The Challenges And Prospects Of Teaching And Learning Verbs In Secondary Schools

Project and Seminar Material for English Education

The Challenges And Prospects Of Teaching And Learning Verbs In Secondary Schools


This study is designed to investigate the challenges and prospects of teaching and learning verbs in secondary schools. The topic was built on the assumption that both the junior and senior secondary students are challenged when it comes to classifying and grouping the English verb groups.

The study found out that indeed students do find it difficult to understand group the English verbs and also most grammar teachers are challenged when, it concerns teaching the English verbs to the students understanding.
Recommendations were made on how to improve the quality of the teachers.

Table of Content

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Purpose of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Delimitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms
  • 1.9 Research Outlines

Chapter Two

Literature Review and Previous Studies

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Historical Background of English Phrasal Verbs
  • 2.2.1 Definition of Phrasal Verbs
  • 2.3 The Concept of Phrasal Verbs
  • 2.3.1 Verbs plus Preposition
  • 2.3.2 Ancestors of Phrasal Verbs in Old English:
  • 2.4 Best Way of Learning Phrasal Verbs
  • 2.5 The Classification of Phrasal Verbs
  • 2.6 Syntactic Tests for Phrasal Verbs and Prepositional Verbs
  • 2.7 Empirical Studies

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Population and Sample of the Study
  • 3.4 Instrumentation
  • 3.4.1 Teachers’ Questionnaire:
  • 3.5 Validity and Reliability of the Research Tool:
  • 3.5.1 Validity of the Questionnaire:

Chapter Four

Data Analysis, Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Result of Data Analysis

Chapter Five

Summary, Findings and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary of the study
  • 5.2 Conclusions and Recommendations of the Study
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Human society can grow where there is growth of knowledge of which knowledge grows through education and research. So, the primary purpose of research is to contribute to the growth of ideas. Through research, new ideas are created and knowledge is increasingly enriched. A research work is a serious academics project which requires a high sense of responsibility, initiative, discipline, honesty and objectivity.

The research focuses on the challenges and prospects of teaching and learning of verbs in secondary schools. Abel Olaniyi (2012:58) sees research as reports of experimentation or investigation geared toward the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws.

Research appears to be making an increasing impact on our everyday lives. In public discussions today, the evidence of this fact is considered to be important. We are unlikely to accept authoritative statements without some explanation to prove the statement; As a result, we are in danger sometimes of being swamped by facts. The trouble is that the facts cannot always be trusted. Every profession requires its members to acquire certain specialized abilities and teaching is no exception (LUX, 1972).

Among the specialized abilities of a classroom teacher is to have some certain behaviors which promote both the teaching of the subject English language and the student’s attitude in learning the word class “VERBS”. Verbs as a word class are very important because they are the actions performed in a sentence.

Teacher’s classroom Interactions can be analyzed in order to obtain information on how to be effective with regards to the teaching and learning process in the classroom and selection of teaching methods for which to develop and control their behavior in a continuing programme of self- development.

There is the need for using different methods in teaching different groups of students, For instance, in teaching the word class “Verbs” the teacher needs to make it an interactive class for the students, so, the demonstration method should be applied rather than the lecture method to make the subject easy to learn.

However the only way to find out the usefulness of the different methods is to observe their behavior in different ability levels, in selection of methodology of teaching the teacher has to bear in mind;

  1. How should English language be taught?
  2. What teaching method would be suitable in the teaching of English language, Verbs in particular?
  3. What is the role of group discussion and classroom demonstration?

There are basically several methods of observing English verbs teachers, two of these are:

  1. Interaction Analysis
  2. Topological Studies, that is, step by step observation based on record.
  3. It is generally accepted that application and understanding of education events are essential to any analysis of educational process. Teachers should analyze their classroom interaction in order to obtain effective learning, especially, their own actions during the process of teaching and learning English verbs.

