DIFFICULT TOPICS AND ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE: THE PERCEPTION OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS AND TEACHERS IN MAKURDI TOWNSHIP, BENUE STATE, NIGERIA

T. Terver Udu

Abstract


This study determined which topics in the English language curriculum for senior secondary school are perceived by students and teachers as difficult. It also examined difficult topics vis-à-vis English language achievement. Seven research questions were answered using descriptive statistics and two hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using t-test statistics. The study involving twelve English language teachers and one hundred and eighty seven students was carried out in Makurdi Township, Benue State, Nigeria during the second term of 2015/16 academic session. A self-developed questionnaire with closed-ended items was used to elicit data. Since the researcher relied on the opinion of the respondents for data collection, survey design was chosen as method of research. The results of the analysis showed that out of the 35 topics selected from the SSCE syllabus and prescribed textbooks for English at that level, teachers perceived 14 as difficult topics, while students perceived 22 as difficult topics. The reasons why they were experiencing difficulty with the topics were poor reading and study skills, absence of motivation, hatred for English language, poor experience with the subject, and poor teaching methods. The study recommended remedial teaching of difficult topics, the use of ICT; retraining of teachers, peer teaching, and professionalization of teachers as steps to improve English language teaching and learning.

 

Article visualizations:

Hit counter

DOI

Keywords


difficult topics, achievement, English as a second language (ESL), senior secondary school

References


Akere, F. (1995). Language in the curriculum: An assessment of the role of English and other languages in the education delivery process in Nigeria. A. Bamgbose, A. Banjo, and A. Thomas, (Eds.) New Englishes: A West African Perspective, 178—199.

Al-Mekhlafi, A.M., & Nagaratnam, R. P. (2011). Difficulties in teaching and learning grammar in an EFL Context. Iinternational Journal of Instruction, 4 (2), 69-92.

Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science.(5th ed.).New York: Open University Press.

Cimer, A. (2012). What makes Biology learning difficult and effective: students’ views. Educational Research and Reviews Vol. 7(3), pp. 61-71 Retrieved January 12, 2017 from http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1379665422_Cimer.pdf.

Dada, S.A., Owoeye, O.K., & Ojo, G.A. (2015). The sociology of language maintenance in Nigeria. English literature and Language Review, 1 (5), 37-47.

El-Omari, A.H. (2016). Factors Affecting Students' Achievement in English Language Learning. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 6(2),9-18.

Elturki, E. (2014). An Investigation of Grammar Problems Facing English Language Learners. Humanizing Language Teaching, 16 (2). Retrieved January 12, 2017 from http://www.hltmag.co.uk/apr14/mart04.htm.

Eyisi, J., Adepoju, T., Adam, Q., Adekunle, A., Ademola-Adeoye, F., & Eto, J. (2014). New Concept English for Senior Secondary Schools, Students’ Book 2. Lagos: Learn Africa.

Golam, A. (2012). Factors Affecting Students’ English Achievement at Secondary Level in Bangladesh: The Comparative Study of Narayanganj and Bhola Sadar Upazilla, unpublished master’s thesis, Hiroshima University.

Haynes, J. (1998). Challenges for ELLs in Content Area Learning. Retrieved January 12, 2017 from http://www.everythingesl.net/inservices/challenges_ells_content_area_l_65322.php.

Kaçani, L., & Mangelli, S. (2013). Albanian teachers’ perception about difficulties in teaching and learning grammar of EFL. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 3(3),149—156.

Kuiper, K, & Allan, W.S. (1996). An introduction to English language: sound, word and sentence. New York: Palgrave.

Maposa, F. (1992). Teachers’ perceptions of the levels of difficulty of aspects of English language for O’level students in Zimbabwe and their perceptions of the use of literature in English in teaching English language, ZJER, 3 (2), 248—270.Retrieved September 13, 2015 from http://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/.

Mohammed, A. (1995). Communicative competence acquisition in infelicitous learning environments: the problem with SSS English in Nigeria. A. Bamgbose, A. Banjo, and A. Thomas, (Eds.) New Englishes: A West African Perspective, 130—199

Mosha, M.A. (2014). Factors Affecting Students’ Performance in English Language in Zanzibar Rural and Urban Secondary Schools. Journal of Education and Practice, 5 (35), 64-76. Retrieved December 20, 2016 from www.iiste.org.

Ogunkola, B.J., & Samuel, D. (2011). Science teachers’ and students’ perceived difficult topics in the integrated science curriculum of lower secondary schools in Barbados. World Journal of Education, 1 (2), 17—29. Retrieved January 12, 2017 from www.sciedu.ca/.

Olubukola, A. (2015). An investigation of difficult topics in the Senior Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum as perceived by student teachers. American Journal of Educational Research, 3(7), 844—848.

Oyetunde, T.O. (2006). Teacher development and effective English teaching as a second language. English Language Teaching Today,5, 16—23.

Pallant, J. (2005). SPPS survival manual: a step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS for windows (versions 12). Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.

Peng, S. Y. (2014). Analysis of Perceived Difficulty Rank of English Skills of College Students in China. Studies in Literature and Language, 8 (3), 15-21. Available from: http://www.cscanada.net/index.php/sll/article/view/ 5128 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/5128.

Sa’ad, T.U., & Usman, R. (2014). The Causes of Poor Performance in English Language among Senior Secondary School Students in Dutse Metropolis of Jigawa State, Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education, 4(5), Ver. VI (Sep-Oct. 2014), 41-47. Retrieved December 12, 2016 from www.iosrjournals.org.

Samba, R.M.O., & Eriba, J.O. (2012). Background information. R.M.O.Samba & J.O. Eriba (Eds.) Innovative approaches in teaching difficult science concepts. Makurdi: Destiny Ventures, 1-5.

Shahzada, G., Ghazi, S.R., & Khan, U.A. (2012). Causes of rising failure of the students’ in the subject of English at Secondary Level. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 3 (1), 605—611.

The West African Examinations Council (2000). The West African Senior School Certificate Examinations chief examiners’ report. Lagos: WAEC.

The West African Examinations Council (2003). The West African Senior School Certificate Examinations chief examiners’ report. Lagos: WAEC.

The West African Examinations Council (2004). The West African Senior School Certificate Examinations chief examiners’ report. Lagos: WAEC.

The West African Examinations Council (2005). The West African Senior School Certificate Examinations chief examiners’ report. Lagos: WAEC.

The West African Examinations Council (2006). Executive summary of Entries, results and chief examiners’ reports on the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) conducted in Nigeria in 2006. Lagos: WAEC.

The West African Examinations Council (2014). Regulations and syllabuses for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination 2014—2016. WAEC: Lagos.

Udu, T.T. (2012). Effectiveness of using the communicative language teaching approach in improving SS 2 science students’ use of English passives in Katsina-Ala LGA., Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Jos.

Udu, T.T. (2014). Effects of using the communicative language teaching approach in improving SS 2 science students’ use of English passives in Katsina-Ala LGA. Nigeria Educational Forum, 22 (1),151—164.

Ukeje, B. (2000). Teacher education in Nigeria: current status, 21st Century challenges and strategies for improvement. C.T.O. Akinmade, et al (Eds.). Improving teacher education in 21st Century Nigeria, pp.1-19.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015. European Journal of English Language Teaching (ISSN 2501-7136) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).