FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR POOR PERFORMANCE IN LITERATURE – IN – ENGLISH IN NIGERIA SECONDARY SCHOOLS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents
Background of the study
Statement of the study
Hypothesis of study
Purpose of study
Significance of study
Delimitation and scope of research
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Mother – tongue defect
Intelligent quotient – genetics factors
Congenial word blindness
Environmental factors in learning Literature – in – English
Procedure for data collection
Data analysis, results and discussion
Idowu and Bodunrin in their study on “African philosophy and oral literature” affirmed that the fundamental problem confronting schools is that of writing started very late, decades after Europe had blazed the trail. In the same vein, Akporobaro of the English Department at the university of Lagos lent weight on the issue, endorsing the view that literary works on oral African literature relied heavily on custom, tradition and historical antecedent like proverbs, folklores, tales and stories about events, places and people. And there was no significant record of African literary genres and ideas on paper, hence the introduction of literature in written form at a much later date centuries after literary revolution had blown across Europe through such literary giants which involves William Shakespeare, Milton Danton: R. Davidson to mention a few of them. The literary style in which they wrote were reflection of European social milieu and settings that are quite distinct from African background and orientations.
For instance, most of the Shakespeare writings like Twelf Night, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth etc. are all products of life – styles and social system, characterization of European would view. Years later, the tide of events changed most African scholars in their various literary works ventured to explore new ground by adapting European literature to suit the prevalent African tradition and orientation though utility of the genres, archetypes, ancestral linkages as expressed in proverbs folklores, tales stories and sages of the African people. The works of some eminent African scholars like Chinua Achebe on things fall Apart and A man of the people. Wole Soyinka on Jero’s Metamorphosis and The man Died Ngugi Wa Thiongo on Petals of blood. Including a host of others are responses of this wind of change. Quite unfortunate, there are still traces of Western feelings and passions in their work due mainly to the use of English as medium of expression. African scholars have had to dig very deep unto African custom, tradition, historical background and general ways of life but they could not provide an alternative language aside from the use of English as medium of expression.
All the Anglo – Saxon usages and imports especially Grammar are cuspiously apparent in their various books and text. Sad as it were, this had been about the most significant problem responsible for poor performance of secondary school students in literature – in – English as of today. The English language is not only foreign or aliens but difficult to understand due to the etymology of words, their contextual framework, prose and verses, nebulous to appreciate, moreso, complex in form and format. It is within this context that any meaningful research into factors responsible for poor performance in literature – in – English in our secondary school in general can be carried out paripassu on interest, dependent, independent variables such as teaching methodology, interest articulation, level of literacy awareness and other responsible factor. These among others shall be focus of this research project with a case study of some selected secondary schools in Ikere local Government Council area of Ekiti State of Nigeria. In other words this paper will look into factors responsible for poor performance in Literature – in – English in some selected secondary schools in Nigeria.
Background to the study
The chamber’s English Dictionary defines literature as “The art of composition in prose and verse in any language oral given subject”.
Malcoln Ross (1986) refers to literature as aspect of poetry and prose – its medium is language, which in everyday use is concerned with facts opinions. According to her, literature can be used to increase knowledge about things and people, and it can be used as a ground for moral discussion. She said, “There is no reason why it should not be so long as we do not pretend that we think, in that particular exercise, that we are discussing literature art.
Literature projects the image of life in the mode of visual memory. Language is its essential material, the sound and meaning of words, their familiar or unusual. Even their presentation on the printed page, creates the illusion of life as a realm of events, completed, lived as words formulate them and events that compose a past.
As literature creates a visual past, drama creates a visual future. The literary mode is made of memory, the dramatic is the mode of destiny. All teachers including teachers of the art (literature) are required to specify attainment at various stages in students progress and also to articulate their criteria assessment.
However, the language of art (literature) despite their complexity and variety are not in principle beyond clarification and it is this task of clarification that he would wish philosophers and teachers now, and urgently to address, themselves upon the success of their efforts, the future viability of the arts in the new curriculum might very well depend says David Aspen (1991) Victor Heyfron in the same book argued “in judging the children’s work, leaders assessors have been sensitive to t he inter – relationship between distinctive personal vision and standard of general artistic competence”.
The following scholars also lent their weight in the issue and argued thus: Harold Ogborne (1987) of whilst aesthetic assessment itself has to be a total and unified act of percipience criticism must address particular and discrete issue if appreciation is a synthesizing process, criticism require the practice of analysis.
He proposes three ground for aesthetic criticism.
- In terms of subject matter, personal vision or conception.
- In terms of artistic i.e. technical accomplishment
iii. In terms of an objects, capacity of evoking, sustained enriching percipience itself.
Malcolm Ross (1986) argued, “The arts (literature) have to be firmly reserved from the mandane and practical subjects from the concerns of academic study and vocational training”.
Artist create icons and the principle upon which they conduct their work has to be free. Assessment is a managerial mainstreaming. It is anathema to art and must be vigorously opposed. John Wilson (1989) has this to say “in this connection, we shall not get very far”. He suggested that “until we have fully understand the particular compulsion, our pupils are under”. For many students grasping the concept of art, is as grasping adequately the concept of a person and education for appreciation begin there.
All this among others are the controversial issues which this research project intends to find out solution to in view of factors responsible for poor performance in literature – in – English in Nigeria’s secondary schools particular references to Ikere local Government Area of Ekiti state.
Statement of study
The problem under discussion is that most learners that offer the subject (literature – in – English) perform poorly at the end of it all. And the need to ameliorate the situation or trend of the effect is urgent. While there is the unlienent problem of mother tongue, there are still numerous issues which further compound the problem under review. There are methodological and pedagogical constraint with a view to enhancing and enabling curriculum of study. There is other fundamental issues apart from language distance such as the incongruence in curriculum framework to prevalent social; milieu, teaching methods, learning atmosphere. Structural and institutional roles all of which are problem responsible for poor performance of students in literature – in – English in our secondary.
This research was predicated on the following assumption:
- There is a relationship between mother – tongue and the understanding of literature.
- That students are not responsible for their water loop at examination but the system and circumstances inhibits their performances a great deal.
iii. That there is a great linkage between pupils background and orientation and their ability to comprehend pieces of literary work be it prose, unseen prose, poems, drama, music and dance.
- Literary appeal and competence can be improved and developed through the three basic domains of learning – cognitive, affective and psycho – motor which should be combined in order to convey meaning and make sense.
- Syllabus, scheme of works, notes of lessons and curriculum in general cannot afford to be irresponsive of this problem.
Purpose of study
The aim of the study was to find out the factors responsible for poor performance in literature – in – English in Nigeria using selected secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State as a case study or reference point.
It was intended to advance possible solution to this problem from findings gathered during research.
The study was equally designed to bring about necessary review in literary appeal and comprehension especially at the secondary school level.
Significance of study
It was hoped that the study would be a contribution to knowledge. It was equally hope that the findings would serve as an impetus of the teaching and learning of literature – in – English.
Enhancing break through in curriculum, syllabus, schemes of work, notes of lesson etc. regarding the subject on our educational; system. Identify the missing link in our African literary genre.
Delimitation and Scope of Research
The study was limited to students in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State and to literature – in – English.
Effects were be made to explore the environment in terms of social cultural and educational requirement under which students learn and study but on a micro context of analysis.
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