Although English language is now the language of government, business
and commerce, education, the mass media, literature and internal as
well as external communication, there are still problems in the teaching
of English as a second language in secondary schools. Students presume
that English language is a difficult language to learn and so do not
make effort to learn it. Teachers also find it difficult to cope with
the heavy demand required for effective teaching and learning of English
language. This research work was carried out using the twenty secondary
schools in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu state. Six boys
secondary schools, eight girls secondary schools and six co-educational
schools. The target population was one thousand, eight hundred and fifty
four students in JS III and one thousand, eight hundred and eighty
eight students in SS III and one hundred and five English teachers. Ten
schools and two hundred students from both junior and senior secondary
schools were used for the study. Forty teachers were also selected and
analyzed using mean. Based on the findings some recommendations were
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Origin of English
language: English language originated in the North Western Europe, going
by the history of the English. It is therefore said to have involved
from the Germanic branch of Indo-European language family. Apart from
having the widest geographical spread, the indo-European language family
is spoken by the greatest number of people. The language was first
spoken by various tribes in Denmark and Northern Germany.
(2008) said that, the word English is used to denote the name of people.
By the time of the Northern conquest (1066) English was the name for
all the inhabitant of English.
Of all the heritage left behind in
Nigerian by the British at the end of the colonial administration,
probably none is more important than the English. English language is
now the language of government, internal, business and commerce,
education, the mass media, ENEH (2008) observed that, English was the
name for all the inhabitants of England. He also observed that English
language is the name for all subject in Nigeria except Igbo language.
This observation is a reality because since we gained independence from
the British people, English has been enjoying a high status within the
English language is not only used in Nigeria but
also has domains of usage in international levels too. Paul (2005) said
that, English is flexible enough to be used for the most trivals
conversation or for transacting the most important affairs of the day.
Thus, it is English language that gives Nigeria opportunity to take part
in the deliberation and decisions in international organization such as
united nation organization common wealth of nation, world heath
In Nigeria, English serves several purposes that are
very important to her existence. It is the lingua franca of the country
and the official language in the society due to multi ethnic groups that
speak different language. For this diversity of language, Nigeria needs
one language that will bridge the linguistic barriers among its
component states. The choice of such language (English) has been made
for Nigeria by the British colonial administration; Uchechukwu (2008)
observed that, English is spoken by more than a quarter of a billion
people. It is becoming increasingly popular as a second language for
non-English speaking people throughout the work. Thus, English is
regarded as a second language. Nigeria civil service, government
establishment armed forces, the public and judiciary system English is
the prescribed language of communication among the various ethnic groups
with different language background. In social gathering, English is
used among people for social interaction.
Uchechukwu (2008) observed
that, apart from English language having the widest geographical spread,
that the language is spoken by the greatest number of people. It is
becoming increasingly popular as a second language for non-English
speaking people throughout the word. It is a language that uses more
than a million symbols. It is flexible enough to be used for the most
trivia conversation or for transaction. The most important affairs of
the day, it can be used for recording scientific data with accuracy and
precision or for creating a poem expressing a beautiful thought in words
that are pleasing to the ear.
Literature books so far produced in
Nigeria are written in English. This includes, works of Wole Soyinka,
Mrs. Edith Eze, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo and so on. They are
highly claimed internationally.
In education, it is used as a means
of instruction in school and it is introduced as a school subject in the
university level. School subjects in the first year in primary school
up to the university level. School subject like, biology, history,
government, mathematics and so on are thought in English. This means
that scientific knowledge of the word is through English language, which
he learn in the school. Thus, English language plays a role in our
society. In education homes, English is used as the common language to
impact knowledge to younger ones. Gradually the younger ones will
develop fluent speech in English from their parents.
It is true that
English is a lingua franca, the main official language and the second
language (L2) for Nigerian children, but only a small percentage of the
Nigerian population have access to it and use it in communication. And
the small percentage of the people who use English in Nigeria, only
negligible proportion of them may be said to speak and writes Standard
English like the educated native speakers of the language. As Anibueze
(2000) observed that at a pre-school age, native speakers have usually
acquired unconsciously the basic sentence structure of English language.
It may not necessarily be the standard language, but it is one in which
the child is relatively competent. Since a large number of Nigeria
population who use English language acquire it through the form school
systems, the poor standard of their English can be ascribed in school,
especially secondary school by those concern teachers and student who
sat for general certificate of education examination (G.C.E) at
community High School Ekwegbe (C.H.S.) in October 2009 and the data
collected confirmed that ninety five percent of the students book the
examination because of failure in English language.
