IMPACT OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY (ICT) ON THE EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF READING COMPREHENSION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background to the Study
Reading is one of the most fundamental media for acquiring and promoting knowledge at all levels of education. Reading is a language skill that aims at facilitating the acquisition and development of literacy skills needed for effective communication in different contexts. The Federal Government of Nigeria seems to have realized this by stating in her National Policy on Education that one of the goals of primary education is to inculcate permanent literacy and numeracy, and ability to communicate effectively in the recipient (FGN, 2004).
Millennium development goals (MDGs) standard of English teacher in Nigeria designed programmes in the form of workshops, facilities for teacher training and assistance in training and re-training the teachers. All these are aimed at: – Providing professional skills to teachers in order to enhance efficiency in the classroom. Providing teachers the opportunity to fill in gaps in their knowledge of English language which most of them may not have studied at the tertiary education level. Introducing teachers to learner-centred activity and resource-based teaching that promote active and cooperative learning by learners. – Providing opportunity for teachers to learn from each other in small group interactive sessions; Demonstrating practical ways of effective teaching by providing sample recorded model lessons for viewing, analyzing, and mini-teaching. (MDGs 2010).
It is the prayers of the Millennium development project that within the context of all of the above, English Language teachers will also become “reflectively in their schools. In pursuance of the stated objectives the MDGs developed manuals by a survey of the teaching of English in schools. These manuals were produced to facilitate workshops organized for the retraining of English language teachers. Beside the production of manuals and organizing workshops the project monitored, assessed and evaluated the programme. It was in connection to this that Ladan (2010) revealed that the workshop in 2010 was not only reviewed, it had also integrated topics on some current challenging issues such as handling large classes, remedial problems and children with special needs, special focus on continuing assessment and record keeping. They also included teaching in a much neglected group of schools i.e. small rural multi- grade schools with all the challenges they posed. He further revealed that the 2010 manual ended with sample lesson plans and the inclusion of audio-visual model lesson records from different zones of the country. At this juncture, it is pertinent to note that the millennium development goals project on education has demonstrated a high sense of achievement in respect of uplifting the English language teachers’ battered image in Nigeria.
With the MDGs intervention in the teaching profession sector, we can not dispute the fact that there appears to be improvement in the quality of teacher and his/her activities in the present educational system. English language teacher were able to be inducted in the MDGs organized workshops, and operative manuals were given to the teachers. This giant step is a land mark in the development of English Language teacher, for prior to the advent of MDGs programme on education, English Language teachers were not opportune to have induction and workshops of this kind which aimed at developing their profession. However, today under this scenario we can argue that the state of English language teacher development is short from expection.
For the programme that is designed to mend or tackle the existing problems in teaching English should not be centred on the primary school teachers alone, as contained in the words of National Teachers Institute (2010) on the developed manual for the MDGs 2010 workshop “…this manual has been developed based on the existing English Language curriculum for primary schools in Nigeria” With this we can say that the present state of English language teacher development has only affected the primary school English Language teachers. Even at the primary schools level, the training of teachers for the updating of their knowledge that will make them technically competent in the light of changes in curriculum and the wider society is left in the hands of the local education authorities, who are not willing to shoulder this responsibility. This situation is applicable to teachers (English language teachers) in secondary schools. This is a clear manifestation that the realization of MDGs goals on teachers in primary and secondary schools is far from being secured. The situation in tertiary institution looks almost similar, for English language teachers are given financial assistance, in the name of capacity building’ to boost their educational standard.
This noble intention is not followed up with appropriate measures, such as, monitoring and evaluating teachers on in-service training, a clear, well, and meaningfully designed teaching programme integrated into all the disciplines a teacher embarked upon, Furthermore, the beautifully designed workshops for the refraining of teachers initiated by NTI under MDGs educational programme did not give much attention to secondary teachers. Also the manual designed, in its attempt to address the problem faced by the Nigerians learners of English language, only gave recognition to three or four languages out of over five hundred existing languages in the country. Considering the ethnic and linguistic diversity in Nigerian, one can rightly say that such treatment will seriously affect the teaching and learning of language, particularly, in the areas whose languages were not highlighted by the manual.
