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1.1 Background to the Study
This study is designed to look at causes of student’s difficulties in learning English language among senior secondary school students in Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State; Implications for language Educators. The study looks at the difficulties student encounter in the learning of English language and which could be the reason for their lack of proficiency in Oral and written English.
Learning is relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of exposure to condition in the environment. Also learning is an inference from some performance of the organism manifesting change of behavior, change in behavior must be permanent and this implies gain to the organism for his/her survival. However, the concept of learning is the relatively permanent change in behavior or capability that results from experience. It is concerned with relatively stable change that occurs in an individual behavior as a result of interaction with his environment. The reasons that cause student difficulty in English language learning are due to learners, lack of efficiency of the school, and the insufficient parents’ promotion of the language. Moreover, Alderman (2004), observes on the students’ poor performance in language learning affected from a lack of effort, lack of effective learning strategies, whereas a good language learner is a highly motivated student and a successful user of a large number of different strategies (Trawinski, 2005). So, teachers have to help them improve the motivational belief and language learning strategies in order to find ways that reach to their academic achievement.
English language teaching involves appropriate selection of graded materials which are within the ability level of the students concerned just like any other school subject. It also involves careful preparation of scheme of work and lesson plans with relevant details. The choice of method, techniques and aids must be suitable for the subject (English language).
Methods and techniques refer to the ways of giving information on how to get something or training a student in particular skills which he can then utilize for him or herself. This study is concerned with finding out the causes of student’s difficulty in learning English language in areas such as grammar, composition and oral English. The study is to find out measures to develop student language skills so that those difficulties will be minimized and to enable the students to communicate in English, write in it and gain mastery of it.
Teachers of English have to vary their teaching methods bearing in mind that there are individual differences with regards to teaching/learning processes. Some students are slow learners while others are fast learners. The teacher as a result of this has to derive a means of reaching the needs of the students in such situation.
By using a comparative approach of individual students’ and to identify the various difficulties that can be important for English language learning, with a view to finding possible solution to the difficulties identified.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
This study has been undertaken in order to survey some difficulties senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State face in learning English language and to look at implication for language Educators.
It has been observed that senior secondary school student experience difficulties in areas such as grammar-lexis and structure, composition-letter writing, oral English-comprehention to mention just a few. This could be the reason for very low proficiency in Oral and written English.
1.3. Research Question
The research questions for the study are to examine:
To what extent do:
1. Senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State have difficulties in Grammar.
2. Senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State have difficulties in Composition.
3. Senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State have difficulties in Oral English.
1.4. Objective of the Study
The following are the objective of this research which are to find out what are:
1. Those difficulties in Grammar faced by senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
2. Those difficulties in Composition faced by senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
3. Those difficulties in Oral English faced by senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
1.5. Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be relevant to the government, parents, teachers, language educators and students. It will relevant to the government in providing good working atmosphere through good communication skills, direct interpretation and better understanding of the use of language. To the parents, it will be relevant to them in reducing exam failure in their children which leads to school drop out, drug abuse and unemployment. It will be relevant to teachers in making the students understand what they are taught and pass examination effectively which will make parents send more children for effective learning.
It is hoped that the findings of the study will help the language users, journalist, news casters, and civil servants to have better service delivery as English language is the medium of communication. This is hoped to reduce the difficulties students face in learning English language among students of Wamakko Local Government Area of sokoto state.
1.6. Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The study is limited to finding out causes of difficulties faced by senior secondary school students of Wamakko Local Government Area of sokoto state in areas of grammar, composition and oral English with a view to finding out possible solutions to them. The schools are:
1. Government day Secondary School Wamakko
2. Government Day Secondary School Dundaye
3. Government Day Secondary School Arkilla
4. Government Technical College Farfaru
5. Government Girls College of Art, Science and Islamic Studies Arkilla
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