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1.1 Background of the Study
Every instructional activity involves communication. Language is a meaningful medium of sending a message to a receiver. The message may be ideas, feelings, desires, fears, joy or sadness. Language in general terms, can be an instinctive (as in animals) or a non-instinctive (as in human beings) medium of communication. The human language manifests itself primarily in speech. The written form of human language is a later development in the evolution of man. To communicate through language we have to belong to a particular speech community whose members understand the vocal noise produced as speech or the graphic representation of the vocal noise. Speech community here does not mean an ethnic group, village, town or a people. It only means speakers of a given human language, Gimson (1976).
Communication is the transfer or transmission of ideas or information, knowledge, attitude or behavior from one person or group of persons to another. It is regarded as a process because it is characterized by continuity. The various elements involved in communication in the school system especially in the classroom are:
i. Source: Means communicator - teacher.
ii. Message: Means the lesson.
iii. Channel: Techniques and instructional aids
iv. Receiver: Refers to the learners (students)
v. Feedback: Is the student’s reaction or responses
Teaching/learning resources or instructional aids greatly influence students, academic achievement in written and spoken English Language because they help a learner not only to see an object but also manipulate it. By so doing a learner is afforded more opportunities for understanding a message.
Thus, as an aspect of Educational Technology instructional aids are channels through which message, information, ideas and knowledge are conveyed to the learner which therefore, enhance or improve the quality of learning.
They also help to facilitate in learning achievement of instructional objectives.
The use of a language as a means of communication is restricted to humans and it is the chief distinguishing feature of the human species. All normal infants acquire language at early stage in life. The many language the world over are different in some specific aspects, NTI (2000).
The learning of a native language by a child according to stork (1976) “is an unconscious event which comes naturally as a general process of development or maturation from a helpless baby to a growing child”. On the other hand, the learning of a second language like the English language to Nigeria children requires conscious effort. Learning of a second language is better learnt at the early stage of the child’s life since it is virtually impossible for an adult to learn a second language and pronounce it exactly like a native speaker of the language.
At different stages of development of the child, there will be need for encouragement, praise and sometimes stimulus from the adults. Right from the time the child begins to develop some language skill to react to his immediate environment or surrounding, the child should be encouraged.
There are however, some traditional and direct methods of learning a second language. The traditional method is based namely on the written language while the direct method is based on spoken language, on the notion that it is possible to acquire a second language in the same way as a native language. A compromise of the two extreme in the methods of learning a second language is also possible. According to Mackin and William (1970) “English language, though a second language in many countries, is taught as a foreign language or used as the medium of instruction in many others”. Furthermore, “It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. The age, educational level, capacity, handicaps, level of proficiency goals, linguistic and cultural background” Lado (1974). The use of English Language in the school system throughout Nigeria has been responsible to some extent for the poor academic achievement of students and pupils in English language and other subjects taught in English. It is therefore, the aim of the researcher of this project to examine the influence of instructional aids on students academic performance in English language in twelve selected secondary schools in Zaria metropolis of Kaduna State. The schools are GGSS Chindit Barracks Junior, GGSS Chindit Barracks Senior, GSS Chindit Barack, GGSS Dogon Bauchi, GJSS Gyallesu, GJSS Kofar Dooka, GSS Muchia, GGSS Pada (Junior), GGSS Pada (Senior), GJSS Tudun Wada, GSS Zaria (Junior), GSS Zaria (Senior).
According to NTI (2000). “Human beings have through the ages educated their young once through various methods. The assumption then was that once the leaner had listened to the teacher he had learned. From ancient times, methodology had been taken as a component which make up the process of education”.
The use of language thus, both as a tool for communication, as well as a medium for creative expression should be of permanent concern to the teacher, as he guides children in their learning experiences. Instructional aids are therefore, those materials that help the teacher to make a lesson more effective. They could be displayed for the students to see, feel, touch or taste. It is possible to classify them from angle of use for the teaching of speaking; reading; writing and listening.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This research project will examine the influence of instructional aids on students academic achievement in English language in some selected secondary school in Zaria metropolis area of Kaduna state. This area is chosen because of high concentration of secondary schools.
Students academic achievement in English language has been noticed to be influenced by the use of instructional aids in the teaching of English language skills. Which equally affects understanding other subjects offered by the students in secondary schools. This poor academic achievement in English language has become a concern to people in the state including government. Zaria metropolis is chosen also for this study because both public and private schools are found there.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This research project is particularly centered on the influence of instructional aids on students academic achievement in English language in selected secondary schools in Zaria metropolis Kaduna State.
It has the following objectives:
i. To identify how instructional aids influence academic achievement in English language in selected secondary schools in Zaria metropolis.
ii. To find out how the government (Both state and Local Government) provide necessary assistance to the secondary schools in Zaria Metropolis.
iii. To determine the extent at which provisions made by the government are judiciously utilized to ensure improved academic achievement in English language.
1.4 Research Questions
This research seeks to provide solutions in the course of its investigation and answers on how instructional aids influence students academic achievement in English Language. Through the following questions.
1. How does an instructional aid influence students academic achievement in English language?
2. How does the government both state and local government provide necessary assistance to the secondary schools in Zaria Metropolis?
3. To what extent does the provisions provided by the government are judiciously utilized to ensure improved academic achievement in English Language?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and will be tested in this study
1. There is no significant difference between use of instructional aids and achievement in English language.
2. There is no significant difference between influence of instructional aids of male students academic achievement and that of their male counterparts.
3. There is no significant difference between students academic achievement in English language among the selected secondary schools.
4. Male students’ academic achievement in English language is not higher than their female counterparts.
5. There is no significant difference between students’ academic achievement and their attitudes towards English language.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research project will be useful in the following ways.
i. The research study will assist in finding out the instructional aids used in the selected secondary schools in Zaria Metropolis, Kaduna State.
ii. It will provide the necessary information on the problems presently facing the use of instructional aids in teaching English language and its effects on academic achievement in Zaria Metropolis.
iii. It will guide the Ministry of Education Science and Technology Kaduna State in providing the necessary instructional aids to schools.
iv. It will be useful to all stake holders like teachers, parents, education planners, supervisors, inspectors etc. which may improve their efficiency in the academic achievement in English language.
v. It will help English language teachers to determine the effectiveness of their teaching techniques, methods and learning materials.
vi. The study will guide State, Local and Federal Government in formulating policies, workshops, capacity building, conferences etc.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study takes a look at the influence of instructional aids on students academic achievement in selected secondary schools in Zaria metropolis, Kaduna state. It covers twelve selected secondary schools in Zaria metropolis. The schools are sampled randomly. The needed information obtained through the use of questionnaires administered on the respondents. (Students and teachers) in the selected secondary schools in Zaria metropolis which constitute the population.
The research work is mainly centered on the influence of instructional aids on students academic achievement in English language in selected secondary schools in Zaria metropolis up to 2017. Further studies may be undertaken on achievements beyond 2017.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
It is limited by time constraints, financial resources, electricity supply, transportation, poor data record keeping etc. The limitations of the study relates to some challenges the researchers may have encountered during the research work. Such challenges could be time weather condition, difficulty to access facilities or the respondents, terrorism kidnapping, general insecurity in some parts of Kaduna States etc.
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