Title page                                                                                          i

Approval page                                                                                  ii

Certification                                                                                      iii

Dedication                                                                                         iv

Acknowledgement                                                                             v-vi

Table of contents                                                                              vii

Abstract                                                                                            viii

CHAPTER  I:     INTRODUCTION                                   

Background of the study                                               1-3

Statement of the problem                                               4

Purpose of the study                                            4-5

Significance of the study                                                5

Scope and Limitation of study                                       5-6

Assumption                                                                   6

II       REVIEW OF LITERATURE                                     7-12

          III     METHODOLOGY                                                      13

                   Research Design                                                             13                         Area of the study                                                              13                         Population of the study                                                 13                         Sample and sampling technique                                              14

Instrument for data collection                                        14

Validation of the instrument                                          14

Administration of instrument                                        15                         Method of data analysis                                                    15

IV     PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA                 16-21

          V       SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND                                                                   RECOMMENDATIONS

                   Summary                                                                       22

Conclusion                                                                    22-23

Implication of the study                                                          24

Recommendations                                                                   24-26

Suggestions of further research                                               26                         References                                                                      27                         Appendices                                                                     2831


The investigation was design to ascertain the vocabulary problems of English Language learners. This is to establish the problems that learners face in vocabulary acquisition. It necessitated the construction and validation of instruments for the students test. This is because parents, teachers, and school administrators are aware that students have problems in reading textbooks, novels, journals and passages, especially those with difficult words. The       students themselves are aware of this fact. The study is therefore carried out in order to determine the level of students vocabulary acquisition and the areas of their problems in vocabulary use. Two schools were used for the study, Army Comprehensive High School and C.A.C Grammar school, A test was administered in eight (8) S.S. II students from the two schools. The results showed that students have problem in the area of detention and recall of vocabulary items as well as those of vocabulary use.





Background to the Study

The important of English language in the Nigerian education system cannot be overemphasized. English language is the pivot on which educational system of Nigerian revolves. English is the language of science and technology a passport to educational advancement and prestigious employment. The national policy on education recognized this fact when it grouped English language as one of the core subject. The establishment of English language in the Nigeria society can be traced to the activities of colonial master’s from 15th century. The language since then has been the country’s official language used for the purpose of government and administration.

Government records, court records, proceeding administrative instructions, minutes and legislation are all in English language. Success in the language is the key to decent employment. The inability to choose a lingua-franca among our diverse Nigerian language has made English language to assume today in the Nigeria society. English language also is the language of business and commerce. Success is the language is the key to decent employment. The inability to choose a lingua-franca among our diverse Nigeria language has made English language to assume today in the Nigeria society. Given the importance of English language in education and as a language of wider communication the need for vocabulary development from the primary to the university can not be over emphasized. In recent years, there has been no increase in the number of secondary school students who are repeating the same class of their final examination due to some aspect of English such as comprehension, summary, essays, lexis and structure and especially vocabulary. In the editorial comment of daily time (1978), the nation was alarmed at the applying language examination paper in Nigeria more than half failed.

In Nigeria, there are many spoken language in other words, Nigeria is a multilingual country English is learnt as the second language in Nigeria because different entire groups have their own language which are important into their children as their mother tongue while English is learnt in school as the second language. English is used as a medium of central communication in Nigeria. The problems that students face in school in learning English language can be broadly divided into two. One of the problems is that some students find it difficult to internally interpret some words from their mother tongue into English, due to the fact that they are only brought up at home in mother tongues, so teachers find it difficult to pronounce words of English without the interference of their mother tongue of course, there are other problems in the areas of structure and expression.

Newspaper radio and television differently at various occasions have pointed out the fact that learning in English language has deteriorated in schools, due to the following factors; large in take in schools, insufficient teachers (qualified) and lack of conductive learning environment. This aspect of English language vocabulary demands to be looked into because according to Halfiner (1972). Words are facilitators of thinking and have power because they are labels for the concepts used in thinking. As a result of this inadequate vocabulary acquisition and knowledge, most of Nigerian graduates these days find it hard to communicate correctly in English language. This is so because, choosing the right words at the right time is difficult for them. To find the minimum number of words that could operate together in constructions capable of being made into the greatly variety of contexts has been the chief aim of these trying to simply enhance for learner. Various criteria have been employed in choosing the words the problem confronted in systematic teaching of English has been vocabulary selection.


Statement of the Problem

The vocabulary problems of second English learners. The problem of stake is to determine if the family background influences their acquisition of language, which would probably dictate how the students perform on their vocabulary.

The influence of mother tongue which causes problem in their vocabulary acquisition could emanate from first language (mother tongue) to them if a child is not exposed to second language between the age of 12 months to 5 years, such a child is likely to have problem in acquiring second language will interferes in the second language while speaking.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to explore the problems faced by studying in the area of vocabulary especially in the content area and lexicon. It find out whether student fully understand and accurately use certain variety especially where words are related to one another or when where words are related to one another or when there is possibility of confusion with mother tongues meanings.

Research Questions

  1. What is the level of students vocabulary acquisition
  2. How well can learners recognize difference between words of the family?
  • How well does learners use some vocabulary items correctly?

Significance of the Study

This study has a lot of significance to every sector that has to do learning both within and outside parents, teachers and policy makes educational manager. This study will examine various problems facing the teaching learning of vocabulary in our secondary schools as such it will be useful to teachers who will made aware of the problem area their learners, vocabulary learning and thereby they will plan their teaching towards building up the learner vocabulary. Parents too, especially the literate may be able to help their children in developing their vocabulary. Finally policy makers will also benefit from the kind of study in order to plan children learning.

Scope and Limitation of Study

The study covers only the S.S.II class in a few schools in Akure-South Local Government Area. We are also concerned with the aspect of vocabulary acquisition out the difficult aspects of language learning. English test will be distributed to the students in both schools to know the problems being faced in the learning of vocabulary as a major aspect of English language in Nigeria secondary schools.


  1. There are some lecturers that don’t use to speak correct vocabulary in the lecture room.
  2. The parents also have impact on how student don’t speak correct vocabulary.
  3. Some students also don’t speaks correct vocabulary because they often speak their first language
  4. Student don’t find it convenient and enjoyable to speak vocabulary correctly and often.


In this study the following assumptions were made for easy collection of data

  1. It is assumed that teachers of the same qualification have the same knowledge and as qualification have the same knowledge and as such as their work are the same.
  2. It is assumed that environment has no influence on the vocabulary problems of English language learners.


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Updated: March 2, 2018 — 7:03 am

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