THE USE OF ICT IN TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE

THE USE OF ICT IN TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

There has been increasing interest in introducing innovations such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into the teaching and learning of English Language especially when the Nigeria Education and Research Development Council (NERDC) introduced a modern curriculum into the school system. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) involves the use of computers and other electronic devices to process information. Nworgu (2008) stated that ICT refers to a whole range of facilities or technologies involved in information processing and electronic communication to be handled with skills and expertise, for effective achievement and realization of its potentials in Education. In the view of Valasidou (2008), ICT is an innovative instrumental tool that enables the educators to modify the teaching and learning processes in order to increase students’ interest. Brown (2009) explained that ICT is considered very crucial for the achievement of various educational objectives in terms of expanding the citizenry access to education at all levels and improving the quality of teaching and learning process.

In the explanation of Daniels (2002), the use of Information and Communication Technologies in the educative process has been divided into two broad categories: ICTs for education and ICTs in education. ICTs for education refers to the development of ICT specifically for teaching learning purposes, while the ICTs in education involves the adoption of general components of ICTs in the teaching learning process. Effiong (2005) emphasized that 1

ICT use in school curriculum depends highly on the teachers who will use ICT to teach the students. This requires that teachers should have the ability to incorporate ICT into teaching and learning. Okereke (2008) noted that, application of ICT to teaching and learning makes instructions more effective and productive. In this regard ICT is viewed as innovations that enable English Language teachers facilitate teaching and learning of English language.

English Language is an academic subject that helps students to be exposed to realities of business practices. The subject is designed to introduce students to the foundational knowledge of the principles and practices of business. Okute (2008) opined that English Language is the fundamental subject which has to do with acquisition, conservation and expedition of wealth. Osuala (2004) stated that English Language help the students to make informed decisions in the everyday business of living. Obi (2005), explained that English Language prepares students for several careers or enables those in that career become more efficient and advance to higher  positions in terms of speaking and writing. In the view of NERDC (2007), English Language will enable the students to:

•       acquire the basic knowledge of English Language;

•       develop the basic skills in office occupation;

•       prepare for further training in English Languagre

•       have basic skills with which to start a life of work;

•       have basic skills for personal use in future;

•       relate the knowledge and skills they have acquired to the national economy.

These objectives can be achieved through teachers’ effectiveness, who is the implementers of curriculum.

A teacher is an individual who is trained in pedagogy and teaching areas of a particular subject to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes to students in an institution. According to Olaitan, Alaribe, and Nwobu (2009), a teacher is a person who communicates knowledge, skills and attitudes to someone in a school. Okute and Agomuo (2010) noted that a teacher is a facilitator of learning; who helps students to realize their full potentials educationally, emotionally, and socially in career selection and transition. Garba and Dambe (2007) defined a teacher as one who possesses practical and theoretical knowledge of his vocation, has clear understanding of the students he teachers, and ensures that he increases in the knowledge of his field at all times. There are male and female English Language teachers. These teachers are trained in different higher institutions of learning where they obtain various qualifications. In this study, a English Language teacher is someone who is trained in pedagogical areas of English Language and is charged with the responsibilities of imparting acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes of English Language to students in junior secondary schools.

Computer appreciation entails the general understanding of the basic building blocks of the computer systems, literacy in operating the computer and using the window interface called window explore and other similar interfaces. Azuka (2000) explained that keyboarding should be emphasized along with the traditional typing; the author identified closer relationship between them likewise word processing, data processing and the use of the internet.

Word processing is the application of computer for manipulating text-based documents; the electronic equivalent of paper, pen, typewriter, eraser, and most likely, dictionary and thesaurus (Encarta, 2009). According to Agomuo (2005), word processing can be likened to a typewriter inside a computer in that it incorporates all the duties of a typewriter which basically are: the ability to type and produce text on paper, store and manipulate text in documents and get printed copies. But when using computers, it deviates a little from the common typewriter. There is the enter key replacing the carrier movement and there are commands (simple ones) for paragraph, indent, spacing and so on. In addition, one can: store the document for future reference or use; make corrections to the documents very conveniently; format your documents to a wide variety of specification; automate some functions such as page numbering, generation of indexes; check the spelling of text in your document for correctness; and have greater control

over page layout attribute such as margin and so on. Other area where computer is most useful in daily activities is in the use of the internet and data processing.

The internet is a computer-based global information system (Comer, 2009). It is composed of many interconnected computer networks. Each network may link tens, hundreds, or even thousands of computers, enabling them to share information. The Internet has made it possible for people all over the world to communicate with one another effectively, inexpensively and to have free access to useful data for further processing.

Data processing deals with the analysis and organization of data by the repeated use of one or more computer programmes (Kogge, 2009). Data processing is used extensively in business, and in all areas in which computers are used such as education, to process data educationally by the teachers and other education administrators. The researcher observed that English Language teachers in the state have some difficulties in teaching the ICT component of the curriculum; therefore, they need improvement.

Improvement means change for something better. Improvement, in the explanation of Robinson (2006) is the development of circumstances in which something is lacking to better standard or quality than before. In this study, improvement is viewed as the act of making the level of skills acquired by English Language teachers in ICT better. For English Language teachers to improve in their teaching of the ICT components in the curriculum they need to upgrade their skills.