It is in the light of this that Obanya (2004) affirms that, in setting the pedagogical process in motion, teachers are guided by policy, curriculum, organizational guidelines”. This is what is needed in terms of developing English Language teachers at this critical period Obanya (2007) further affirms that teachers should employ the techniques of placing learners at the centre of every classroom teaching/learning process. This is a principle that MDGs should intensify upon for the needed revolution in the teaching of English Language. There is no doubt that millennium development goals is having a role to play in the development of language teachers, and especially the English Language teachers.
The international development association (IDA) under the World Bank , Federal Government of Nigeria through National Teaches Institute (NTI) within the context of MDGs are turning attention to the re- education of teachers as a means of developing English Language teachers which has been the problem of Nigeria educational system. Most of the disciplines in our schools are not opportuned to be given the needed attention. English language is among the few subjects that are given attention to uplift the standard of education. In this situation, no doubt, the Millennium Development Goals in is its own wisdom is out to protect and promote the status of English language teachers in Nigeria. To achieve this noble objective the body must come up with appropriate policies to face the following issues in developing English Language teachers in Nigeria:
Need for annual reorientation of English language teachers which will produce teachers that are adequately educated, professionally prepared, and pedagogically skilled in all sectors of our education. Inadequate facilities, i.e, by making provision of qualitatively, aesthetically, and especially adequate infrastructures that are teachers friendly to all institutions in the country.Teacher’s altitude towards instructional material. This could be through provision of qualitative and adequate instructional materials to all levels of schools in Nigeria that are users friendly easily exploitable and challenging to teachers; In the case of print-audio-oral materials, provision should be in place to address the issue of epileptic electric situation in Nigeria. The attitude of local and state governments toward funding and retraining of English language teachers. Here the Federal Government should not only enact a low that will make it compulsory for then to fund and retrain teachers under their jurisdiction, also to monitor and evaluate them. The need for monitoring and evaluating unit. Here, a body that is purely made up of experts is to be constituted and assigned with the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the progress of English teachers in all the local and state governments in the federation. Lack of effective teaching guide for English language teacher. In this regard competent linguists should be employed to help in the development of local languages orthographies that will assist teachers in teaching areas of difficulties face by the Nigerian leavers of English language. Teachers lack of apathy in teaching English language. Here, they should be motivated to fully appreciate the objective of teaching English language through the provision of incentives and fringe benefits.
This could come in form of special health plans, housing allowances, transport allowances, sick leave, study leave, death benefits, pension, gratuity, reward and recognition. It is in the light of these that Obanya (2004) reiterates that there should be greater emphasis on equipping the teachers to perform professionally through: a) Sound general education b) Sound initial professional training c) Systematic professional support through regular supervision and counseling d) Opportunities for continuous self-improvement along with effort to raise the quality of teachers.
The Millennium Development Goals must be prepared to face the current challenges facing English Language teachers. The problems of technical competencies in terms of language mastery and conditions of their services are real and must be properly addressed. The body must protect and promote the status of English language teachers in Nigeria.
As the Nigerian society continues to change to a technological society, the need for communication becomes vital in all spheres of life. We must listen and read with understanding just to keep up with what is happening. More and more types of employment are requiring skills in reading. Commenting on the centrality of reading in education at the secondary school level, Bright and McGregor (1978) state that where there is little reading, there will be little language learning.
Carson (2000) observes that the doors of the world are opened to people who can read and that it improves learners’ spelling, vocabulary, comprehension and it makes class-rooms more interesting. In the same vein, Kolawole (2005) opines that it is only through reading that the Nigerian learner of English can meaningfully enrich his/her vocabulary.
Marieke (2008) states that ,reading is essential to full participation in modern society because it adds quality and provides access to culture and cultural heritage. It empowers and emancipates citizens and it brings people together.
Reading is vital to the attainment of literacy. Onukaogu (2002) observes that it is the fulcrum or corner stone of literacy and that without it there can be no literacy. This assertion re- echoes the view of Muslimi and Lawal (2007) who note that reading provides the key that unlocks the gate to literacy. Reading involves skills; it involves thinking and it affects the entire personality of an individual.
