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The study sought to ascertain the relationship between the performance of students in English language and Social Studies. This was with a view of ensuring better performance in the two subjects. The study employed the survey research design. The population for the study consisted of all the Junior Senior Secondary School Students in Osun State, Nigeria. Stratified sampling technique was employed in selecting 800 students that were purposively selected in five local governments in Osun State using school types i.e. public and private schools, school locations i.e. rural and urban and gender i.e. male and female as stratum.
Two instruments were used to collect data for the study. They are: English Achievement Test (EAT) and Social Studies Achievement Test (SSAT). The reliability of the instruments yielded 0.74 and 0.86 respectively using Cronbach alpha. The instruments were analyzed using descriptive and t-test statistics. The results showed that there is a significant difference in students’ performance in English and Social Studies (t=13.809, P<0.05). Also, there is a significant difference in the performance in English and Social Studies across the 10 schools. (English X = 25.36, SD= 10.699; Social Studies X = 32.21, SD= 9.969). However, other variables in the study were found not to be significant.
It is therefore recommended among others that there should be consistent training and retraining of teachers for functional educational system in Nigeria. Opportunities should be given to teachers for professional training on their subject disciplines, teaching techniques and organizational techniques which could be achieved through workshops, seminars, internet browsing and extensive reading for personal development.
BACKGROUND TO STUDY
There is no doubt that both Social Studies and English Language have found their ways into the Nigerian School System. These have come to be accepted as school subjects with the primary responsibility of inculcating desirable values and civic responsibility in the learners. Consequently, schools are mandated to use English Language in teaching Social Studies as a means of developing in the learners the skills of Citizenship Education. It follows that the students need a reasonable mastering of English Language to be able to read, listen, grasp teachers’ explanation, express what they learnt accurately and understand Social Studies texts and workbooks. English is spoken as a first language by less than ten percent of the population and is the language of business and government. It is also one of the media of instruction usually used in schools although it is not the most widely spoken language at home. Learners’ ability to use English well will help in their performance in both Social Studies and English Language itself.
English is widely learnt as a second language. Both literate and illiterate parents alike want their children or wards to be knowledgeable in the language. English has become and will continue to be the mark of literacy in Nigeria for many years to come. This means that we cannot claim to be ignorant of the enormous role of English in Nigeria. It is much more prominent in the Education sector that in all other sectors in Nigeria. The reason being that, it is studied in Nigeria as a Second Language and the school provides the only viable formal settings in which it could be studied. Considering the status of English in the Education Sector, Afolayan (1977) remark that:
“There cannot be any preference at formal education where English cannot be used as the medium of instruction or at least taught as a subject. In certain places primary education begins with English as a medium of instruction and remains English medium throughout. In some others, primary education which begins in the first two or three years in a local language, is fully developed, completed and examined only in the English language. Secondary education is given and examined throughout in English. As would be expected, University Education is given and examined in the English language alone. This depicts the importance of English in Nigerian Schools today.” (p.14.)
According to Kenji (1996) English is the major language of news and information in the world. It is the language of business and government even in some countries where it is a minority language. However, it has been observed that some Nigerians demonstrate a very high level of proficiency and intelligibility in their spoken English while majority of them fall short of the required standard.
Social Studies and English Language instructions aimed at bringing about change in the behaviour of learners. The extent of the achievement of this aim will depend on the teachers’ ability as the facilitator of knowledge, the material he uses and the method he adopts to pass across his teaching. Aside from the method of teaching, the intellectual capability of the learner will equally be improved. Inspite of the uniqueness of the knowledge of English in Social Studies, there is the need to examine other variables in terms of gender, school location, school type as they affect students’ performance in English and Social Studies. Based on the above highlight, the research study is aimed at comparing the performance of students in English language and Social Studies.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Low level of academic performance of students over the years has been the concern of stakeholders and researchers in education. At Junior Secondary Schools level, students’ poor performance cut across almost all the compulsory subjects in which English and Social Studies are inclusive. It is therefore necessary to examine school variables such as school location, school type and gender as they affect students’ performance in the two key subjects. The study therefore sought to compare students’ performance in English and Social Studies based on the identified variables.
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The broad objective of the study is to make comparison of the academic performance of male and female students in english language. Specifically the study seeks to:
1. Determine if there is a difference in students’ performance in English and Social Studies
2. Determine if there is a difference in performance in English and Social Studies of students across schools.
3 Determine if there is a difference in the performance of male and female students in English and in Social Studies
4. Determine if there is a difference in the students’ performance in English and social science on the basis of school location
5. Determine if there is a difference in the school types of students and their performance in English and Social Studies
The research questions for this study are:
1. Is there a difference in students’ performance in English and Social Studies?
2. Is there a difference in performance in English and Social Studies of students across schools?
3. Is there a difference in the performance of male and female students in English and in Social Studies?
4. Is there a difference in the students’ performance in English and social science on the basis of school location?
5. Is there a difference in the school types of students and their performance in English and Social Studies?
The following null hypotheses were tested:
1. There is no significant difference in students’ performance in English and Social Studies
2. There is no significant difference in performance in English and Social Studies of students across schools.
3a. There is no significant difference in the performance of male and female students in English
3b. There is no significant difference in the performance of male and female students in Social Studies
4a. There is no significant difference in the students’ performance in English on the basis of school location
4b. There is no significant difference in the students’ performance in Social Studies on the basis of school location
5a. There is no significant difference in the school types of students and their performance in English
5b. There is no significant difference in the school types of students and their performance in Social Studies
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The education of women holds the key to all elements in which depends population control, family health, personal hygiene, nutrition receipting to innovation and educational motivation of children. Therefore, educated females in english will help in upbringing their children to become significantly educated.
However, if females seemed to be able to fill in their quarter in the labour market, educated or knowledgeable english girls will take part in the development of nation. This will encourage them to become expert and ready to teach in institutions of learning.
SCOPE OF STUDY
Area of comparison between male and female students performance in english in senior secondary schools covered of all the Junior Senior Secondary School Students in Osun State, Nigeria.
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