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THE DICTIONARY AS A RESOURCE MATERIAL FOR IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

THE DICTIONARY AS A RESOURCE MATERIAL FOR IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to investigate the dictionary as a resource material for improving the performance of  Secondary school students  in Ado –Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State with a view to finding solution to the problems. The study also examines factors that can help to improve on how the dictionary can be used to improve the performance of private  secondary school students. Review of related literature was done.

A descriptive research design of the survey type method which is designed to obtain information from students. It also involves the use of questionnaire and generalizing the result of the sample of population from which conclusions were drawn. The population of the study consists of all the junior and senior secondary school students in selected schools in Ado- local government area of Ekiti State Nigeria. 200 students were randomly selected from Ado local Government Area of Ekiti State. The sample was selected using multi-stage sampling techniques. Two schools were been selected from Ado Local Government using simple random sampling techniques; two secondary schools will also be selected using simple random sampling by balloting. Test-retest method was adopted to ensure the reliability of the instruments. The questionnaire was administered to the respondents in the sample twice on an interval of weeks. The scores obtained from the two separate administrations were correlated using Pearson Product Moment Correlation.

The study revealed that majority of the student agreed that their teachers use dictionary to teach reading in class, majority agreed that the have personal dictionary at home while some were of the opinion that they use the dictionary in the library which means most of the student make use of dictionary. The study also revealed that dictionary play a significant role in the life of student if they are up-to-date, they can help us understand what someone might mean when they use a particular word. Dictionary helps us to know the meaning of words from other language. Dictionary plays an important role in student life in learning. When they don’t know the meaning of difficult words, they make use of the dictionary. The study concluded that dictionary play a significant role in the life of student if they are up-to-date, it  can help us understand what someone might mean when they use a particular word. Dictionary helps us to know the meaning of words from other language. Dictionary plays an important role in student life in learning. When they don’t know the meaning of difficult words, they make use of the dictionary. Dictionary is a guide to learn a language. One can find maximum number of words of a language in a dictionary.

Based on the analysis carried out, the study therefore recommended that parents should provide dictionary for their student in order to enhance their academic performance. Teachers should make sure they make use of dictionary any time they are teaching English language. School authority should ensure that they make the use of dictionary compulsory to student
TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE                                                                                             I

CERTIFICATION                                                                                      II

DEDICATION                                                                                           III

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                        IV

ABSTRACT                                                                                               VI

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                         VIII

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                     

Background to the Study                                                                                     1

Statement of the Problem                                                                                     9

Purpose of the Study                                                                                  10

Research Questions                                                                                    10

Research Hypotheses                                                                                 10

Significance of the Study                                                                                      11

Delimitation to the Study                                                                                     11

Definition of terms                                                                                               11

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE              

English Language Learning and Use of Dictionaries.                                  12

Types, Benefits, and Components of Dictionary.                                                24

The Dictionary as a Resource Material.                                                      33

Environment and the Use of Dictionary.                                                    47

Gender and Use of Dictionaries.                                                                 49

Summary                                                                                                    51

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD                                       

Research Design                                                                                         53

Population                                                                                                 53

Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                              53

Research Instrument                                                                                   54

Validity of the Instrument                                                                          54

Reliability of the Instrument                                                                       54

Administration of the Instrument                                                               55

Data Analysis                                                                                             55

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION                              

Analysis of Questionnaire                                                                          56

Test of Hypotheses                                                                                     60

Discussion of Results                                                                                 62

 

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary                                                                                                    64

Conclusion                                                                                                 65

Recommendations                                                                                                66

References                                                                                                  67

Questionnaire                                                                                             71

                                                      CHAPTER ONE

                                                   INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Education in a broad sense is a process by which an individual acquires  the many physical and social capabilities demanded by the society in which he / she is born into to function. In an ideal sense, education is an ultimate  value and hence, through the provision of social service, it is an agent of change. It  is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a diseased mind is handicapped in the coordination and direction of the bodily activities. Therefore, the single most significant complex of social-control tools for national development is found in the educational system be it formal or informal (Uwadia Orobosa 2010).

