ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE READING SECTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE SYLLABUS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
Language is a learned behaviour that can be brought about by a setting where subject matter is selected, graded and activities are organized to promote its use. In Nigeria, English language is being learnt as a language for general purposes and for instruction in educational settings. Areas where emphasis were necessary in teaching and learning the language as a second language have been spelt out and certain consideration applicable for the choice of methodology and materials that can be used in classroom were advanced. Thus, learning a language is influenced by the content and activities to which students are exposed. Reading components makes learners to be more self confident from unknown to known. Though many teachers lack effective methods to stimulate students‟ interest, which is the bases for achieving desired objectives that may discourage learners initiative and curiosity (Yerima, 2016).
English reading components has mere impact on the learning development of the child, the modern day educational systems has less emphasis on all the components of reading some are considered more important than the others (Dauda, 2014). The products of any educational system should be reasonably empowered to exert some element of control over the events that affects them through efficient and functional education (FRN, 2013). This will greatly be attainable if the education is relevant to the needs, desires and aspirations of the society thereby leading to the development of individuals and the society at large through the acquisition of appropriate knowledge, skills, values, competencies and abilities.
Curriculum is the product of any society that is planned, it considered the problem, need and aspiration of every society since the society is not static but dynamic in nature therefore curriculum should also be dynamic in its planning in education to achieve the desired need of the learners. Olaofe (2013) points that English reading lessons should be taught in such a way that the learners would be able to practice and be aware of all the components of reading.
Teachers of English should have knowledge of variety approaches to second or foreign language teaching. A typical example is learning and speaking which are regular features in a lesson devoted to reading, comprehension or written composition. Availability of resources to overcome common difficulties especially where the language of instruction included the mother tongue. (Williams, 1999 in Jafar, 2014).
There has been growing concern throughout the country over the years about the discouraging state of teaching and learning of English language. This has arisen mainly as a result of failure within teaching and learning contexts to illustrate the connections between classroom English language and the environment the enjoyment learners come from. It has been argued that senior secondary school students must be well grounded in English at this level to enable them study the core subjects. Reading is an essential aspect of English language. It determines learner performance both within and outside the school. Reading is also a complex pattern of behaviour like listening, speaking and writing. It involves the total personality of the reader, his repertoire of life experience, the text interaction and the linguistic competence of the reader to decode the message explicit and implicit in the text. The complex behaviour involves the sensory organs of sight for eye, co-ordination, it also involves a total network of relationship and complex meaning relationships.
Reading also represents a major part of the students studying time which is directly related to the ability to read and understand because most students have not had any instruction on reading since primary school due to this, task of reading has been regarded as solely the concern of the English teacher right from the primary level up to the University level. Reading is the core of the syllabus that is, the availability of books makes learning easy in Azikwe, (2014). That is, when students read, they become informed and professionally competent and there also is improvement in the level which the mind works.
Many students, particularly the secondary school level have problems in reading component, while some cannot read at all, this situation form the basis for such mass failure at the final examination in the country. Every subject demands that students should have basic reading skill in order to read and understand the materials in that subject (Akande, 2011).The student‟s inability to read and understand materials affects their performance in all subjects. It is not surprising that majority of the students cannot read a simple sentence even though this is a basic skill which they are expected to have mastered in their junior secondary school education. This problem could be attributed to lack of proper planning of the curriculum, inadequate methods of teaching, students’ readiness to learn or both?
It is on this basis that the researcher wants to assess the implementation of English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Thus, the study will strive to find out, how English reading components of English Language curriculum is being delivered. This is with a view of determining whether or not the delivery is in conformity with curriculum provision.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria is not an exception to the global efforts at improving the quality of education as a means of ensuring greater learner achievement in schools and national development. The issue has become a universal concern to all stakeholders in education. In the same vein, good performance in English language is vital for quality education generally and effective teaching in all levels of education; more so that English is the language of instruction in schools. By implication this influences the quality of teaching and learning.
The syllabus neglect communication component and appropriateness of use. In some syllabus until recently, there are no precise specification about what should be taught, for what purpose and how? Some parents argued that some teachers were not qualified to teach English language in the secondary schools. School management and student contended that teachers’ qualifications, competency, experience and adequacy were not sufficient to make English language curriculum implementation effective. There are organizational problems, that is, certain limitation by the administration. These include making unrealistic educational policies for example, the language policy in the national policy on education have not been properly implemented, not even in the federal institutions. Others are monopolistic diversion of funds intended for financing education leading to frustration that teachers face in the administration in matters relating to payments of salary and wages.
