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Title Page


Approval Page








Table of Contents






Background of the Study


Statement of the Problem


Purpose of the study


Significance of the Study


Scope of the study


Research Questions


Research Hypotheses




Theories of Language Acquisition and Learning






Error Analysis


Standard or correctness of/ in language


Causes of Errors


Review of related empirical studies


Summary of the literature review




Research Design


Area of Study



Population of the study                                                                   49

Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                 49

Instrument for Data Collection                                                        50

Validation of the Instrument                                                            50

Trial – Testing of the Instrument                                                     50

Reliability of the Instrument                                                            50

Method of Data Collection                                                              51

Method of Data Analysis                                                                 51

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULT                                                           52

Research Question 1                                                                      52

Research Question 2                                                                      52

Findings                                                                                           57

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS                           59

Discussions                                                                                     59

Educational Implications                                                                 82

Recommendations                                                                          83

Limitations                                                                                        87

Suggestion for further Research                                                    87

Summary of the study                                                                     88

Conclusion                                                                                       92

References Appendixes


This study set out to determine the effect of grammatical error committed by French students on their performance in French examination in Nsukka Zone, Enugu State, Nigeria. This was with a view to determining the degree of grammatical errors of Senior Secondary School Students and also to find out which sex commits more of these errors than the other.

The study adopted the descriptive research design. To carry out the study a review of literature was done in order to determine the extent of work already done in this area and properly situate it. Two research questions and one null hypothesis were formulated. The hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance. A total sample of three hundred thirty (330) Senior Secondary School Students were  randomly drawn from eight secondary schools where French is done  in Nsukka Zone. An essay type question was developed by the researcher and was validated by research experts in Education. The same essay type question also validated by research experts in education/French was administered on twenty secondary students in Obollo Education Zone to test their performance in French grammar. Mean and percentage scores were used to analyse the data collated. The major findings of the study were.

1             The Senior Secondary School Students committed the five grammatical error types studied namely spelling, concord, Adjective, Verb–Conjugation and Article errors.

2             These five error–types were committed by the SS Students at varying degrees

3             There is no significant difference between percentage scores of SS male and female students in this zone.

4             The SS female students had the highest percentage of 66% in spelling error

5             The SS male students on the other hand had the highest error percentage of 66% in Verb–conjugation

6             Article error had the least percentage of 7% because students avoided using articles in sentences.

7             Based on the results, the null hypothesis was upheld. Concord errors were also proved to present the greatest difficulty to the students, next were spelling errors, verb-conjugation Adjective errors and lastly Article errors.

The educational implications of the findings were discussed; recommendations as well as suggestions for further research were also made.


Background of the Study


It appears that French is the only world-wide known language spoken by the French people. The original inhabitants of France as passed down to us by history were the 'Gaulois'. David WWW. WWW.Originofriations Origin of France and the Peoples Eventually  the western Franks in France lost the use of their own native Frankish tongue and spoke the Celtic Gallic tongue and absorbed many Gallic customs. The Western Reubenite Franks intermingled and  intermarried with the Reubenite Gauls”. Much later in the second century before Christ the Romans invaded France. With successions of invasion in the third century, many kingdoms were built of which the French gradually conquered all other countries around. David WWW.Originofriations Origin of France and the Peoples. The name France is derived from the Frank.” In the 5th century 'Gaule' metamorphosed into the present-day 'France' with 'French' as the only language in use. However, practical experiences show that though French is the only language spoken in France by the French, there are different versions of the same French as one goes from one geographical area to another in terms of dialects. For instance, there are such dialects as 'oc' which is the dialect of the south and "oil"

which is the northern dialect and of saying 'yes' in the Middle Ages. This implies that there are variations in dialect depending on the area or part of France one may find himself or herself. For instance, in  spite of all other dialects in France, the one spoken in Paris is that which is internationally accepted as the standard French. This does not however preclude other dialects from being in use elsewhere. Furthermore, history also has it that what is now known as the 'French language' is a combination of 'Latin' and 'English' which, having undergone considerable changes, has given rise to what is now regarded as 'modern French'. On account of these changes, French has become very highly standardized and consequently attained a high international acceptance such that it is being rated as the second international language the world over. David WWW.Originofriations “Many Reubenite French would love to see the French language displace English from its world dominance”.