Education is the bedrock of socio-economic development worldwide. The quality of education naturally determines the quality of development. Education appears to be a mystical wand that gives answers to many of the challenges in the world today (Jonathan Odukoya 2016).

Education is the bedrock of socio-economic development, which makes man easy to lead but difficult to enslave. The way out of poverty and social deprivation is through the walls of the classroom ( Chief Olukayode  Akindele, chairman of FUNIS board and member of the Governing Council Of FUNAB Abeokuta).

In Nigeria, the government has made some policy statements which are enshrined in the constitution and the National Policy on Education Document. In each case, the statement refers to the ideology of the government concerning the language situation in the country.

Section 5, of the Nigeria constitution of 1979-1989 states thus: The business of the National Assembly shall be conducted in English and Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba when adequate arrangement have been made thereof”. The language provisions of the 1977 National Policy on Education are hereby presented:

  1. Appreciating the important of a language in the educational process and as a means of presenting the preserving the people’s culture the government considers it to be in the interest of national unity each child should be encourage to learn one of the three major languages other than his mother tongue. In this connection the government considered the three major languages in Nigeria to be Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba (NPE para.8).
  2. In Nigeria, the National language policy formulated in 1977 and revised in 1981, 1998, and 2004 assigns to English the role of serving as the language of instruction from the fourth year of a six-year primary course to the tertiary level. In addition, English is to be taught as a school subject right from the first year of primary education.

Nigeria has not had a comprehensive language policy as an organized attempt to find solution to language problems in the country. What has emerged as a language policy came about in the context of other centrally defined national concerns such as the development of a National policy on education and the drafting of a constitution for the country. It is in connection with the National policy on education and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that we can talk about language policy and planning in Nigeria (Oyetade 2003).

Besides, Nigerians recognize the status of English as an international  language used for computer programming and the internet as the neutral lingua franca for wider communication within the country. It is in these reasons that (Banjo 1996) describes English in Nigeria as the language of ‘record keeping’ because it is used in government offices, private organizations and international transactions for keeping records of transactions and proceedings that were spoken sometimes in an indigenous language in the form of minute (pp. 68-70).

English language was introduced in Nigeria in the early 19th century by the British colonial administration. Although, English language is a foreign language to Nigeria, in the sense that it is not indigenous but widely used as the second language. Ever since it was introduced in Nigeria, it has survived many decades and survives to date as it assumes a more vital status in Nigeria. Bamgbose (2005) sees English language in Nigeria as one of the leagues of colonial administratin, which has succeeded in eliminating the problems of multiple language in Nigeria”.

English language has played a major role in Nigeria which could be seen in our education, government, business, commerce, mass media, and most of internal and external communication. Above all, English language has played the role of the language of political unity. In recent time, English has been rated as the world most popular language which is characterized by active communication from one continent to another, especially by the indigenous owner of the language. Formal education in Nigeria today is a product of English language. Without English, there is the possibility that there may not be anything more than the elementary formal education in Nigeria.

English has an important role in the world as an international language. English is like a window to the world because by English, you can learn about the world. If you want to be a knowledgeable person, English is important to be learned. Having ability in English will also help the students to study because what he or she learns is not limited to the one in their country but also in the world. When we know the importance of English for life, we also know the better time to learn English.

English language is therefore an inevitable language to be mastered in Nigeria. The importance of English language in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized tor the following reasons:

It is the language of the  government, this is to say that English language is the language of administration in Nigeria. The 1979 constitution affirms a multi language solution to the delicate national language problem. It provides that the business of the National Assembly shall be conducted in English but the house may in addition to English conduct the business of the house in  one or more other languages spoken in the state. These therefore suggests that English language is made to bridge the gap caused by ethnicity.