Abbass (2010), also indicates that there are hues and cries that teachers of English Language are still accustomed to conventional methods of teaching especially the lecture and storytelling methods. It has also been argued that Teachers of English do not support effective handling of the subject to boost the performance of their students. However, one of the leading causes of student‟s poor performance in Nigeria has to do with the instructional methods used by the teachers, which are inadequate to bring about desired level of achievement and participation both within and outside the curriculum. Under this arrangement, the teacher is seen as a disseminator of knowledge, the knower of the answers and a person who heavily relies on textbooks as only available instructional materials, conveys facts and procedures to students and hardly encourages students to engage in practical and creative learning activities.
Therefore, this work was set to assess the implementation of English reading components with a view to exploring it potential for improving students‟ performance. The implication of this problem lies in the fact that, if this problem continue to prevail, it may decline the level of students studying the language as the area of specialization. It is against this background that the researcher carried out a research on Assessment of the Implementation of English Reading Components in Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State with a view of providing information that could facilitate and enhance effective teaching and learning of English language.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were to:-
- examine the extent of the content coverage in teaching English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State;
- determine the availability and use of instructional materials in teaching English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State;
- ascertain the appropriateness of teaching methods used by Teachers of English for teaching reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State; and
- identify the evaluation strategies in teaching English Reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the conduct of this study:
- to what extent isthe content coverage of English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.?
- What are the available instructional materials used in teaching reading components
in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?
- How appropriate are the methods used by Teachers of English for teaching reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?
- How effective are the evaluation strategies used in English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Based on the research questions, the following null hypotheses were formulated for test in the study:
|Ho1||There is no significant difference in opinions of teachers and studentson the extent of content coverage of English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.|
|Ho2:||There is no significant difference in the opinions of teachers and students on the availability and use of instructional materials in teaching English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.|
|Ho3:||There is no significant difference in the opinions of teachers and students on the methods used by Teachers of English for teaching English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.|
|Ho4:||There is no significant difference in the opinions of teachers and students on the evaluation strategies used in teaching English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.|
|1.6||Significance of the Study|
This study “Assessment of the implementation of English reading components on senior secondary schools in Kaduna State” when will be of great significance to many stakeholders in education, especially to government, curriculum experts, teacher and students or learners. On the whole, this study will contribute ideas for improving the teaching of English language in schools. For this reason, this study can be used to further aid effective English language curriculum implementation through effective drills and explanation. Teachers of English can find some of the findings useful by understanding the correct resource to employ in teaching and learning process. Teachers will be encouraged by the study to identify suitable areas that capture scenes of the environment and detect their deficiencies and strength in order to enhance learning.
Curriculum planners of various learning processes can identify and incorporate most suitable reading resources in English language curriculum for maximizing classroom instruction for student benefit. Students will also be motivated by the presence of familiar texts in their classes to enhance their understanding of the lessons. Ministry of Education Kaduna State in particular can also benefit by ensuring availability and maintenance of the available resources and to also provide more to ensure quality instructions.
Educational bodies and associations such as Association of English Language of
Nigeria (AELN) and Teachers of English Association (ELTA), States Educational
Resource Centers (SERC), Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) can benefit by considering the findings of the study in developing the instructional methods and therefore become aware of the variables to manipulate in order to enhance teaching and learning. As corporate bodies they can ensure adequate supply and maintenance of appropriate resources in schools. Text books will also be enabled to improve and upgrade passages in the teaching and learning of English language in schools.
The findings will also enable the government to upgrade the system of enforcing the training of teachers who are competent in English language so as to enhance the management of senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Finally, the result of the study will serve as a guide and source of information for students and future researchers in the area, and use it in the teaching and learning of English language in Nigeria and the globe at large.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on the implementation of English reading components in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Study conducted on phonics and comprehension on SSII students. The study was limited to public senior secondary schools and is expected to cover ten senior secondary schools. In order to implement English language curriculum in the state, the total number of twenty seven (27) senior secondary schools in Zaria educational zone was covered. The study focused on all senior secondary schools‟ teachers and students of Kaduna State, however, the study concentrated on SS II students because they are more familiar and experienced in English language curriculum than SS I, while SS III are preparing to write the SSCE exam. The variables of the study include teaching method, instructional materials and evaluation techniques.
ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE READING SECTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE SYLLABUS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA