THE CONTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) TO THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF LEXICAL VERBS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

THE CONTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) TO THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF LEXICAL VERBS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

                                                       CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, located in West African sub-region, is Africa’s most populous country. The official and second language in the country is English. Although most Nigerian people speak their native languages, such as Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, English is the only language used in schools, for reading, writing and speaking. According to Onyukwu, (2001), English language is considered key to affluence in the Nigerian society. It occupies the status of a second language (L2) in the country’s education system at all levels of schooling. English also plays important roles in political, educational, official, socio-economics and other matters in Nigerian societal living.

To testify this, a credit or a pass for the English language course in the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which is a form of Senior Secondary School Certificate, is compulsory before a candidate is admitted into any of the Nigerian universities or polytechnic institutions (Nigerian National policy on education, 2004). Therefore, any individual intending to reach the peak of his/her educational career in Nigeria needs to have a proper and sound knowledge of English language Onyukwu, J. (2001).

English is a rule-governed language that is like any other languages, has rules for concord, for subjects, and for selection and verb pattern. According to Aronoff and Fudeman (2007), Leech and Svartvit (2005) and Finnegan (2008), the words in the close class which are the category of the part of speech as function words that do not readily accept new members, comprises pronouns, auxiliary verbs, determiners and demonstratives e.g. on, is we, while etc. While the words in the open class are:  Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. These parts of speech are called open parts of speech because new members (words) can easily be added to them to grow, e.g., develop, development, developmental, and developmentally. Kirkpatrick, (2009) says that, one of the most important functions of the verb is to indicate time, at which an action takes place, whether someone or something is doing something, was doing something or will do something. This is expressed by tense and in many languages this is marked by infliction only in the present tense and in the past tense.

Warriner (2012) suggests that students need to know the category of English verbs and know how to use them. Verbs, like the words ‘love,’ ‘hate,’ ‘understand,’ ‘adore’ etc. for instance, are not used in progression when they are stative. These verbs pose difficulties to ESL learners, even those who are in tertiary level education. According to Hei, C. and Saadiyah, D. (2009), ESL learners have more than one language at their disposal while they are composing as compared to native speakers, and thus brings more problems to them as they tend to switch those languages interactively, causing some confusion in the structure and meaning.

Saadiyah (2009) mentioned that, only analysis and classification of the cause of confusion can enable learners to have a clearer view of their problems and thus, enable them to produce better written texts. Since grammar is seen only as a means to an end, ESL learners tend to de- emphasize its importance and in the process, they make many more errors in their writings. According to Nik Safiah (2008), learners usually face difficulties in learning the grammatical aspects of the Target Language (TL), such as in subject- verb agreement, the use of preposition, articles and the use of correct tense. It is noted that, from the teaching experience, verbs particularly the lexical one most often be troublesome to learners of English and tend to make incorrect use of them in their day to day learning exercises.

The role of technology in teaching and learning is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy (Rosen and Well, 2005; and Thierer, 2010). Most experts in the field of education agreed that, when properly used, information and communication technology hold great promise to improve teaching and learning in addition to shaping workforce opportunities. Poole (2006) has indicated that computer illiteracy is now regarded as the new illiteracy. This has actually gingered a new and strong desire to equip schools with computer facilities and qualified personal necessary to produce technologically proficient and efficient students in developed countries of the world. There is no doubt that computer can aid the instructional process and facilitate students’ learning. Many studies have found positive effect associated with technology aided instruction (Burnett, 2014, and Fitzgerald and Warner, 2006).

Africa have witness the development of ICTs in various sectors over the last decade including education. The change from teacher-centred education system to learner centred education the world over in the past view years contributes to the use of ICTs in education. Borrowing from the word “Knowledge –Driven world” as conceived by (Hawkins, 2014; Inwent, 2014), it means that education reform practices should focus on equal access and quality of education which should highlight the importance of change in the education sector through use of ICTs and equipping new generations with enhanced skills to operate in the 21st century.