In Nigeria, apart from the mother tongue, the learner and teachers for teaching and learning to take place, they must all be proficient because English language is the language of education in Nigeria. Every subject is taught in English language. Also, textbooks and educational materials for learning computer etc for higher learning are all programmed in English language. The proficiency of the language is thus an indispensable tool for educational excellence. Thus, foregoing portray in clear terms that all Nigerian learners in all institution of learning must be proficient in English to enable them function because it is a language that is the life blood of the whole educational system at secondary level and other levels. If a student lacks linguistics skills and a communicative competence,  academic achievement will become difficult if not impossible.

Despite the importance of English language, the performance of students over the years has been on a down world trend. Media reports show that the performance of students in written, reading, and spoken English is not encouraging. Obayan (2006), was of the opinion that gender [sex] have a lot to do with the performance of students in English language. He also said that females tend to be more favourably disposed to the study of English language and other linguistic courses than the male gender”.

Although, gender has been said to be the major determiner of the level of proficiency of students in  English language by many scholars and grammarians, but there are several other factors that could undermined the performance of students in English language such as, interest, government and attitude towards academic works. It is very important to emphasize here that the qualification of English teachers whose sole responsibility is to teach English language will enhance good or poor performance of students. In order to ensure for accuracy, great motivation and interest, a good qualified English teacher should be placed in charge to teach the students. Government negligence and failure to provide the necessary teaching aid has also contributed to the poor performance of students in English language.

It is the responsibility of the government to provide the necessary instructional materials to help in the teaching of language to students o various levels of education.

The dictionary is a compilation of words ranging from letters A-Z. when reading or writing an article deciphering profound word or phrase, the use of a dictionary could be of a great help. The dictionary according to Collins English dictionary 12th edition (2014), is a book containing a selection of words of language usually arranged in alphabetically with information about their meanings, pronunciation, etymologies, inflected forms etc.

The dictionary according to the American Heritage Dictionary of English language fourth edition is a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words, with information given for each word, usually including meaning, pronunciation, and etymology. A book listing the words of a language with translations into another language. It further states that the dictionary is a book listing words or other linguistic items in a particular category or subject with specialized information about them: a medical dictionary.

Dictionary simply describes how people use words. For these reason, you will often get notes on how different dialects use the word, or if there are multiple ways a word is used.  Dictionaries are useful because:

  1. If they are up-to-date, they can help us understand what someone might mean when they use a particular word.
  2. They help scholars understand how a word use to be used if the dictionary is regarding word usage of an earlier place, language or time.
  3. Dictionary helps us to know the meaning of words from other language. For example, there are various type of dictionary i.e English to Hindi, Hindi to English, etc that means we can say that it is a translator of words.
  4. Dictionary plays an important role in students life in learning. When they don’t know the meaning of difficult words, they make use of the dictionary.
  5. Dictionary is a guide to learn a language. One can find maximum number of words of a language in a dictionary. The dictionary gives a clear and explained meanings of the words. It also gives the meanings of the phrases. One can enhance his or her language through the dictionary. It is a good attribute for learning a language.

There are pocket dictionaries which can be carried anywhere you want, other dictionaries like oxford, Cambridge give explained meanings. Thesaurus is the type of dictionary which give the different words with the same meaning. The meanings are explained either in English or their mother tongue which is more useful to understand the words with good perception.

Dictionary is a must to learn a language and to develop a good vocabulary skills. There are various types of dictionary which include: bilingual dictionary, monolingual dictionary, crossword dictionary, rhyming dictionary, mini-dictionary, pocket dictionary, thesaurus, and medical dictionary etc.

Dictionary can be classified into different types on the basis of several criteria, varying from the nature of lexical entry to the prospective user of the dictionary.

