THE INFLUENCE OF MOTHER TONGUE L1 ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of contents
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background to the study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the study
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
Population of the study
Administration of questionnaires
Results and Discussion
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
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This focus of this study is to examine the effect of mother tongue on the learning of English language in secondary schools.
Data and information concerning this study was elicited through the use of questionnaire which was administered to teachers and students before and after the research through which inadequate teaching materials, inadequate qualified teachers of English, unavailability of text books, absence of well stocked libraries, environmental factors and others were found to be the major problems responsible for the ‘effect of mother tongue on the learning of English language’. However, recommendations were made for learning of English language to devoid mother tongue influence, that government should strive to provide adequate language teaching materials and teachers of English language should be encouraged to attend seminars and conferences on language teaching.
Background of the study
English plays an important role in the development of Nigeria that is why the entire heritage left behind in Nigeria by the British, at the end of the Colonial administration, none is more important than the English language. It is now the core subject in the curriculum. Also, students are expected to attain a certain level of proficiency in it to enable them perform well in the society.
Crystal (1990) asserts that “language is the most frequently used and most highly developed form of human communication among the people in the world. English language is used as a medium of instruction right from the primary school level up to the university level. It is also introduced as a core subject right from the primary school to the university level.
The role of English language as a second language cannot be over emphasized. It is the language of government and administration. Thus, it serves as the official language in Nigeria. It is used during national occasions and celebration such as children’s day, independence and so on. It also cuts across all ethnic groups, social and regional boundaries. It is therefore the language of inter-ethnic communication.
The position of English in Nigeria as a second language and as a language used in all fact of life, politics, social, religion, education, commerce-calls for joint efforts making students competence its spoken and written from a view of making them intelligible to their hearers and readers.
Seweje (2006) defines the term, ‘mother tongue’ as the first language that child acquires and with which he first makes contact with himself, with others and with his environment.
Mother tongue is not regarded as a garment the child puts off when he wears his school uniform but rather as a part of the staff of which his mind is built. It is therefore the language through which the child thinks, dream, cherished, loves, scolds and learns.
The learner of English as a second language already has mastered the rules of one language (that is the first language). Therefore, the learning of a second language means the learning of a different set of rules and there is bound to be confusion which causes the effect of mother tongue in the learning of the English language as a second language.
A visit to many of the primary schools in Ondo State listening to the students spoken English when responding to questions during English lesson will show to a large extent the effect of their mother tongue on their rendition of English. It becomes imperative for the home, and the school to look for ways of getting rid of the problem militating against the effective learning of English.
The researcher has personally observed the mother tongue influence on the learning of English language in some selected primary schools in Ondo State which are of phonology, grammar and lexis for instance students in Ondo State find it difficult to pronounce “b” correctly it is aspirated in all cases whether it occurs in the word initial medial of final position.
Statement of the problem
Apart from the fact those students are more proficient in their mother tongue which interferes in their spoken and written English. It has been observed that English language is not well taught by teachers because of insufficient periods for its teaching on the school’s time table.
There are not enough teaching materials and equipment like radio tape recorder and language laboratories with which these students can be taught the practical aspect of the language. It has also been observed that teachers contribute to the problem of the primary school learner of English in that there are some teachers who themselves cannot pronounce English words correctly without allowing their first language to reflect in their spoken and written sentences.
It should also be noted that lack of qualified English teachers in our primary schools contributes to the poor teaching of the subject for instance in most of our primary schools teacher of Agricultural science, science, Health Education, Fine Arts and so on are made to teach English. This is in small measure that contribute to the students failure in the subject in common entrance examination.
Teachers of English language are not given the opportunity to attend seminar and conferences regularly where they can be expose to various change in the rules governing English language which keep on changing every tune. The problem of putting the students on what one does not understand eventually leads to their lack of euthusiasm. What students achieve in school, how they view themselves to remarkable degree, function of teachers’ personality. It is the enormity of the various problems stated above that makes for the inevitability of the study.
Purpose of the study
This study is intended to carry out an investigation into the effect of mother tongue on the learning of English language in the selected secondary school. Students spoken and written English are not easily understood due to the transfer of the speech element of their first language into the English language.
The purpose of this research therefore is to look into how English can be learnt effectively in our secondary schools and also make suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of learning English so the effect of the mother tongue on the language be reduced if not totally removed.
Significance of the study
As stated in background to the study that English language plays many important roles in Nigeria as country’s medium of wider communication used for commercial, legislative, and instructional purposes. English is expected to be taught in our secondary schools so that students will acquire high proficiency in the language.
Through observation, it appears that despite the fact that the English language is taught everyday, students still find it very hard to speak or write in English language without the refection of the elements of their first language.
It is hoped that this study will offer suggestions and recommendations towards the improvement of the learners of English language in primary schools in Ondo State with a view of erasing the effect of mother tongue on their learning of the language.
The study will also suggest ways to improve teachers of English language so that will be acquired with new changes in the structure of the language. Apart from the above, it can help in enhancing the students self confidence so that they will be able to express their filling and ideas in correct and intelligible form in English language because, “ once a child can express himself easily in speech and in writing, his self confidence in the foundation of all successful learning”.
Scope of the study
The study will in scope look at the effect or influence of interference on the learning of English in primary schools in Ondo State as it affects the phonological, grammatical and lexical aspects of the language and suggest ways of solving the problem.
In order to give direction to this study and based n the personal experience of the researcher the following hypothesis are formulated:
- There is no significant relationship between influence of mother tongue on the learning of English and the intelligibility of the students’ learners of English language while speaking.
- There is no significant relationship between students learning environment and the learning of English language.
- There is no significant relationship between teachers’ poor model and its impact on the learning of English language.
- There is no significant relationship between English as Nigeria’s official language and mother tongue.
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