PROBLEMS OF VERBS AND ADVERBIAL PHRASES IN THE WRITTEN ENGLISH OF SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IJEBU ODE

  • : Ms Word Format
  • : 80 Pages
  • : ₦5,000
  • : 1-5 Chapters
  •  
  • Click to DOWNLOAD Materials

PROBLEMS OF VERBS AND ADVERBIAL PHRASES IN THE WRITTEN ENGLISH OF SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IJEBU ODE

 

ABSTRACT

The English sentence has a fairly strict word order and the elements that make up a sentence must be in concord, otherwise, the linear sequence becomes ungrammatical. This study investigated the degree problems of verbs and adverbial phrases in the written English in Ijebu ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The need for the work was underscored by the crucial role played by the English language in Nigerian education. The finding of the study would be relevant in English language learning and pedagogy. A simple survey research design was adopted for the study and the subjects of the study comprised five hundred students from five secondary schools in Ijebu ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. One hundred objective questions set on different types of concord were used as test instrument. The subjects‟ errors were classified and analysed using a simple percentage and arithmetic mean. Standard mean of 75 and above was used as an indication of the mastery of the rules of concord. The finding of the research revealed that the subjects have not mastered the rules guiding different types of concord. They were unable to dictate concord errors caused by shift in the construction of elements of sentences. The causes of concord errors were more intralingual than interlingual. The implications of the finding in the teaching and learning of English were discussed and suggestions for improvement made.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

  • Background of the Study

 

Nigeria is a multilingual country with the English language as the key medium of communication. The language is used in politics, government administration, law, mass media, commerce and education. Consequently, every facet of the country‟s life depends largely on the English language. To the majority of Nigerians, the yardstick for measuring the degree of one‟s level of educational attainment is one‟s performance in the English language.

The first education ordinance of 1882 recognized only the English language as language of instruction. Since then, the language has been „the barometer with which the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of our school curricular are measured‟ (Eyisi 3). Poor performance in the language leads to poor performance in other subjects.

The new National Policy on Education, sections four and five, does not only recommend the English language as the language of instruction from the fourth year of primary education, it is also a compulsory subject in secondary and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria. Hence, a credit pass in English at senior secondary school certificate or general certificate O‟ level examination is a prerequisite for admission into various tertiary institutions in the country.

Regrettably, the mastery of this very important language is confronted with a lot of challenges, such as dearth of sufficiently qualified teachers of English, lack of role models, negative attitude to the learning of the language, poor reading culture and above all, inadequate exposure to the intricacy of the grammar of the language as well as faulty application of grammatical rules. Eyisi affirms that:

 

… although the available position of English in the national life is waxing stronger than it has been, the spoken and written quality of the language in Nigeria, as perceived by the expert judges have deteriorated to a drastic level (10).

To buttress this assertion, the WAEC Chief Examiners Reports of 2000, 2002 and 2004 respectively, revealed that candidates‟ responses to the examination questions were rather disappointing, in spite of the fact that the questions were clear. They stated that the candidates‟ short-comings were their inability to express ideas correctly in English and abuse of basic rules of grammar. It is also an incontestable fact that good writing stems from adequate familiarity with the grammatical components of a language.

Grammar in its simplest sense is „the study of how a language works‟ (Charpman 155). What this means specifically is that grammar is the study of the systems and patterns which operate in a language to give meaning to an utterance. These acceptable systems and patterns are believed to constitute the rules of language. These rules govern the sounds, words, sentences and other elements, as well as their combination and interpretation. (Encyclopedia Britannica 410) Chomsky confirms „…that a fully adequate grammar must assign to each of an infinite range of sentences, a structural pattern indicating how this sentence is to be understood by the ideal speaker-hearer‟ (4 – 5).

 

  • Statement of the Problem

 

The poor performance of Nigerian students in the English language is a matter that calls for concern. The failure in English is mainly attributable to their poor knowledge of the basic rules of grammar.

The knowledge of the rules of concord in English grammar is very necessary if one is to speak and write good English. The study of this aspect of grammar does not only highlight subject-verb relationship, but equally brings to the fore, the acceptable relationship of some other elements in a sentence. Perhaps, this informs its regular appearance in the scheme of work at primary and secondary school levels of education. It is also a common feature in virtually every grammar textbook. The assumption, therefore, is that students at senior secondary school level should be conversant with the agreement of sentence elements, having been exposed to the rules of concord early enough.

However, the reverse is the case. Previous studies in error analysis revealed that Problems of verbs and adverbial phrases in the written English are one of the commonest errors made by learners of English as a second language. This revelation calls for more serious attention to error analysis.

It is pertinent to note that a lot of work has been done on error analysis but these are general investigation into the English language error patterns. Much work has not been done on the specific areas of the language such as Problems of verbs and adverbial phrases in the written English. There is a need to streamline and study these specific error patterns for more effective teaching and learning.

The problem of this study therefore is to ascertain the senior secondary school class 3 students‟ Problems of verbs and adverbial phrases in the written English in the English language.

 

Objectives of the Study

The major objectives of the study are to:

  1. identify the extent to which Secondary school student commit verbs and adverbial errors;
  2. verify the extent to which Secondary school student commit subject-verb errors;
  3. identify the extent to which Secondary school student commit tense errors in selected

Research Questions

The study intends to address the following research questions:

  1. To what extent do Secondary school student commit verbs and adverbial errors ?
  2. To what extent does Secondary school student commit subject-verb errors?
  3. To what extent does Secondary school student commit tense verbs and adverbial errors?

 

 

  • Relevance of the Study

 

This study will contribute to the existing literature on the efforts that have been made by scholars to promote acquisition of proficiency in English language by second language learners.

The study will help to evaluate the students‟ knowledge of the rules of concord and their application of those rules in their language performance. The analysis of the Problems of verbs and adverbial phrases in the written English will also expose the common cause(s) of Problems of verbs and adverbial phrases in the written English that are made by students, which may be intralingual or interlingual in nature. This knowledge will help the language teachers and textbook writers to know the areas they will emphasize in this aspect of grammar as well as the best teaching method to adopt in order to help students overcome their difficulties.

It is also hoped that the findings of the work will serve as a useful guide for the formulation of improved English curriculum by curriculum designers.

The researcher believes, therefore, that the findings of this study will constitute an important resource material for the English language teachers, the curriculum planners, the textbook designers, students, and future researchers.

 

  • The Scope of the Study

 

This study is limited to Senior Secondary School class three (SS3) students in Ijebu ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. There are ten public secondary schools in the area but the subjects of the study will be drawn from five schools.

 

PROBLEMS OF VERBS AND ADVERBIAL PHRASES IN THE WRITTEN ENGLISH OF SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IJEBU ODE

Leave a Reply