Need in the view of Chuta (1992) is something required to fill an existing essential gap. Hornby (2005) defined need as something required because it is essential or very important. Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Igbo, Onyemachi and Ekong (1999) explained that need is a requirement deemed necessary for effectiveness in an occupation. Need is the ICT skills required by english language teachers to meet a target standard of effective instruction. This need can be obtained through assessment.

Assessment is a process of estimating the worth, quality or effectiveness of a programme or instruction. Walter (2009) stated that assessment is the process of finding or deciding the amount, value, quality or importance of a programme or teachers instruction in a teaching-learning process. Assessment is the process of determining the skills need of English Language teachers in ICT for effective instruction.

Statement of the Problem

In Edo State, new curriculum in English Language has been put in place by the government to replace the old one. The new curriculum contains some component of ICT such as computer appreciation, word processing, the use of internet and data processing, which were absent in the old curriculum of English language. The researcher observed that most English Language teachers in junior secondary schools in the state have some difficulties in teaching the ICT component of the curriculum.

The present English Language teachers are those that were trained and had been working in school system many years ago particularly before the introduction of modern technologies in teaching and learning of English language. These teachers were not trained with modern ICT technologies and facilities. This suggests that the training they received seems to be irrelevant to the present curriculum because of technological changes taking place in work places where the students will find themselves after graduation. The inefficiency of English Language teachers in imparting ICT skills to junior secondary school students has been noticed in the students’ inability to do well in work places. Ademiluyi (2007) observed that most English Language students do not have the ability to succeed in private enterprise.

The researcher observed that many junior secondary school students after graduation find it difficult to establish and manage small businesses, particularly those who had no opportunity for further training. Those who tried to work in business centres where information is processed with modern technologies found it difficult to manipulate computers and other ICT equipment. Olufemi and Onyenu (2010) affirmed that the influence of technologies has rendered manual skills inadequate for the world of work while creating needs for new sophisticated skills. Therefore, it is necessary to determine ICT skills needed by English Language teachers for effective instruction in junior secondary schools in Oredo local government area.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine the Information and Communication Technology skills needed by English Language teachers in junior secondary schools in oredo local government area of Edo state. Specifically, the study sought to determine:

1.   ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in computer appreciation ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in word processing in Oredo local government area.

2.        ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in the use of Internet in Oredo local government area

3.      ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in data processing in Oredo local government area

Significance of the Study

Learning new skills such as ICT and transferring skills already learnt by the teachers is the key to quality education in a rapidly changing technological environment. The findings of this study will be beneficial to English Language teachers, junior secondary school students, school administrators, government, and curriculum planners at teachers’ preparation stage and fellow researchers with keen interest in ICT skills needed by English Language teachers for effective and quality instructional delivery.

English Language teachers will find the study useful. The findings of the study will enable the teachers understand ICT skills they needed and their importance. They will have first hand information on ICT skills they are required to acquire in order to face the challenges of knowledge update through seminars, workshops and conferences. English Language teachers will know the vacuums of ICT skills they need to fill up in their academic lives and timely too, to remain relevant in their profession. Also, this will help to further equip them for better service delivery in teaching and coordinating the conduct of the students during teaching and learning process.

Junior secondary school students will also benefit from the result of this study. The study will help them to be better informed on the relevant ICT skills they need to acquire. They will also know the level of skills they currently posses and seek to fill any gap/vacuum created.

The result of the findings will be of immense benefit to school administrators and the state government. It will provide information that will help them to see the need for adequate provision of ICT facilities and materials, organizing workshops, and in-service training of teachers at the junior secondary school levels in the state. The state government will have better understanding of their participatory responsibilities in curriculum effectiveness.

The findings that will emanate from the study will provide wealth of information needed by curriculum planners for curriculum review and update at teachers’ preparation stage. It will help curriculum planners to be more comprehensive in scope, also, to give participatory opportunities for more learners’ achievement.

Finally, fellow researchers with keen interest in the identification of ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in computer appreciation, word processing, the use of internet and data processing will be helped to be more focused by the information that will be provided by the study. It will serve as a good starting point for any further meaningful research in this area of study.

Research Questions

Based on the specific purposes of the study, the following research questions will be answered by the study.

1.      What are the ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in computer appreciation in Oredo local government area?

2.      What are the ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in word processing in Oredo local government area?

3.    What are the ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in the use of internet in Oredo local government area?

4.    What are the ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in data processing in Oredo local government area?

Hypotheses

The following three null hypotheses were tested at P<0.05 level of significance

Ho1:   There is no significant difference in the mean responses of male and female English Language teachers on ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in junior secondary schools in Edo  State.

Ho2:   There is no significant difference in the mean responses of the English Language teachers

according to their education zones, on the ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in junior secondary schools in Edo State.

Ho3:  There is no significant difference in the mean responses of the English Language teachers

according to their educational qualifications, on ICT skills needed by English Language teachers in junior secondary schools in Edo State.

Delimitations:

This study is intended to focus on ICT skills needed by English Language teachers. It is delimited in scope to cover computer appreciation skills, word processing skills, the use of internet skills, and data processing skills where English Language teachers need improvement. In terms of geographical area, this work will cover all the junior secondary schools that offer English Language in Edo State. The instrument for data collection will be restricted to questionnaire while the respondents will be restricted to English Language teachers in Edo State.


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