IMPACT OF VOCABULARY LOAD ON HAUSA ESSAY WRITING PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN SABON GARI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KADUNA STATE NIGERIA
The purpose of this research was to find out Impact of Vocabulary Load on Hausa Essay Writing performance of primary school pupils in Sabon-Gari Local Government Kaduna State. Research questions were designed and corresponding hypothesis were formulated. The hypothesis sought to test significant between the performance of experimental and control group on Essay writing.120 pupils were purposively sample from two schools in 62 primary schools one as control the other one as experimental. Quasi experimental design were used. The findings answer the following questions: is there impact of vocabulary load at the rate of content, expression, organization and mechanical accuracy of pupils Essay Writing in primary schools. The instrument was 120 words from different aspect of life which elicit data for the research, it is analysed using mean and standard deviations for the research question T-Test for hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The research revealed that experimental group performed better after treatment. Implications on students, teachers, and Educational Authorities were provided. Recommendations were provided based on the findings,that emphasis should be made on contextual use of the meaning of words and registers of a specific discipline of a topic in Hausa Essay Writing. Student should be involved in vocabulary load learning strategy through independent reading etc.
1.1 Background to the Study
Writing is the productive skill in the written mode. It is more complicated than it seems at first, and often seems to be the hardest of the skills, even for native speakers of a language, since it involves not just a graphic representation of speech, but the developments and presentation of thoughts in a structured way. Writing is one way of providing variety in classroom procedures. It provides a learner with physical evidence of his achievements and he can measure his improvements. It helps to consolidate their grasps of vocabulary and structure, and complements the other language skills. For example, translation, sentence pattern changing, text shortening and rewriting. It aids comprehension of texts and helps in compositions writing. It can foster the learner‟s ability to summarize and to use the language freely.
Writing is an opportunity for knowledge building and for learners to be proficient in it, they need more background information by providing simple language input through the interweaving of writing referred to as inter-textuality. Bialystok (1998), Blanton (1999) and Wells (2000) say writing plays an important role across educational levels. Learners across different proficiency levels can become expert writers through active participation in composition writing. Students sometime need encouragement from the teacher to write an essay on topics that are familiar to them. This will be a way of improving their writing and also gain interest to write using the vocabulary they have acquired in or outside school. Writing is an opportunity for knowledge building and for learners of L1 to be proficient in their language, they need more background information to provide ample language input in writing.
The belief that language learners can effectively develop their vocabulary knowledge through abundant exposure, and without word focussed tasks, had a strong influence on the language teaching profession. Input centre methods, like extensive reading, are backed by the faith that motivating learners to many will result in better vocabulary learning. The rationale behind this seems to draw evidence from first language acquisition. Children do not intently set out to increase their vocabulary, but they simply absorb new words by constantly encountering them in their daily lives. The attention of this study is on Hausa as a mother tongue the participants have as their first language.
Writing is a skill that enhances language acquisition as learners experiment with words, sentences and other elements. Writing to communicate idea effectively and to reinforce the grammar and vocabulary acquired demands some rigorous exercise. A text can be an article that discusses a problem. The discussion is done on the basis of investigations, observations, data collection obtained through a study, development and testing of hypotheses using systematic method to arrive at the solution of the problem studied. In writing, scholarly characteristics of a work should be empirically reliable and objective. It uses language that is good and true to the situation to order investigation. It chooses right words that match the message conveyed.
Nigeria, like other countries of the world, acknowledges that education is a vital tool for achieving national development. Consequently, it has joined other nations in their match towards worthwhile educational investments and reforms. The purpose of schooling is to impact changes in children‟s behaviour by motivating them to specific experiences through systematic presentation of skills, attitudes, concepts and principles.
The teacher uses various techniques to observe the characteristics and behaviour of pupils that could promote or hinder learning. He can observe the skills used in problem solving, listen to pupils‟ answers to questions or their comments to note their difficulties and then adjust teaching accordingly, identify possible misconceptions and take care of them.Children's environment shapes the initial constellation of attitudes they develop toward learning. When parents nurture their children's natural curiosity about the world by welcoming their questions, encouraging exploration, and familiarizing them with resources that can enlarge their world, they are giving their children the message that learning is worthwhile and frequently fun and satisfying.
