The teaching and learning of English Language is very important in
our society today. This is because of the various roles it plays in the
geo-political structure of the country. In Nigeria, English Language is
used for communication, education, economic and social purposes. In the
school system, English Language is not only taught as a subject but it
is also the core subject by which over school subject is being taught.
Despite the above, less attention is given to the grammatical aspect
of English in the primary school. Today, the nature of teaching and
learning of English grammatical structure in the primary school has
become area of great interest to teachers, researchers, and policy
makers because through it the acquisition of the four language skills
(listening, speaking, reading and writing) is greatly enhanced.
In view of the above, grammatical structure which entails English
tenses, parts of speech, punctuation, concord, clauses and phrases, is
of immense importance to the teaching, learning and mastery of English
language among primary school pupils. Therefore it must not only be
taught to the pupils, but it should be taken seriously at the primary
school level since primary education is a better foundation on which the
Looking however at what is applicable in some selected primary
schools in Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the
general practice by both teachers and pupils towards the teaching and
learning of English grammatical structure is not encouraging. Emphasis
has shifted from learning the grammar of the language to teaching of
writing and reading comprehension, the use of past common entrance
examination question papers, teaching of spellings, dictation etc
instead of adequate instruction/explanation on the aspects of English
grammatical structures which is much needed by the pupils.
Lack of trained/qualified teachers, inadequate materials (textbooks
and teaching aids), poor classroom facilities, ambiguity of some English
syllabi, inadequate evaluation of teacher’s work by the supervisory
authority, the teacher’s inability to properly evaluate pupils’ work on
grammar, are all contributory factors to pupils’ poor performance in not
only grammatical structure but other aspects of English language at
Therefore the teaching and learning of English language in the
primary school should be to ensure that pupils have good knowledge and
mastery of the grammatical structures and the ability to use these
effectively for a better improvement in English language. This is what
has actually prompted the need for this research.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem to be investigated in “An evaluative study of the
teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in some primary
The research work is aimed at identifying the causes of pupils’ poor
performance in using English structural items correctly. As a result of
this, and other problems, this research will specifically investigate
i) How pupils in the primary schools are motivated to learn and use English grammatical structures.
ii) The methods and techniques employed by teachers in the
teaching of English structural items in the primary school and the
effectiveness of these methods and techniques.
iii) The types of materials (textbooks/teaching aids) used by
the teachers and how relevant these materials are to the teaching and
learning of English grammatical structures.
iv) The types of teachers employed to teach English language in the primary school.
v) The areas of difficulty faced by teachers and pupils in
the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the
vi) Suggest how best to improve the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this research are:
1. Find out how English grammatical structures are being taught in the primary school.
2. Address the various challenges faced by teachers and
learners of English especially in the aspects of grammatical structures.
3. Make educational planners, language policy makers,
curriculum developers and educational administrators to be aware of what
is happening in the field (class room).
4. Identify problem areas in the teaching and learning
English grammatical structures in the primary schools and to proffer
solutions to such identified problems.
5. Assess and evaluate the quality of teachers teaching
English and the materials used in the teaching of English grammatical
structures whether the materials are adequate, relevant or not.
6. Finally this research work will suggest and recommend
some measures for improving the standard of English language teaching
and learning with special focus on grammatical structures at the primary
There has been great and serious concern from parents, teachers and
educational bodies about the declining standard of pupils’ performance
in English language. It is because of this that the researcher sets out
to test the following hypotheses:
i) That pupils in the primary school show
non challant attitude to the learning of English grammatical structures
due to its rules and technicalities.
ii) That some of the teachers teaching English are not qualified to teach English.
iii) That some teachers use methods that are
inappropriate and inadequate for pupils comprehension in the teaching of
English grammatical structures.
iv) That there is general neglect by both teachers and pupils on the aspect of grammatical structures.
v) That some English textbooks are
inadequate, outdated and inappropriate for pupils’ learning background.
1.5 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
Due to the large size of the study area and the number of primary
schools availably, the researcher finds it uneasy to cover the whole
primary schools in the local government area. Few schools are therefore
randomly selected for the purpose of this study, namely:
i) L.G.E.A Primary School, U/Sarki
ii) L.G.E.A Primary School, U/Rimi
iii) L.G.E.A Primary School, Kaduna
iv) L.G.E.A Primary School, Kawo
v) L.E.A Primary School, U/Shanu.
vi) L.G.E.A Primary School, M/Gari.
This research is also going to centre on the teaching and learning of
English grammatical structures in the above primary schools only.