A person’s attitude towards school, parents and life in general may be affected by his/her reading ability. Thus, the reading process is a challenge to many students as success in reading to a large extent determines success in school (Lawal,2009). Yet, in Nigeria, many scholars have observed that this aspect of language learning is highly neglected.
Ezeokoli (2008) maintains that many students perform below expectation because they lack some reading skills required for effective study in particular subjects, while Onukaogu (2002) asserts that the tragedy that faces the teaching of reading in Nigeria today is that preschool children, primary, secondary and tertiary students are not empowered with reading skills. Arlington and Cummingham (2006) assert that emphasis on reading is now on the development of skills, comprehension and motivational strategies.
The importance of skill instruction is recognized as an important aspect of the reading process. Hence, it is vividly stated in the new English Language curriculum for the upper basic or junior secondary school level that the following new skills are to be taught:
(i) reading for main and supporting ideas including summary;
(ii) reading to grasp meanings of words in various contexts;
(iii) reading to follow directions in written communication;
(iv) reading to answer specific questions;
(v) reading to understand the writer’s mood and purpose;
(vi) reading for critical evaluation;
(vii) reading for maximum retention and recall (i.e intensive study type)
(viii) reading to recognize repetition of the same idea;
(ix) reading for spatial description;
(x) reading for speed;
The new curriculum aims at achieving the following in students:
(i) to tackle the language deficiencies brought from the lower basic
(ii) to develop language proficiency for both upper, and post basic and;
(iii) to develop the language proficiency necessary for performing well in other subjects (FGN 2007) Comprehension is the ultimate reason for any reading effort.
If learners can read the words of a text but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. Lawal (2000) has identified four main hierarchical levels of reading comprehension, they are: literal, inferential, evaluative and creative levels. The literal level is the level of understanding the actual or factual meaning of a text. This level has been described as the lowest level of reading comprehension where the reader recognizes, identifies and recalls the main gist and the relevant ideas in a text.
Awolaja (2004) describes this level as where reader understands the meaning of expressions as used in the passage ordinarily or plainly. However, Adegbite (2005) laments that reading comprehension has been misunderstood in the secondary school classroom as the skill learnt by mere intensive individual work in which textual passages are read orally or silently by pupils and mainly literal questions are thrust upon students to test their comprehension. The inferential level is the level where learners read to understand the meaning that is not expressed in a text. Here, the reader interprets and tries to infer the meaning from the passage. Observation and experience have revealed that many students find this very difficult to do as a result of their poor background knowledge.
The critical or evaluative level of comprehension is a higher level of comprehension where learners read beyond the lines to get meaning from printed texts. Here, the reader makes a critique of the meanings and approaches employed by the author using various skills. The creative level of comprehension has been described as the highest level of reading where readers apply the knowledge gained from reading to solve day to day problems in modern society. The behaviour or the attitude of the reader is sometimes influenced by the information acquired during creative reading.
Research has shown that instruction in comprehension can help students understand what they read, remember what they read and communicate with others about what they read. Probably this informed the prominent place of reading comprehension in the Nigerian school curriculum. Nevertheless, the accomplishment of the purpose for which reading comprehension was entrenched in the school system would depend, to a large extent, on the caliber of teachers who handle English language. This is in line with the position of the Federal Government that no educational system can go beyond the quality of its teachers. In other words, teachers determine, to a large extent, what happens in the classroom including reading comprehension lessons.
there is evidence that the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the reading comprehension key learning areas has not been fully embraced by schools in Nigeria especially in Ekiti state (Jone, 2008). Despite the provision of computers to students and teachers by Ekiti state Governments, English Language teachers are still not effectively integrating technology into their teaching.
(Foley and Ojeda, 2011). The international evidence by Li (2007) suggested that, one reason for the teachers not embracing technology is the fear that it might replace teachers in the school system. Others attribute the ineffective integration of technology to the lack of adequate knowledge about when and how ICT could be used in reading skills, and lack of sufficient training (James of Finger, 2008).
This ineffective integration of ICT in English Language teaching is disturbing given the benefit that are attributed to integrating technology into the classroom Unachieved. The poor performance experienced overtime in English Language especially in comprehension aspects, has been proven to defile solution and the last resort to curbing this menace is the use of information and communication technology via e-learning which will facilitate effective teaching of English Language. Hence, it will improve student’s performance in English Language. Identifiable factors affecting effective learning and students performance in English Language in particular include lack of relevant text-books, , students negative attitude towards English Language, learning environment, lack of teaching aids and instructional materials and teachers attitude toward teaching (Seweje, 2000).
These factors can be reduced to enhanced good reading comprehension performance by the use of information and communication technology. Information and communication technology (ICT) is the processing and maintenance of information and the use of all forms of computer, communication network and mobile technologies to mediate information (UNESCO, 2002)
Olapoobo(2008) reports that, only fifteen percent (15%) of the candidates whosat for the West Africa School Certificate Examinations between 1996and 1998 passed. In another report on student’s performance in EnglishLanguage by Kolawole (2002) it was revealed that students hadproblems in composition, comprehension and summary writing.
Perhaps, all these may have been responsible for the decline andappalling performance of students in Junior School Certificate EnglishExaminations (JSCE). For example, the Ekiti State (JSCE) results inEnglish Language between 1998 2005 show anincreasingly declining performance of students in the subject. EkitiState is one of the thirty six (36) states in Nigeria.
Recently, manystakeholders have lamented the poor performance of students inEnglish Language in the state. Reports from the Ekiti State Ministryof Education also support the hue and cry of these stakeholders. It was revealed that students performance in 1998 in the Ekiti Junior SchoolCertificate Examination was 20% passes while 78% failed. In 1999,the trend of failure continued as only 21% passed while 79% failed.The poor performance trend continued in year 2000 when 23% passedand 77% failed. The performance declined greatly in 2001 when 5%passed and 95% failed. In 2002 the decline was also appalling as20% passed while 80% failed. However, in 2003 the performanceimproved when 47% passed and 53% failed.Hence, this study intends to examine the impact of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) on the effective teaching and learning of reading comprehension in secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti state.
Statement of the Problem
Teaching reading in the secondary school classroom has become a concern among educators around the world because it is a well-known fact that success in reading is essential to success inschool and self-sustenance especially in this age of global informationdissemination. Inspite of this fact, it has been observed from research(Lawal, 2007) and the personal experience of the researcher thatEnglish Language teachers often test students’ reading comprehensioninstead of teaching them how to read and comprehend.
They equallyemploy the traditional approach where reading is seen as a solo affairin which the learner is hooked to its text and is not encouraged to readand dialogue with peers or in groups (Isiugo, 2002).Again, researchers such as Jegede, Onukaogu, Arua and Inyang(2003) have lamented that discussion as a method of teaching readingis never mentioned in many English Language course books,syllabuses and teachers’ manuals.
Therefore, many reading teachersknow little or nothing about the potentials of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in theteaching of reading.Researchers like Adegbile 2009; Idogo 2003; and Lawal andAdebileje (2005) have suggested different strategies on how readingcomprehension teachers can help reduce reading problems amongstudents as a result of the massive failure at both terminal and externalexaminations. Such strategies have focused on pre-reading strategiesor pre-instructional strategies like Schema Reading Strategy andAdvance Organizers.
These strategies focused on the reader’s pastexperiences or background knowledge with the use of graphicalrepresentations that help facilitate reading comprehension.
To the best of this researcher’s knowledge, there seems to be little or nothing for now on ICT as means of teaching reading comprehension..There is thus the need to fill part of this gap and find out theimpact of Information Communication and Technology on the effective teaching and learning of reading comprehension in secondary school in Ikere-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti state.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to find out the impact of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) on the effective teaching and learning of reading comprehension in secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti state. Specifically, the study investigated the following:
- find out the effect of ICT and conventional method on the reading comprehension performance of students.