In the dim past, many European countries were inspired by varied reasons to scramble for African countries. Some people attribute this need for such scramble to social, cultural, political and economic reasons while others link it with religion. Whatever be the case, what interests us at this point in time is the fact that France took active part in colonizing African countries hence the introduction of French as the 'lingua-franca' in her African Colonies.

Consequent upon this incident of colonization of some African countries by France, French is the only official language spoken and used by such countries as Senegal, Upper Volta, Zaire, Ivory Coast, Niger, Togo, Republic of Benin and a part of Cameroon etc.

An international language though French is, its compulsory inclusion in Nigeria's curriculum could be traced to the unavoidable diplomatic, economic as well as socio-cultural constraints its non- inclusion or absence might impose on Nigeria. Apparently, Nigeria appears to be the only West African country that is almost completely surrounded by fellow West African countries whose official language  of communication as well as that of commerce is French. On this, Ojoade (1999:8) says:

Nigeria offers a very strong attraction and pull to another language group, the French speaking people of the world. This is particularly so because of the geographical position of our country as well  as the friendship that is gradually developing between France and our country.

There is no doubt that apart from Cameroon a part of which adopts English, all others mentioned above use the French language as their Lingua- Franca. Nigeria is almost completely surrounded by such sister-French speaking West African –countries as the republic  of Benin, Niger Republic Cameroun Republic etc. Moreover, the world is at its jet age and in order to keep pace with the fast- moving   world,

she (Nigeria) is but naturally constrained to make the teaching and learning of the French language compulsory at the primary and junior secondary school levels of her education.

On the great need for the teaching and learning of the French language in Nigeria, Ikeme and Offorma have this to say:

Une deuxieme langue europeene doit être considerée nonseulement comme un moyen de communication entre des Anglophones d‟Afrique mais aussi comme une langue internationale ayant un but étendu, qui cojointement avec la première langue europeene devrait permettre  aux africains de pouvior communiquer avec d‟autres pays du monde (Ikeme and Offorma, 1984).

The above stresses the great necessity there is for Nigerians not only to teach and learn French in schools, but also to be able to use French in communicating effectively with her African sister countries already mentioned earlier on as well as other countries of the world.

For instance, Nigeria engages in commercial relationship with many of those countries mentioned above from which she makes a lot of economic fortunes. She also relates diplomatically, politically as  well as socio-culturally with these countries. In order to foster such relationships between her and these neighbouring nations therefore, she has a great need to introduce and make the teaching and learning of the French language compulsory at the primary and junior secondary school levels. This is in consonance with the declaration  of

the French language the second official language in Nigeria in 1998  by the late military head of state-General. Sani Abacha.

Thus French was introduced in t o the nation‟s curriculum for teaching and learning. This, as contained in the 2004 National policy on Education (NPE), is in addition to the compulsory teaching and learning of the three Nigerian major languages Viz- Housa, Igbo and Yoruba.

In recognition of the relevance of the French language to Nigeria as a nation, the „National Policy on Education‟ (2004:10) says that:

For smooth interaction with our neighbours, it is desirable for every Nigerian to Speak French Accordingly, French shall be the second official language in Nigeria and it shall be compulsory in primary and junior secondary Schools but Non- vocational Elective at the senior secondary school.

From the above discussion and subsequent quotation from the 4th edition of the National Policy on Education, it is glaring that the teaching and learning of the French language is but a necessity in Nigeria. This, it is hoped, if actualized, will enhance close cooperation between Nigeria and such countries as Benin Republic, Cameroun, Ivory Coast etc in general and with French in particular.

Moreover and more importantly too, Nigeria is currently keeping very strong diplomatic relations with France - the mother country of such    sister  countries  as  Republic  of  Benin  ,  Republic  of   Niger,

Cameroun Togo etc from which she makes a lot of economic fortunes. This, therefore, informs the current introduction of French into many polytechnics and colleges of Education such as

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