When children are raised in a home that nurtures a sense of self-worth, competence, autonomy, and self-efficacy, they will be more apt to accept the risks inherent in learning. Conversely, when children do not view themselves as basically competent and able, their freedom to engage in academically challenging pursuits and capacity to tolerate and cope with failure are greatly diminished. The teacher uses various techniques to observe the characteristics and behaviour of pupils that could promote or hinder learning. He can observe the skills used in problem solving, listen to pupil‟s answers to questions or their comments to note their difficulties and then adjust teaching accordingly, identify possible misconceptions and take care of them.
Writing for the benefit of academic community is in the form of theses, dissertation, and journal articles. Its content is presented in a straight forward and objective way. When a scientific writing is presented for public interest, it is usually done in a form of article to reveal the result of research and application of research result in scientific substance. Writing involves an expression of a sense of problem solving, systematic and organized effort to investigate that specific problem base on rational and empirical efforts. These efforts include the process of examination, testing and experimentation done through critical, industrious, objective and logical means. Papers are written in precise, accurate, true, honest and non-conjectural way. Honest in the sense of ethical behaviour through reference and quotations or citations. It deals with cause and effect with understanding of the reasons of a particular situation that would make the readers draw a conclusion to a problem in other to proffer solutions to the situation. It is well recognized that many pupils are likely to experience difficulty making distinction between different forms of writing; be it technical, non-technical, argumentative, expository, narration or otherwise. In some situation the pupils themselves were not taught these different forms of writing exercise and various conventional patterns. This may be as a result of lack of competent language teachers who would handle that course in the primary schools or the teachers are not interested in teaching writing and other related factors.
Learning, as a language based activity, is fundamentally and profoundly dependent on vocabulary knowledge. One common belief among first language (L1) researchers is that most of the words acquired by children during the process of first language acquisition are acquired incidentally in that, words are learned when the child‟s attention is focused on an on-going task (e.g., talking to his/her parents or reading or listening to a story which leads to writing rather than specific lexical items. Specifically, the most common task through which children expand their vocabulary knowledge is to write However, this research focuses on Hausa as a mother tongue when students are motivated with vocabulary load, since most of the acquisition of vocabulary knowledge are through interaction and influence of the immediate environment. It could be observed from Hausa speakers that most of their vocabulary knowledge is from experience gain at when they listen to stories at home or when they listen to some discussions. Vocabulary learning is the most important part of learning a language which also makes the greatest difficulty for language learners repeatedly encounter this problem with their language teachers and want to get rid of vocabulary lists. Although some teachers insist on vocabulary learning through suitable context, many of the teachers stick to repetition and vocabulary lists.
For someone to write effectively, there is need for vocabulary knowledge since it is what you have in your mind that will be written down, sometimes students learn most vocabulary incidentally without them realising that they have acquired something of great importance to their academic pursuit. (Hart and Risley, 1991) say must form the habit of writing to perform well in all subjects. A good reader has a better opportunity for greater achievement in writing.Therefore, since writing is very technical and requires a lot of effort to come up with pieces of writing that can be adjudged to be good. The need for teachers to adjust their teaching methods is required especial to the L1 students whose learn most of their vocabulary knowledge through the influence of the immediate environment, which could hinder them to think of writing something meaningful.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Writing is very important to the teaching and learning process and students need support from their teachers and other parastatals like the ministry of education and other bodies. In order to gain motivation and desire to put more effort in achieving the writing skills. Students manifest difficulties in writing, the teacher and also the examinations bodies have found that Lack of writing skill could be one of the problems of students in most Nigerian schools because when it comes to assessment; it will be on their writing since most of the exams are in written form.
Teachers found that lack of knowledgeable meaning of words as the key to comprehend texts, could be a problems that students encounter when it comes to writing. Students at various levels of learning are not able to express their thoughts. It has resulted in numerous breakdowns in conceiving what is taught. Learners must have access to meanings of words that teachers, or their surrogates (other adults, books, films, etc.), use to guide them into contemplating known concepts in novel ways i.e. to learn something new. (Baker 1998). Many people who are concerned with educational development are of the opinion that student‟s performance is very low. This can be noticed from the public outcry that most of the graduating students are not performing adequately well in the various examinations. Reports (WAEC & NTI) showed the low performance of students and their inability to communicate ideas logically and effectively to satisfy the demands of the examiners.
However, the researcher noted that most students gain entry in to the next class without the ability to write in Hausa as mother tongue due to the limitation of some fertilities to teach Hausa as a subjects, if this problem continues untackled, it might adversely affect the teaching and learning of Hausa in Nigerian educational systems.
