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1.1 Background of the Study
The school education system of the 21st century is greatly indebted for steering away the act of imparting education through the play group.Fredrick Frobel (1782-1852) developed the kindergarten or children’s garden is also considered to be the inventor of the play way method of education. The essence of childhood is to have endless opportunity for play.A child is happiest when engrossed in play and play can happen in different from: imitation of family members, to play with Toys or playing tag, hide seek or simply running about in groups, these create experience as a rules for using words.Jean piaget states that the way children form their own concepts through experience, assimilate existing concepts such as cultural value, norms, and beliefs from adults and further create and develop their own concept as they mature toward adulthood.
A child growing in Nigeria is surrounded by a complex language situation. Besides, having to master his own and often a second language, he also requires a thorough command of the English Language if he is to be educated in the modern sense of the world. The demand for English Language in countries formerly associated with Britain has been growing since their independence. Thus, English Language has grown and spread all over the world following colonial expansion, education and technology.
As stressed in the National Policy on Education (2004) for the achievement of Educational objectives, emphasis is laid on the medium of instruction in the primary school to be initially the mother tongue of the language of the immediate environment and at a later stage, English Language. Fafumoa, Macauley and Sokoya (1989) stated that the play way method of teaching makes it possible for learners to give free reins to their thoughts and express same in creative language, thus paving the way of meaningful education. They also state that other advantages of the play way method are that of having free knowledge from the preserves of the elites few, given a greater number of people access to education and personal development. The importance of the concept formation in learning process should not be treated with a wave of hand. It helps the child to be bound psychologically with his family even when outside the home, thereby making the learning environment a familiar-place which naturally would have been strange to him. He expresses himself easily in his play way method of learning. It is expected that this familiar environment will facilitated the learning process and hence the acquisition of English Language by primary school children.
As children learn through purposeful quality play experience, they build critical basic skills for cognitive development and academic achievement. These include verbalization, language comprehension, vocabulary, imagination, questionings, problem solving, observation, co-operation skills and the perspectives others. Through play, children learn a set of skills, social skill, creativity, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving and imagination. It is argued that these skills better learned through play than through flash cards or academic drills.
According to Roberta Michnick Golin Koffs, (1884) the level of children’s play rises when adults play with them. The variety of play children’s engage increases when adult join in. English language is used in communication of information through symbols according to definite and systematic rules for combining them, by integrity series of features that group together to form a class of ideals or object, in that way classifying information into meaningful categories.
English Language at present serves as “Lingua Franca” for the various ethnic groups in Nigeria which are characterized by diverse languages and dialects. This adoption has helped to break the language barrier and forestall any problems that should have been inherent in it. It has a great political significance, a factor for the growth of a wider community unidentified by tribalism, creed or religion which often create division in the country. The English Language gives the country a national outlook and fills the gap left by an indigenous common language.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Play group and concept formation interaction is effective machinery for learning English language. Since English language was adopted as the official language in Nigeria and its subsequent entrenchment in the national policy on education as the language of study at a later stage in primary schools, children’s find it difficult to pronounce English language sound and word due to the absence of play group. This has prompted the researcher to go into investigation on this topic.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study investigates the areas of interference of the play way methods and concept formation in learning of English Language.
1. Determined the play way method of teaching have any effect on the learning of English language in primary school.
2. Examine the concept formation in teaching have any effect on the learning of English language in primary school.
1.4 Significance of the Study
There are indications that III the foreseeable future, English Language will continue to be the language of administration and education in Nigeria.
It is however hoped that this study will be helpful in solving some of the educational problems in English Language learning. It will go a long way in helping teachers in providing ways to overcome mother tongue interference in the learning of English Language and pupils will have the opportunity to improve their English within the school under controlled conditions.
This study will also be useful to future researchers who could modify the present work or carry out the same work using a different population.
1.5 Research Questions
a. Does play way method of teaching have any effect on the learning of English language in primary school in Uruan Local Government Area.?
b. Does concept formation in teaching have any effect on the learning of English language in primary schools in Uruan local Government Area.?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
a. There is no significant effect of play way method of teaching on the performance of primary school pupils in English language.
b. There is no significant effect of concept formation of teaching on the performance of primary school pupils in English language.
It is assumed that the pupils are in the developmental stage (period of concrete operational stage) (from 7-12 years) in all the sampled schools in Uruan Local Government Area. The pupils are taught by either male or female N.C.E. teachers.
1.8 Scope of the Study
Although some studies have been carried out to ascertain the effect of play way method of teaching and concept formation on the learning English Language, a need still arises to find out the problems inherent in the acquisition of the language in primary school. Consequently, this study is limited to the pupils in primary schools in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. This is so because, the effect interference is expected to be more pronounced in these stages of elementary learning of the English Language.
The problems the researcher encountered during the conduct of this research work in some of the primary schools in Uruan was that the cost of transportation from one school to the other was much due to the distance where the schools were located and the researcher also met with the uncooperative attitude of some of the respondents and it was somehow challenging to me.
1.10 Definition of Terms
1. Play way method of teaching: Is an inductive method where teaching occurs gradually with fun and frolic which also nourishes the language proficiency effortlessly.
2. Concept formation on learning of English language: Is the process by which we learn to form class of things, event , people and so forth.
3. English language: Is use in communication of information through symbols according to definite and systematic rules for combining them, by integrity to form a class of ideals.
Mother Tongue: This refers to the language of one’s parents.
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