique.
The study could also be used an additional guide by the curriculum planners by stressing that such verb forms should be taught with series of activities because of their irregularity and suggest that fill in the blank and essay writing test should be among the testing instruments of these topics. Sociolinguistically, the users of English as a second language could benefit from this study by identifying and using the right form of verbs for effective communication both in spoken and written forms.
1.7. Scope and Delimitation
The fact that the inconsistencies of the English Language occur in both spoken and written forms, this study is delimited to the grammar component, Irregular lexical and irregular primary auxiliary verbs in particular which affect the written English performance of the learner of English.
Also, in terms of population, it is delimited to the S.S 3 student of some selected Senior Secondary Schools in Ikere local Government area.