INSTRUCTIONAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE POOR PERFORMANCE IN SCHOOL CERTIFICATE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BY STUDENTS IN LAGOS STATE

INSTRUCTIONAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE POOR PERFORMANCE IN SCHOOL CERTIFICATE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BY STUDENTS IN LAGOS STATE

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ABSTRACT

This study highlights the impact of using English as the language of instructional materials on students‟ academic performance in secondary schools particularly contrasting schools in lagos state  in Nigeria. English was used to examine the differences and similarities in students‟ performances.

The theoretical framework to guide this study includes: Vygotsky theory which examines the importance of language and learning in creating meaning and linking new ideas. The zone of proximal development is also featured by Vygotsky with the aim to promote effective learning. The self-worth theory assumes that success is valued while failure is relates to low ability these are criteria of personal worth. The Problem-posing pedagogy promotes education as a tool of liberation, democracy and empowerment.

The study mainly used qualitative approach in data collection, analysis and presentation. Quantitative approach was only used to present statistical data. Data was obtained through the use of interviews, observation and documentary review. The study adopted a multiple-case study and content analysis was used for data analysis.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Teaching is communication. In a good communication, there are three important aspects. These include the person giving the information, the message that is to be passed and the receivers.

According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, instructional refers to the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of teaching and learning experiences. The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner defining the end goal of instruction and creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition of knowledge. Instruction may be aimed at teaching learners problems solving skills, thinking and reasoning skills including perception memory, language etc. many would agree that people learn better when they can build on what they already understand known as “schemes” but the more a person has to learn in a shorter amount it is to process that information in working memory.

Dick and Carcy (2004), presented an instructional model which addressed instruction as an entire system, focusing on the inter-relationship between contest, content, learning and instruction. According to Han, the component such as the instructor, learners, materials, instructional activities, delivery system, learning and performance environments interacts with each other and work together to bring about the desired student learning outcomes.

Horaby (2001), defined problem as anything that is difficult to deal with or to understand, therefore the problem associated with the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning processes could be centered on its misuse with the set objectives. It could be regarded as obstacles against the smooth process of communication with the learners. According to Ashby (2001), performance refers to how well or badly somebody do something; meanwhile instructional problem affects the academic performance of the students. If the processes used in communicating with the students is not smooth or the instructional material is misuse with the set objective, then the students will perform negatively. Instructional problems therefore are those obstacles that pose difficulty in dealing with in the process of communicating skills, attitudes and values to the learner.

These obstacles which among others include:

Methodologies: According to Abdullahi (2009), methodologies employ in any teaching matters in that it acts as a driver that drives the instructions to the learner.

Meanwhile if wrong methodology is employ to a particular instruction while teaching it present confusion to the learner.

Wrong usage of the Instructional Materials with the set Objective: The set objective is a point of focus of the teacher while teaching. Akinsoba (2009) added that the usage of instructional material should be done in accordance with the set objective otherwise it leads the learners far from what they ought to understand on a particular topic.

Improvisation of Instructional Materials: According to Dahar, M.A., Faize, F.A., Nywaz, A. and Dahar, R.T., (2010), improvisation is making something or someone using whatever is available usually because you do not have what you really need. It presents obstacle to communicating skills, attitudes and values improvisation does not suit the topic because improvisation are made when there is no instructional materials. Okeke (2009) stressed on the need to provide adequate instructions for the teaching and learning of English language.

Lack of Instructional Materials: Some of the topics being treated or thought in English Language do not lend themselves to usage of instructional materials. Onuigbo (2003) outline some of the topics in English Language that do not lend themselves to instructional materials, these include word stress, sentence stress, intonation and the second system of English. Nelson-Jones, R. (1996) published an influential taxonomy of what he termed the three domains of learning; cognitive (what one knows or think), psychomotor (what one does physically) and affective (what one feels or the attitude one has). These taxonomies as stated by him are what instructional material touches, so any topic that does not have instructional materials cannot reflect to the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain of the learners. Sweller (2006), measured the effects of working memory load, and found that lack of instructional materials has a direct effect on the performance of the learners.

Language of Instruction: The language used while teaching with instructional materials matters. Langdon (1998) added that the outcomes of this instruction may be directly observable and scientifically misused or completed and assumed when it is used with wrong language. Languages of instruction have far reading implications on the performance of the students in various areas. One of the areas is in School Certificate English language. Poor performances have been recorded in School Certificate English Language in recent times. According to Richard (1999) the poor performance of students could be attribute to misuse of instructions, wrong application of methodologies to reflect to cognitive, psychomotor and Affective domains of the learners. It will not be out of place for one to blame these poor performances on the instructional process. Poor performance in school certificate English language is an unacceptable development in the students’ carrier.

In this study, instructional problems associated with the poor performance of student in school certificate English language will be determine, with particular reference to those in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Statement of the Problems

The aim of instruction is to inculcate into learners, the ability to build on what they already understand. Instructional problems are those obstacles that pose difficulties in dealing with in the process of communication skills, attitudes and values to the learners. The problems which among others include; the language of instruction, methodologies, lack of instructional materials with the set objectives and the problem of improvisation of instructional materials; These problems effect of the academic performance of the students. It was on this ground that the researchers choose to write on the instructional problems associated with the poor performance in school certificate English language by students in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out, the instructional problems associated with the poor performance in English Language by students in Enugu North. Specially, the study aims to find out:

1.                 The extent to of students participation in English lessons.

2.                 To examine the methodologies while teaching English Language

3.                 The extent to which lack of instructional materials pose problem in teaching of English Language.

4.                 To suggest some coping strategies to improve performance in English Language.

Significance of the Study

The usefulness of this research work in the educational system cannot be over emphasized. If the result of the study is properly utilized, it is going to be of benefit to the students, teachers and policy makers.

The research work will help to educate students on the instructional problems associated in teaching and learning English Language.

The study will disclose to the teachers the obstacles that pose problem in dealing within the process of communicating skills, attitude and values to the learner.

The study will also disclose the topics that do not have instructional material, so that the government can help and make provision of such materials.

Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the instructional problems associated with the poor performance in school certificate English language by students in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.

1.                 What is the extent of students participation in English lessons.

2.                 What are the  methodologies used by teachers while teaching English Language

3.                 To What extent does which lack of instructional materials pose problem in teaching of English Language.

4.                 What are the coping strategies that can to improve performance in English Language.


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