The use of ICTs in Nigeria and African countries generally is increasing and dramatically growing. However, while there is a great deal of knowledge about how ICTs are being used in developed countries, there is not much information on how ICTs are being introduced into schools in developing countries (Beukes-Amiss and Chiware, 2006). Looking at the developing countries according to these authors, there is generally limited access time per month using ICTs by both the teachers and students, and even less time spent with reliable Internet access. It should be noted that availability of ICTs vis-à-vis access in term of ratio of teachers and students differs significantly. Despite this, the new and emerging technologies challenges the traditional process of teaching and learning, and the way education is managed. While information communication technology is an important area of study in its own right, it is having a major impact across all curriculum areas. Easy worldwide communication provides instant access to vast array of data, challenging assimilation and assessment skills (Fowowe, 2006). Rapid communication plus increased access to ICTs in the home, at work, and in educational establishment, could mean that learning becomes a truly lifelong activity- an activity in which the pace of technological change forces constant evaluation of teaching process itself.

Formerly, the term IT was used to mean ICT, the term which was synonymous with computer but as the passage of time, it covered other equipment created to enhance acquisition, storage and dissemination of information materials. Most of this equipment was initially confine to the vicinity of offices. Libraries in the course of time embraced the use of this equipment to carry out their day-to-day activities as usage was adapted to carry out some routine activities. It functions does not end there. The current issue is the use of ICTs in the classroom by the teachers. This includes specifically the use of computers, Internet, telephone, digital camera, data projector, etc. As the world continues to revolve around technology, teachers need to continue incorporating these new technologies into their teaching.

Meanwhile, it is observed that some studies have been conducted on uses of ICTs by teachers particularly on the issue of their professional development. Most of these studies were carried out in developed countries where the use of ICTs has come of age, and where there are resources and material to maintain them. However, the use of ICTs by teachers in Nigeria is just beginning to gain popularity and researches in the area have just started emerging. Emphatically, the use of ICTs by teachers to teach the students is highly advantageous. This is because its enable them to demonstrate understanding of the opportunities and implications of the uses for learning and teaching in the curriculum context; plan, implement, and manage learning and teaching in open and flexible learning environment (UNESCO, 2014). In the light of these therefore, more research is needed to showcase further development of ICTs use by secondary school teachers in Nigeria.

The importance of ICT is quite evidence from the educational perspective. Though the chalkboard, textbooks, radio/television and film have been used for educational purpose over the years, none has quite impacted on the educational process like the computer. While television and film impact only on the audiovisual faculties of users, the computer is capable of activating the senses of sight, hearing and touch of the users. ICT has the capacity to provide higher interactive potential for users to develop their individual, intellectual and creative ability. The main purpose of ICT “consists in the development of human mental resources, which allow people to both successfully apply the existing knowledge and produce new knowledge” (Shavinina, 2011).

The use of ICT (information Communication and Technology) can improve education quality, expand learning opportunities and make education accessible. It is as a result of those advantages that Nigerian educational reforms have stressed the use of computer technology in schools during the 32nd ministerial council meeting of the National Council on Education in 1987 (FRN, 2008).

One major policy in enhancing the development of information and communication in Nigeria was the Nigerian National policy on the adoption of ICT in schools especially in teaching and learning core subjects like Mathematics, English Language and others. It emphasized that the prominent role of information and communication technology could be seen in advancing knowledge and skills necessary for effective functioning in the modern world. There is therefore the need to integrate (ICT) into teaching and learning of English Language in Nigeria for effective teaching and learning  English topics like lexical verbs, continuous writing, sounds among others.

It has been observed however that it is not all schools in the country that have the opportunity provided by school Net Nigeria in the training of learners in the use of ICT in secondary schools. This might be as a result of some constraints in the management of schools such as the problem of controlling large population of students as well as conducting examinations on a large scale.

The fact that the Ekiti state government of  Nigeria is witnessing a tremendous growth in pupils enrolment has made the management of students and staff, community relations, supervision of instruction to the management school finance. One cannot over-estimate the utilization of ICT everyday activities of the school, noted that ICT assist the school administrator to meet the task of school management in the areas of curriculum and instruction, school relationship and school English language operations. In support of this argued that the introduction of ICT in schools enhances the daily school routine, programme, updating the evaluation of school programmes, solving individual as well as staff – development.

Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind in using multimedia to raise the intellectual and creative resources of her citizens. This is particularly important for children whose adulthood will blossom in a cyber-environment entirely different from that of the present (Shavinina, 2007). Nigerian children need to be taught by radically new educational programme and variety of educational contents with multimedia playing key role. Therefore, this study intends to investigate the contribution of Information Communication Technology ( ICT) to the teaching and learning of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state.

Statement of problem

Learning English as a second language (L2) is not an easy task to many of the Nigerian students. This can be related with students’ much acquaintance with their first language (L1) as they most often switch those languages interactively, causing some confusion in the structure and meaning. Lack of favorable learning conditions also contribute to some extent, such as ill-equipped language laboratory, poor educational background of the students and lack of competent English teachers in educational institution especially at primary and secondary school level.

According to Alobo (2008), Nigerian students at secondary schools have problems in their English Language, in particular on their use of lexical verbs. The problem is manifested in student’s response to written tests and assignments where they obtain low scores. They also hardly construct sentences without lexical verbs errors. The problem is more common in the combination of verb plus participles and their meanings in context. Therefore, their wrong uses of lexical verbs lead to ungrammatical constructions which affect meaning especially in a written expression.

Nigerian students increasingly find that they are performing low by getting their grammar wrong and this may affects their career opportunities, and they may even find it difficult with personal relationship. This issue of the tertiary students’ incorrect use of lexical verbs stimulates the researcher to investigate this matter. In spite of numerous studies in this area, such as Olukayode (2001) in his study ‘the role of grammar in the teaching of English composition in post-secondary institutions’, Niu Guiling, (2008) ‘Unconjugated verb use in Singapore classroom discourse: A corpus-based analysis’ and Ruth (2014) ‘An analysis of Tense Errors in the Written English of Selected Science Students of Gombe Secondary Schools, Nigeria’, more research need to be done in this particular on ways to assist Nigerian students in effective mastery of lexical verb  in their writing.

This is because English is the medium of instruction in Nigeria, and thus the students’ progress also lies on the proper use of it. Ibe (2004) mentioned that the inability of most students to write effectively gives parents and teachers and even students lot of concern. Students’ poor performance in English language and in academics has been blamed on their abysmally low proficiency in lexical verbs in their writing. Oluwadiya (2008) opined that many teachers in Nigeria are not aware of the shift from the traditional method of teaching and learning to technological and modern teaching strategy which is ICT based.

Today’s students are expected to learn about and use digital technology in English Language to prepare them for their future, the work force and the challenges of everyday life. However, international studies show that secondary English Language teachers are still not effectively integrating computer technology in their classroom. Despite the value and importance of English Language in secondary school, the subject still seems to be difficult for the students as evidenced in their low performance in the subject especially at the external examination (WAEC, NECO and NABTEB). Therefore, all possible factor that may bring impediment to its proper use need to be addressed and researchers need to provide measures to overcome these problems in the future. Attention is seriously needed and must be put in place especially to discuss about the phenomenon of students’ omission in some required elements, addition of some unnecessary or incorrect elements, selections of incorrect items, disordering of elements, and assigning them in these lexical verbs.

Aremu (2003) stresses that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy. The question therefore is what is the cause of this fallen standard and poor academic performance of students in English Language? Is the fault entirely that of teachers or students or both?

This study will bring to the fore the contribution of Information Communication Technology ( ICT) to the teaching and learning of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state.

Purpose of the study

The broad objective of this study is to examine the contribution of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the teaching and learning of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state. The specific objectives of the study are:

  • To examine the available ICT facilities for teaching of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools in the study area.
  • To appraise the ICT skills possessed by English language teachers and students and its impact on students’ performance in senior secondary schools.
  • To evaluate the use of ICT facilities by English language teachers and students and its effect on teachers’ job performance in senior secondary schools.
  • To examine benefits of ICT in the teaching of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools.
  • To examine the obstacles to the effective use of ICT facilities in teaching of lexical verbs in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area.

