INSTRUCTIONAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WIT THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS STUDENTS IN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
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Background to the Study
Teaching and learning Literature-in-English is one of the ways one can attain proficiency in the use of English language because literary works especially those written in English make good use of language in different ways to get their meaning across.
Williams (2014) asserts that the learner of English as a second language (L2) if exposed to Literature will internalize and consciously adopt the rhythm of natural speech, economy and richness of diction, rhetorical and organizational device from drama, poetry and prose. In Nigerian secondary schools, available evidence shows that students’ use of the English language leaves much to be desired (Abe, 1991: Onukaogu, 2002: Fatimayin, 2004). Students can no longer converse fluently in English and cannot write good essays. In addition, classroom observations and Ogunnaike’s 2002 findings show that Literature is not properly taught by teachers in most cases and that most schools do not have enough English language teachers resulting in haphazard teaching and learning.
Secondary school education is the education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage. One of the goals of secondary education as contained in the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2008, 28: h) is to raise ‘a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour, and…’ This is one of the things Literature-in-English can develop in students. Literature-in-English is like a kaleidoscope where one can pick up different kinds of useful ideas and teachings for one’s needs.
Literature-in-English is one of the vital subjects of the study in the Nigerian senior Secondary Schools. Literature-in-English as a key school subject which refers also to the study books of art such as drama, prose and poetry which are the genres of literature which authors create, so as to improve their skills in the English Language (De Naplis, 2002). The National Policy on Education (2004) confirms the importance of Literature-in-English in Nigeria. It is listed as one of the core subjects which are made compulsory for all secondary school students in both the junior and senior secondary school classes, though not yet implemented in many states of the nation. Also, students who want to offer courses like law, Mass Communication, English and Theatre arts must pass Literature-in-English at credit level in Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) to gain admission into any Nigerian Tertiary Institutions. Examination (SSCE). Although, there is ‘ inconsistent rise in the percentage of credit passes from 1999 — 2011 in the WAEC SSCE results for a period of 13 years, the rise remained below 50% of the total population of students who obtained their results at credit level.
Many factors have been identified to be responsible for the poor state of students’ performance in Literature-in-English which include: students negative attitude to reading, poor methods of teaching, poor reading habit, students’ low language proficiency among others (Lawal, 2000; Ogunnaike, 2002; Ezeokoli, 2002). To buttress these research findings, evidences from the WAEC Examiners Reports for the May/June 2007 and 2008 revealed that students rarely read the prescribed texts because of their negative attitude to reading and poor linguistic background. As a result of the above sha1low answers and responses were given to the examination questions as indicated from these extracts from WAEC Chief 1xminer’s Reports (2007 and 2008): A few do justice to the questions candidates who were able to g can a few facts on the content were not able to put their points across in concise English (p. 41) …..The performance of candidates was poor… but it is obvious from the answers of the candidates that, the texts were not studied for the examination as expected… (p. 48).
It is evident from these reports that most students offering Literature-in- English as a subject in Nigeria lack interest in the subject which has affected their attitudes and performance towards the subject. It could be inferred from these reports that students do not possess and utilize the actual texts but relied on “study guides and notes”.
Besides students’ poor performance in literature-in-English which has always been a major justification for researchers’ investigation, one needs to consider closely the global effect of inadequate teaching and learning of literature-in-English on the society itself. It should be noted that the students poor performance in literature is against actualizing the aims and objectives of teaching literature-in-English in the senior secondary schools and also the philosophy of Nigeria on education as stated in the National Policy on Education (2004).
Teaching is communication. In a good communication, there are three important aspects. These include the person giving the information, the message that is to be passed and the receivers.
According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, instructional refers to the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of teaching and learning experiences. The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner defining the end goal of instruction and creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition of knowledge. Instruction may be aimed at teaching learners problems solving skills, thinking and reasoning skills including perception memory, language etc. many would agree that people learn better when they can build on what they already understand known as “schemes” but the more a person has to learn in a shorter amount it is to process that information in working memory.
Dick and Carcy (2004), presented an instructional model which addressed instruction as an entire system, focusing on the inter-relationship between contest, content, learning and instruction. According to Han, the component such as the instructor, learners, materials, instructional activities, delivery system, learning and performance environments interacts with each other and work together to bring about the desired student learning outcomes.