Related to poor
teaching and learning strategies adopted in school. Onyejeli 2008 states
five basic principles of learning/teaching English language. Firstly,
the teacher should be very clear to what he/she is teaching the students
because, it is a regular usage. Secondly, the teacher should start the
teaching of English from listening and speaking before reading and
writing will follow. Thirdly, the teacher should tell them the important
of materials because they are learning it as a second language.
Fourthly, the teacher should tell them the important of revision of
skill learned to identify mistakes. Fifthly the teacher when teaching
should create much time and patience because he/she is teaching English
language to a second language learner.
Infact, the status of English
language in Nigeria and the secondary school have attracted the problems
of the researchers to investigate the problems of teaching and learning
The method of language teaching and learning strategies,
the method and strategies used by some teachers of English pose
problems to the learners of the language by the students teachers of
English should understand the meaning of the word “teach” that is to
acquire knowledge or to perform an act. Any methods used by the teacher
should aim at enabling the child acquire knowledge of doing something.
There are eight ways by which a teacher can make his student acquire
knowledge, each slightly different from the other but all tending to
produce the same results in varying degrees. He can make him learn it,
he can inform him, instruct him, train him, lecture him or educate him.
Each approach has its peculiar connotation and its effect on the
relationship between the teacher and the pupils.
The methods learn
it puts efforts on the student and makes the achievement more
long-lasting and more effective. The other methods, especially “teach”
put the responsibility on the teacher. This is why it is necessary for
teacher to learn how to use different material to teach in the
classroom. English language should be practiced for effective learning.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
is a wide spread feeling that the standard of English language is
rapidly a great problems to the educationist especially specialist
teachers of English language. The student find it difficult to the
English language as a medium of expression in many social gatherings or
in their academic purposes. They make a lot of grammatical mistakes when
speaking or writing English.
We have shortage of specialist
teachers in the educational system cannot be over-emphasized. The
successful implementation of the curriculum in each of the school
subjects which depends to a large extent on availability of specialist
teachers in the English has led to employment of graduates from other
disciplines such as mass communication to teach English language in some
secondary schools. This constitutes a serious problem to the teaching
and learning of English language in secondary schools.
most important factor in the teaching learning process is the teacher,
there is a great need to train more teachers in English language.
Teachers provide back ground experiences for their students and also
determine their academic achievement.
Hence the need arises to
ascertain mother tongue, physical and psychological problems,
insufficient time allotted to English time table, inadequate supply of
teaching material and shortage of specialist teachers of English hinder
the teaching and learning of English as a second language in secondary
schools in Igbo Etiti local government area of Enugu state.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study includes
i. To know if there is any problem in the time allotted to the teaching and learning of English language as a second language.
Find out how lack of teaching and learning material have contributed
problems in the teaching and learning of English language.
iii. To ascertain the effect of shortage of specialist teachers on the teaching of English language as a second language.
1.4 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
The study on the
problem of teaching and learning of the English as a second language in
secondary school in Igbo Etiti local government area of Enugu state will
help the teacher of English to know the strategies to adopt in.
their acquisition of skill in English language through this study too,
the educational policy makers and the administration will know the
resources to be provided in school so as to improve the teaching and
learning of English.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
Does insufficient time allotted to the teaching and learning of English
language in the school time table affect the mastery of English
ii. Does inadequate supply of teaching materials militate against the teaching and learning of English as a second language?
iii. Does shortage of specialist teachers hinder the teaching and learning of English as a second language?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The researchers limited
their study to junior secondary III and senior secondary III in twenty
secondary schools, six boys secondary schools, eight girls secondary
schools and six co-educational schools in Igbo Etiti local government
area of Enugu state. The problems include; mother tongue interference,
inadequate supply of instructional materials method used by the teachers
to teach the language shortage of specialist teachers, student physical
and psychological problems and insufficient time allotted to English
language in the school time table.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the course of the
researchers work, the researchers encountered some problems. One of the
problems was uncooperative attitude of some respondents. The researcher
found it difficult to gain access to the class room to distribute their
lessons or limit the time for their lessons. Some teachers and students
were reluctant in filling the questionnaire and this affected their
responses. The researchers are living far away from the sampled schools
and could not travel frequently to the schools to be present when some
teachers responded to the questionnaire since some of them choose to do
it at their convenient time.
The presence of the researchers would have helped to clarify some misconception to the respondents.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
PROBLEMS: It can be defined as something that is very difficult to deal with or understand.
TEACHING: It is a way of given lessons in a class to a learner. It is also a way to show someone how to do something.
ENGLISH: It is the language of England, use in many varieties throughout the word.
This can be said to be human or the communication of all creature
through the structural use of word. It is also a system of symbols and
rules for writing something.
SECOND: Learn as an imitation or learned from others.
SECONDARY: School of children from the age of 11 to 16 or 18.
LEARNER: One who gain knowledge or skill of future changes in good behaviour.