The preliminary report of the National Evaluation team to primary schools nationwide, conducted by the Universal Basic Education Programme Implementation Agency (2002) portrayed the prevalence of poor writing in Nigeria primary schools. Despite the influence of television, we still live in what has been called the print culture. The degree of variation in teaching method used in Nigerian schools could lead to the limited vocabulary of Hausa in primary schools. Over concentration by some teachers on the syllables does not allow students to practically discover knowledge?
The examiners observes the mass failure on examination in Nigerian schools are still abound. Olaofe (1995) ascertains that 25% of undergraduate write at or below primary level. Words are the foundation of learning. Multiple exposures to conversations, discussions, and listening to narrative and expository texts, read aloud, enrich children‟s knowledge of how words communicate ideas. ‟‟Many children amaze us with their language use, overflowing with words, concepts, and ideas; many others, having never been exposed to a language rich world, are limited in their ability to communicate‟‟
Another problem is lack of encouragement, to learn the meaning of new words which could help students to write well in Hausa as mother tongue, and have the ability to learn more words. The teachers also observed a problem from the examination bodies; those problems could be lack of giving chance to students to write in examinations, as some of the questions are yes/no, true/false, A/B especially in Nigerian primary schools. Therefore the study intends to find out the impact of vocabulary load on Hausa writing performance of primary five pupils.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The research was based on the following objectives:
- To find out the impact of vocabulary load on pupils content development in Hausa writing.
- To assess the impact of vocabulary load on the organisation style of pupils writing in Hausa
- To examine the impact of Hausa vocabulary load on pupil‟s expression in Hausa writing.
- To investigate the impact of vocabulary load on mechanical accuracy of students writing in Hausa.
1.4 Research Questions
The study address the following Research questions
- What is the impact of vocabulary load on pupil‟s content developments in Hausa writing of experimental against control group?
- What is the impact of vocabulary load on the organisation style of pupils writing in Hausa experimental against control group?
- What is the impact of Hausa vocabulary load on pupil‟s expression in Hausa writing experimental against control group?
- What is the impact vocabulary load on mechanical accuracy of pupils writing in Hausa experimental against control group?
The following hypotheses are constructed in order to guide the study and ascertain their level of significance
- There is no significant difference between the performance of students exposed to vocabulary load to those that are not exposed on the content of Hausa writing.
- There is no significant difference between the performance of students exposed to vocabulary load to those that are not exposed on organisation in Hausa writing.
- There is no significant difference between the performance of students exposed to vocabulary load to those that are not exposed on expression in Hausa writing.
- There is no significant difference between the performance of students exposed to vocabulary load to those that are not exposed on the mechanical accuracy of Hausa writing.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research is designed to investigate the impact of vocabulary load on Hausa essay writing of primary five pupils in selected primary schools in Sabon Gari local Government area of Kaduna state. The research believes that the result of the investigation would help teachers, students, also the investigation would help in reforming matters concerning student‟s vocabulary load on their written ability in primary schools.Teachers will be exposed to teaching techniques of building vocabulary load in Hausa. This will go a long way in solving the problem of lack of facility to express oneself in Hausa as a mother tongue. The research will also encourage students on the need of finding out the meanings of unfamiliar words, as that could help them to develop their existing vocabulary which can also enable their exposure on Hausa writing.
The research is also meant to be a step forward in the general search of solution to the problems of mastering the language skills which are considered to be responsible for the student‟s poor performance of students in Hausa language especially in written communications. The research would also add to the ways of teaching vocabularies load at many level of education especially in primary schools. Finally, this study is expected to make a significant contribution to the proper understanding and appreciation of learning the basic language skills through vocabulary load which at the end may improve some of the language skills especially written communication.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The study is limited to primary five pupils of Sabon-Gari local government area of Kaduna State. They were sampled base on the assumption that they have acquired skills that will prepare them to undertake task of this nature. This is because some of the primary five pupils are preparing for common entrance examination. The study will cover the assessment of primary five pupil‟s performance in the content, expression, organisation and mechanical accuracy in Hausa writing. The study centres to finding out if vocabulary load can enhance the performance of primary pupils on Hausa writing. The study focused mainly on the written component because writing encompasses the other three skills. This is because student academic performance is mostly assessed through the written medium.