The objective of this research work was to find out the problems and
prospects of teaching English Language in Secondary Schools in Enugu
South Local Government Area of Enugu State. This research work as an
investigation to find data for this study, a total of two hundred (200)
respondents were selected from a population of one thousand people.
After carrying out the research, the research found that the teaching
and learning of English Language in Secondary Schools in Enugu South has
a lot of problems which include:
(a) Lack of qualified English teachers in those schools.
(b) Lack of language laboratories in the schools
(c) Inadequate use of teaching materials and
(d) Lack of conducive environment for learning
(e) Lack of incentive and lack instructional material or teaching resources etc.
entire problems affect the teaching and learning of English Language in
Secondary Schools sin those schools in Enugu South.
English is one of the major
languages out of about 5000 estimated languages spoken in the world.
About 200 years ago, English was simply the language of less than
Today, however, English is used by more than
300million people and second only to Chinese as regards the number of
people using a particular language. Oga R.O (2007), ascertained that
English Language is one of the most influential and fast growing
languages spoken across the globe.
One fifth of the earth’s land surface use English either as native tongue or official language.
the entire World’s Languages English is the most widely studies
language, especially in areas where it is not native. Today, English is
used in several countries in the American continent including the United
States of America and Canada, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa,
Australia, Nigeria and Ghana, including other countries in the West
African, Sub continent. Though English was actually the language of
colonization in these countries like India they have since remained the
official languages in most of the colonized territories.
countries including Japan and China according to Udemba S.C (2007),
English Language is usually taught as the chief foreign language.
about half of the world’s scientific and technical journals, as well as
newspapers, are printed in English. During the cold war the former
Soviet Union used English in their propaganda broadcasts across the
developing countries in Africa and Asia. The spread of English is
further enhanced through the establishment of British Council and United
States information service by the British and U.S governments
respectively with centers and libraries in various countries including
All these factors have therefore made it easy for anyone
who understands and speaks English, and moves around major cities in the
world to communicate effectively with one another.
Anibueze (2007), English Language is a lingua franca. As a lingua
franca, it is the language for unification. It is highly established so
that the people of varied language will have purposes to relate together
maturely and work in union. For example, Hausa man may comfortably stay
and effectively speak with a Yoruba man or an Igbo man, advice versa.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The English Language
has remained a very important tool for socialization and bureaucracy
activities in Nigeria, since the days of colonialism. Then, English was
taught to their native servants just to equip them for domestic
It was only natural that emphasis wad laid on spoken
English only and not either on written English or both of them. However,
with the emergence of a new class of people, with time, the civil
servants, and their new roles in the colonial administration, the
teaching and learning of the language took another forms:
English become prominent. Edward W.T. (2003) ascertained that this was
very important as Nigeria which is a British began to interact with
other British Colonies and citizens in Africa.
Today English is the
language for the international community, According to Ezugu (1995), the
English Language is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is
used as either a primary or secondary language in many countries. It is
the Language of education administration, law, World trade,
International diplomacy as well as that of pop culture.
therefore worth while acquiring mastery of this very important language
for whoever does not, has deprived himself of access to the world’s
brightest of idea and modern technologies.
In Nigeria today English
remains the language of pedagogy, students can hardly make commendable
progress in their studies without adequate mastery of English, through
which most of the courses in primary, secondary and tertiary
institutions are taught and examined.
This calls for a system that
would be both rudimentary and functional in its approach. This is
important for according to Umaru (2005) as a student learn a new
language, very often he does not know how to express what he wants to
say in writing. Since the student uses a foreign language as a medium of
communication, he has to start from the scratch to learn the rudiments
of the language. It is natural then that this is the junction where the
various problems arising from the teaching and learning of the language
meet the need to do so properly.
Language Teaching, according to
Oluikpe (2003) the basic criteria for assessing students’ proficiency in
writing and speak are generally control of the basic grammatical
categories such as punctuation, tense, number, gender etc.
Teaching in Nigeria had fraught with deficiencies. The major reason for
these deficiencies is our English teachers who are not well-trained only
but are also non-professionals. And even if they are some what trained,
their training is not up to work. A situation where a teacher of
language has no mastery of it grammatical categories, as we see today,
does not mean well for the system. Also writing on these problems facing
language teaching, Regneret al (2001) ascertained that “many good
teachers are adoptive rather than rigid in their approach to teaching
children and only loosely base on their instruction on a given method.
Language is the official medium of communication to humans. It is one of
the things that differentiate man from animals. Signs and symbols have
no International understanding and may be difficult to understand.
Picture, painting and sculptures cannot be read by all. This makes
language superior to all of them because it is easily understood and
generally used. According to Ozohili Oby (2007) language literally means
the “tongue” a human organ used in speaking. According to Ozohili
(2007), traditionally, language is defined as a system of arbitrary
vocal symbols by which thoughts are communicated from one being to
Language Learning: Human beings has the ability to learn and
to understand and think about things. He has the capacity to gain and
use knowledge. He can as well explore situations, collect information,
plan and execute the plans. Man’s high intelligence has also enable him
to evolve a level of linguistic communication by which life can be
regulated. Theodore M.C, (2001) stated that language learning requires
thoroughly time, patience and practice. It cannot be done solely in
school with the large class but requires few minutes daily practice for
Therefore, pupils and students should be
encouraged to practice this language in their leisure time inorder to
master the language as required.