1.2 Statement of the Problem.

For many years now, there have been expressed concerns about the problems laced by the most teachers in teaching English verbs and also most students who do not perform excellently in their English language especially in the word class, verbs, aspect in secondary schools. Such problems include:

Insufficient training, inadequate facilities, poor teaching techniques and inappropriate language communication skills. A.N Akwuanya(2009), Observed that the low performance of Nigerian students in English language both in terminal and secondary school certificate examinations has been worsening since the mid-1970s and it is often attributed to factors like:

  1. Poor attitudes towards the second language
  2. Low investment in Education
  3. Poor training of teachers
  4. Lack of commitment among teachers
  5. Poor teaching methods

It is in view of this that the research is carried out to find out the challenges and prospects of teaching and learning English verbs in secondary schools and at the end suggest possible sections for effective teaching and learning.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study aims at achieving the following objectives:

  1. To investigate the nature of problems of using English verbs by the students in secondary schools.
  2. To investigate the attitudes of teachers towards teaching of verbs in class
  3. To determine possible solutions to solve these problems mentioned.

1.4 Research Questions

This study attempts to answer the following:

  1. To what extent is verbs usage problematic for secondary school students?
  2. What are the possible causes behind problems that face secondary school students in using verbs?
  3. What are possible strategies for teachers to solve these problems?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Any venture into the problem of teaching and learning is a step further in the advancement of education, therefore, this study is expected to be of help to any English teacher who desires to teach English Grammar especially the “VERB” as it helps in improving teaching and learning and also in putting the secondary students straight on the idea of the verb class.

Moreover, it would help in understanding the various problems affecting the teaching as well as the learning of verbs so as to proffer a solution to the problem as the future of our youths depends on the back ground we are able to provide for them.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is broadly consisted of two areas in linguistics: syntax and semantics, syntax deals with the internal structure of sentence, clause or a phrase.

Each of these forms a study is restricted to one syntactic unit namely the phrase and because phrases are different types. This study is restricted to Lexicalized syntactic expression known as phrasal verbs.

For this research, we are limited to studying only phrasal verb groups and the challenge it poses in teaching and learning in secondary schools in Lagos State.

1.7 Delimitation of the Study.

This study cannot cover the whole of Lagos State due to time factor and financial constraints so; it would be limited to selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area in Lagos State, Nigeria.

1.8 Definition of Terms


A verb from the Latin word ”Verbum” meaning word is a part of speech that conveys an action E.g. bring, read, walk, run, learn, drive, an occurrence E.g. happen, become, or, a state of being E.g. be, exist, stand. In this study, it is the most important.


This is someone whose job it is to impact knowledge on learners.


This is the activity of transferring body of knowledge to the students.


This is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, practice, or study or being taught.


A learner is someone who learns from a teacher or takes up knowledge or beliefs.


A branch of the West Germanic Languages studied world over for effective communication.

1.9 Research Outlines:

  • Chapter One: Introduction, context of the study problem, statement of the problem, research questions, research hypotheses, methodology of the study, objectives of the study, significance of the study and limits of the study.
  • Chapter Two: Literature Review & Previous Studies
  • Chapter Three: Research Methodology
  • Chapter Four: Data Analysis, Results and Discussion
  • Chapter Five: Summary, Findings, Recommendations, and Suggestions for Further Studies

Chapter Five

Summary, Findings and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of the Study:

Since phrasal verbs are expressions peculiar to a language, their perception is often not a great challenge to the native speakers of that language because they form a manner of speaking that is natural to that speaker. The researcher used the descriptive analytical method in conducting this study. The data was collected from fifteen (15) English teachers from different secondary schools and the data obtained was analyzed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 23).

5.2 Conclusions and Recommendations of the Study

This study concluded to the following findings:

  1. Secondary schools students face problems in using English phrasal verbs.
  2. One of possible causes of problems of using English phrasal verbs is the lack of early instruction in secondary schools students.
  3. The problems of using English phrasal verbs in secondary schools are due to complexity of understanding the phrasal verbs themselves.
  4. Including phrasal verbs in English language syllabus and providing sufficient training for teachers could be one of the possible solutions to the problems of using phrasal verbs.

In the light of the findings of this study, the researcher recommends the following points:

  1. The practice of English phrasal verbs should be further emphasized in the syllabus.
  2. The effective strategies in teaching phrasal verbs are used to help students to promote their awareness in using phrasal verbs, for example, more exercises in using phrasal verbs.
  3. The students should be encouraged to practice phrasal verbs out of the classrooms and they should try to build their own knowledge about phrasal verbs.
  4. More practical approaches in teaching and learning English phrasal verbs should be used in English foreign learners, classrooms.

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