Horaby (2001), defined problem as anything that is difficult to deal with or to understand, therefore the problem associated with the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning processes could be centered on its misuse with the set objectives. It could be regarded as obstacles against the smooth process of communication with the learners. According to Ashby (2001), performance refers to how well or badly somebody do something; meanwhile instructional problem affects the academic performance of the students. If the processes used in communicating with the students is not smooth or the instructional material is misuse with the set objective, then the students will perform negatively. Instructional problems therefore are those obstacles that pose difficulty in dealing with in the process of communicating skills, attitudes and values to the learner.
These obstacles which among others include:
Methodologies: According to Abdullahi (2009), methodologies employ in any teaching matters in that it acts as a driver that drives the instructions to the learner.
Meanwhile if wrong methodology is employ to a particular instruction while teaching it present confusion to the learner.
Wrong usage of the Instructional Materials with the set Objective: The set objective is a point of focus of the teacher while teaching. Akinsoba (2009) added that the usage of instructional material should be done in accordance with the set objective otherwise it leads the learners far from what they ought to understand on a particular topic.
Improvisation of Instructional Materials: According to Dahar, M.A., Faize, F.A., Nywaz, A. and Dahar, R.T., (2010), improvisation is making something or someone using whatever is available usually because you do not have what you really need. It presents obstacle to communicating skills, attitudes and values improvisation does not suit the topic because improvisation are made when there is no instructional materials. Okeke (2009) stressed on the need to provide adequate instructions for the teaching and learning of English language.
Lack of Instructional Materials: Some of the topics being treated or thought in English Language do not lend themselves to usage of instructional materials. Onuigbo (2003) outline some of the topics in English Language that do not lend themselves to instructional materials, these include word stress, sentence stress, intonation and the second system of English. Nelson-Jones, R. (1996) published an influential taxonomy of what he termed the three domains of learning; cognitive (what one knows or think), psychomotor (what one does physically) and affective (what one feels or the attitude one has). These taxonomies as stated by him are what instructional material touches, so any topic that does not have instructional materials cannot reflect to the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain of the learners. Sweller (2006), measured the effects of working memory load, and found that lack of instructional materials has a direct effect on the performance of the learners.
Language of Instruction: The language used while teaching with instructional materials matters. Langdon (1998) added that the outcomes of this instruction may be directly observable and scientifically misused or completed and assumed when it is used with wrong language. Languages of instruction have far reading implications on the performance of the students in various areas. One of the areas is in School Certificate English language. Poor performances have been recorded in School Certificate English Language in recent times. According to Richard (1999) the poor performance of students could be attribute to misuse of instructions, wrong application of methodologies to reflect to cognitive, psychomotor and Affective domains of the learners. It will not be out of place for one to blame these poor performances on the instructional process. Poor performance in school certificate English language is an unacceptable development in the students’ carrier.
Statement of Problem
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Objective of the study
The major objective of this study is to examine Instructional problems associated with the poor performance in school scertificate literature in English language by sss 3 students in Ikere local government area of ekiti state
The specific objective is to
- The extent to which poor methodologies pose problems to instructions while teaching literature in English
- The extent to which lack of instructional materials pose problem in teaching of literature in English.
- The effect of teacher qualification in teaching and learning of literature in English
- The effect of teachers instructional competencies on student performance in literature in English
- To what extent does poor methodologies pose problems to instructions while teaching literature in English
- Does lack of instructional materials pose problem in teaching of literature in English.
- What are the effect of teacher qualification in teaching and learning of literature in English
- Does teachers instructional competencies have effect on student performance in literature in English
Significance of the Study
The study is significant because, the identification of causes and possible remedies for poor performances of students in literature in-English will help reduce the problems encountered in teaching and learning of literature in-English on the parts of the teachers and students.
The usefulness of this research work in the educational system cannot be over emphasized. If the result of the study is properly utilized, it is going to be of benefit to the students, teachers and policy makers.
The research work will help to educate students on the instructional problems associated in teaching and learning literature in English.
The study will disclose to the teachers the obstacles that pose problem in dealing within the process of communicating skills, attitude and values to the learner.
The study will also disclose the topics that do not have instructional material, so that the government can help and make provision of such materials.
Scope of the Study
This study is limited to selected secondary school in Ikerre local government area of Ekiti State. For the purpose of a better result, students offering literature in-English in SSS3 as well as teachers of literature in-English in SSS3 in the selected schools will be asked to supply information on the research.
For the purpose of financial limitation, the study is carried out in selected schools within Ikere Local Government. Some factors have also determined the limit of the study to cover the area are:
- Provision of instructional materials for the student
- Provision of conducive environment for the learning
- Good qualify teachers for the students to teach the literature in-English.
- Provision of library facilities for the student.
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