Methodology: The methodology here
refers to the method by which the teachers presents his/her materials to
the learners and engages them in the task at hand. Methodology is very
vital in every teaching-learning situation.
For according to Robert
.M., (2003) for effective teaching and learning to take place, the
skillful teacher needs to use the many different methods and techniques
at his command.
Even though there is a great diversity in teaching
methods and techniques, there is no one of them that can be regarded as
the best for every teaching situation. This is however assumed that a
carefully designed teaching method can work wonders in making learning
The Teaching Materials: The teaching materials
involves the dominance of textbooks, dictionaries, chalkboards,
workbooks, (which are rarely used) and posters in the teaching of
English Language in Secondary Schools in Enugu South Local Government
Area of Enugu State has been counter – productive.
Modern media such
as audio and video tapes, language laboratories, programmed texts, flash
cards, computers, magazines and newspapers are not in use. These
findings agree with those of kolawole (1998) who found that the teaching
of English Language is bedeviled with many problems such as inadequate
of adequate and useful resources.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The English Language
is our cultural window into the world of heterogeneous culture and
traditions. It is a gate of all higher intellectual pursuit. It is our
medium of instruction in schools from the kindergarten to university
Therefore, students at the secondary school levels are
expected to communicate effectively in writing using the English
It is however regrettable that the teaching of this
important tool of both effective education and national/international
socialization at secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government Area
of Enugu State, just like in other secondary schools in Nigeria had been
suffering some defects and neglects alike.
Lack of qualified teacher
equipped to groom the students seems to be the major problems in the
schools – Text books are constantly changed thereby causing disjointed
Other instructional materials are also not
available. Language Laboratory to aid the acquisition and master of
English Sounds is a strange story to both the teachers and students in
Above all, mother tongue interference poses a debilitating
danger to the prospect of good English acquisition in those secondary
Since the students first acquired their mother tongue before
learning the English Language this leads to grammatical errors in time
of their performance as these vernacular patterns are different from
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The major aim of this
study is to determine the problems facing the teaching and learning of
the English Language in the Secondary Schools in Enugu South Local
Government Area and possible prospects to that specifically, the study
(i) Identify and classify these problems
(ii) Determine the magnitude of these problems
(iii) Make recommendation for more language.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Any academic research embarked upon must be aimed towards achieving a particular goal which will be significant to the society.
on this, the findings of this study will provide us with the basic
information on the nature and causes of these problems, which will be of
a great importance to teach the students in Enugu South educational
zone. Therefore, they will go along way in improving teachers teaching
method and students standard in both written and spoken English, so as
to enhance good performance of the students in examinations. It will
help teachers to know the areas in which these problems occur mostly and
frequently and then improve their teaching strategies.
The findings of the study will help authors and textbook publishers to know the areas to stress the subject.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions have been formulated to guide the study:
(a) Do Secondary School teachers use instructional resources frequently in teaching the English Language?
(b) Do the English Language teaches use appropriate methods in teaching English Language frequently?
Do Secondary School students in Enugu South Local Government Area learn
English Language in environment conducive to learning?
(d) Do you think that the existing condition can be improved upon?
1.6 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study covered the
following: the problems of teaching English Language, the methods and
techniques of teaching English in Secondary Schools, an examination of
problems encountered by teachers in their classes.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In consequence with
the topic of this project which is “problems and prospects of teaching
English Language in Secondary Schools in Enugu South Local Government
Area of Enugu State”. The researcher has no intention to study other
Schools outside the given Local Government Area. Efforts made in the
past improving these problems will not receive attention for treatment
here since the existence of the problems prove them ineffective.
the major focus would be on problems encountered by teachers in
teaching the course. Consequently, students’ experiences would be
treated referentially, while teachers become the main guinea pig.
1.8 DEFINITION OF THE TERMS
The following words
and phrases which form the foundation for this study are hereby
explained for the effective comprehension of this research work:
Problems and prospects: Problems, for the purpose of this study refers
to those situations whose presence affects the smooth teaching of
English in Secondary Schools in Enugu South Local Government Area.
Prospects also refers to situations that could facilitate the process.
Language Teaching and Learning: With reference to English Language,
this means the whole activities that surround the process of acquiring
English as second language by students in Enugu South Local Government
(iii) Methodology: This means the various systematic approaches
in language teaching. Methodology is the method by which the teacher
presents his material to the learners and engages then in the task at
(iv) Instructional materials: These are closely associated with
the selection of teacher or student activities are the necessary
materials that will aid and facilitate learning.
These can motivate students and serves as effective ways to explain and illustrate subject content.
materials include apparatus, chemicals, textbooks, specimens, charts,
audio visual aids, models and other items for individual and group use.