Below are presented some main criteria for the classification of dictionaries:

  1. Density off entries: whether the word list is general or restricted and special? Does it cover regional and social dialects, jargons and slangs, archaisms ?
  2. The number of languages involved: Monolingual, bilingual, multilingual etc.
  3. The nature of entries: Whether lexical only or also encyclopaedic, the degree of concentration on strictly lexical data.
  4. Axis of time: Whether diachronic (dynamic) or synchronic (static).
  5. Arrangement of entries: Alphabetical, semantic or causal.
  6. Purpose: Whether normative or referential.
  7. The prospective user: Whether meant for the general reader to find out general linguistic information or for special users to know some special aspects of the lexical unit say etymology etc. Is meant for the general language or only for the language of literature, the language of author and the language of some of his works.

The influence of dictionary on the performance of students in English language cannot be over-emphasized as it helps them to read a text within a text situation. Teachers generally regard both monolingual and bilingual dictionaries as necessary tools for effective reading comprehension. Students of EFL are expected to know how to use bilingual dictionaries without specific guidance, but they are taught to use monolingual (English- English ) dictionaries in order to give student’s more practice working in English language.

Again, the important point is that students use the dictionary to work within the target language. Elliot (1972:178)  claims: pupils should be initiated into the use of an English dictionary. It is not easy to use an English dictionary until one has a certain knowledge of the language….. initiate means: (i) they should have some practice in finding a word quickly. (ii) where more than one definition or synonyms is provided, they need practice in discovering which is relevant to the context in question. (iii) They need some direct instruction in the use and misuse of the dictionary; its use, as an instrument for checking words they use in writing; its misuse as a quarry for language and impressive words to be learned by heart. Scholfield (1982) also argues that, far from being a mechanic process, use of the dictionary involves the prior knowledge of the reader and its ability to make hypothesis about the context why reading. Using the dictionary, then is an essential part of the reading process.

The dictionary has various components which ranges from transcription, pronunciation, grammar, meaning, etymology (origin of words), spellings etc. s.

The researcher observes that there seems to be a lot of variables affecting the use of the dictionary as a resource material among secondary school students. They include: socio-economic status of students, level of education of parents, gender and environment.

Statement of the problem

The researcher is determined to investigate the use of the dictionary as a resource material for improving the performance of secondary school students in Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

This research work is out to examine the benefits of the dictionary as a means of improving the performance of secondary school students. As well as  factors affecting the use of the dictionary.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate the causes or factors responsible or the problem militating against the use of the dictionary as a resource material in Ado –Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State with a view to finding solution to the problems. The study also examines factors that can help to improve on how the dictionary can be use to improve the performance of students in secondary school.

Research Questions

  1. Do secondary school students have dictionaries in schools and at homes?
  2. To what extent do secondary school students use dictionaries in schools?
  3. What are the benefits or usefulness of the dictionary among secondary school students?
  4. Is there any difference between male and female student’s knowledge and application of dictionaries?
  5. How does the environment influence the use of dictionaries by students?
  6. What are the problems militating against the effective use of dictionary as a resource material by students?

 

Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses are generated for the study:

  1. There is no significant relationship between the extent of dictionary use and its usefulness among students.
  2. The usefulness of dictionary will not significantly affect its usage.
  3. There is no significant between gender and dictionary use.
  4. There is no significant relationship between the environment and dictionary use.

Significant of the study

This research work is of great importance because it will be able to identify the problem militating against the use of the dictionary as a resource material. It will be of help to the students has it tends to help them understand how to use the dictionary. Also, it will help the parents to know their role on the provision of dictionary for their children. It will help the teachers to know how a dictionary can be useful in the classroom as a resource material.

Understanding and nurturing these fundamental skills, parents and teachers can encourage the use of the dictionary.

 

 

The Scope of the Study

The research work aims at investigating the use of the dictionary as a resource material for improving the learning of English language in selected secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti  State. The study is restricted only to secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

Definition of terms

Enshrined: To protect an idea, ideal, or philosophy within an official law or treaty.

Ideology: The study of the origin or nature of ideas.

Etymology: The study of the historical development of languages particularly as manifested in individual words.

Proficiency: Ability or competence.

Deciphering: To find solution to a problem.

 

 

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Updated: June 9, 2018 — 3:08 am

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