- ascertain the difference between the pre-test achievement score in reading comprehension of students exposed to ICT and the exposed to conventional teaching method.
- examine the difference between the post-test achievement in reading comprehension of students exposed to ICT and the exposed to conventional teaching method?
- determine the difference in the performance of male and female students taught reading comprehension using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the findings of this study would help to improve the teaching and learning of reading comprehension in several ways. Through feedback, publication of the findings of this study, learners, especially the low ability learners could benefit immensely from the findings in that they would interact with the high performance learners thereby enhancing their learning experiences.
It is hoped that the study would help students to effectively articulate and recall information, sharpen their listening faculty and speech skills. Findings of this study could also enhance the critical problem solving skills of learners. Teachers, for instance could benefit from the findings in that they will make their classroom activities more learner-centred as against teacher-dominated activities popularly used in reading comprehension lessons. This can be achieved if textbook writers incorporate these methods into reading texts.
Also, teacher trainers like universities and colleges of education would see the need to re-orientate teachers in training on the skills for successful implementation of information communication and technology (ICT). Thus, this study could serve as reference source for researchers in the related aspects of English studies.
In addition, textbook writers would equally benefit from the findings, in that e-learning and other ICT-based strategies would be incorporated into major reading topics for use in schools. Through the findings of this study, educators, federal and state ministries of education and other stakeholders would organize conferences and workshops for teachers where they can learn innovative techniques and methods for teaching reading comprehension using information communication and technology.
Moreover, the findings of this study could serve as guide to researchers and other language educators on how to use other models of computer-based or internet based instruction. Finally, the findings could help curriculum planners and curriculum developers to design a curriculum that will effect positive changes in learning experiences of learners in reading comprehension.
Scope of the Study
The study involved all Senior Secondary School Students II(SS2) in Ikere-Ekiti local Government Area of Ekiti State. Four (4) secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti Local Government Areas were used for the study. The sample for the study was 100 students from four (4) schools situated in this local government area. The first three of the four hierarchical levels of reading comprehension as identified by Lawal (2000) which are the literal, inferential and critical or evaluative levels were examined in this study. The instrumentwas used in the studywas Reading Comprehension Test (RCT) for students.
This study answered the following research questions:
- What is the effect of ICT and conventional method on the reading comprehension performance of students?
- What is the difference between the pre-test achievement score in reading comprehension of students exposed to ICT and the exposed to conventional teaching method?
- What is the difference between the post-test achievement in reading comprehension of students exposed to ICT and the exposed to conventional teaching method?
- What is the difference in the performance of male and female students taught reading comprehension using ICT and those taught using conventional method?
The following hypotheses were formulated from the research questions and testedat 0.05 level of significance:
- There is no significant difference in the effect of ICT and conventional method on the reading comprehension performance of students.
- There is no significant difference between the pre-test achievement score in reading comprehension of students exposed to ICT and the exposed to conventional teaching method
- There is no significant difference between the post-test achievement in reading comprehension of students exposed to ICT and the exposed to conventional teaching method
- There is no difference in the performance of male and female students taught reading comprehension using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
Definition of Terms
Technique: This is a step, activity or strategy adopted or adapted by the teacher in guiding and directing the experiences of students from one stage of the lesson to another.
Method: An overall plan for the orderly presentation of a particular language material
Reading Comprehension: This is the students’ ability to read and interpret a passage at three hierarchical levels of literal, inferential and critical.
Literal Comprehension: A level of comprehension where students read and understand the main facts of a text.
Inferential Comprehension: A level of comprehension where students read, interpret and understand the meaning that is not expressed in a text
Evaluative/Critical Comprehension: A level of comprehension where students read, understand and make a critique of the meaning of a text.
Performance: Reading comprehension scores after exposure to TPSM and RTM as obtained through the researcher’s designed Reading Comprehension Test (RCT)
Low Performance Students: Students whose scores in the reading comprehension test are in the bottom 25% of the class.
Average Performance Students: Students whose scores in the reading comprehension test are in the middle 50% of the class.
High Performance Students: Students whose scores in the reading comprehension test are in the upper 25% of the class.
in reading comprehension.
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