Significance of the study

The findings from this study will provide education policy makers and managers/ administrators with information to help formulate their teacher training programmes involving ICTs for education. This study on the use of ICT in the teaching and learning of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools in Ikere local government area will be relevant to teachers, students, curriculum planners, educational researchers and government. It will also help Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST) in formulating institutional capacity building framework to empower ICTs for education. The study will make possible recommendations towards increasing the use of ICT in enhancing teaching and learning processes.

The teachers will find the result beneficial because it will come up with the best method of teaching and learning of lexical verbs using ICT. ICT is a new technological innovation in Nigeria and teachers have not utilized it fully in the teaching and learning of lexical verbs. This study will avail the teachers of the information that will enable them to utilize ICT in the teaching and learning of lexical verbs with wonderful results.

Students will also find the results of this study useful because it will expose them to the strategies in the teaching and learning of lexical verbs. There is no doubt that these strategies and technologies will help them achieve proficiency in the use of the English language. Moreover, curriculum planners will explore the result of this study and incorporate it in planning the English language curriculum for effective teaching and learning. Again, this study will make its contribution to the literature on ICT thereby contributing to educational research in Nigeria. Finally, the result of this study will help the government to stand to its responsibility of providing ICT facilities for secondary schools. ICT facilities if provided to secondary schools will enhance effective teaching and learning of lexical verbs. This study was thus expected to generate information on the impact of the ICT in teaching and learning. With changes in modern technologies learners need to be equipped with updated knowledge that will make them adapt to the changing world. Such knowledge leads to better communication and increased learning as a result of e-Commerce and self-employment in the ICT sector. The study was also expected to generate knowledge on ICT Impacts on education quality, access and completion rates.

This research is very important to educators. It will help to offer some indication as to how the rule of the English language and the language itself is attained and understood by Nigerian tertiary institution students. Upon completion of this research, it is hoped that the study will help to provide the necessary information about how Nigerian ESL students learn when learning a second language (L2)—in particular on learning about using lexical verbs in their essay writing. This study also hopes to understand what is lacking not only in the aspect of lexical verbs but to some extent in the aspects of grammar. This research is also hoped to be used as a yardstick for further research related to the field.

This research is important because lexical verbs are a type of verb that shows an action and is an integral part of a sentence. Cullup, (2010) says nothing will happen in a language without verbs. Everything will be static in a sentence if no verb appears. The world of event and thoughts of time and feeling would be reduced to list the exclamation.         Therefore, this research would be significant to both teachers and learners because the result would offer more suggestions on effective strategies for teaching and learning of lexical verbs.

Scope of the study

This study is delimitated to secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. It covers only students in senior secondary school class two (SS II). This study will use students of public senior secondary schools as respondents. Since, in most cases the characteristics of students are generally similar, the research findings would be generalized to include all students of senior secondary schools in Nigeria. The contribution of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is the independent variables of the study while teaching and learning of lexical verbs is dependent variables

Research questions

The following research questions are generated to guide this study:

  • What are the available ICT facilities for teaching and learning of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools?
  • What ICT skills are possessed by English language teachers and students and its impact on students’ performance in senior secondary schools?
  • Do English language teachers and students use ICT facilities and what is its effect on teachers’ job performance in senior secondary schools?
  • What are the benefits of ICT in the teaching and learning of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools?
  • What are the factors that impede the effective use of ICT facilities in teaching and learning of lexical verbs in secondary schools?

Hypotheses

The following research questions are posed to guide this study:

H01: Available ICT facilities do not significantly affect the teaching and learning of lexical verbs in senior secondary schools.

H02: ICT skills possessed by English language teachers and students do not significantly have impact on students’ performance.

H03: Use of ICT facilities by English language teachers and students do not significant affect teachers’ job performance.

H04: There is no relationship between the use of ICT and effective teaching and learning of lexical verbs in Senior Secondary Schools in Ikere-Ekiti.

H05: There is no factors that impede the effective use of ICT facilities in teaching and learning of lexical verbs in secondary schools.

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