The Consequences Of English Language Proficiency On Student Academic Performance In Secondary Schools

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The Consequences Of English Language Proficiency On Student Academic Performance In Secondary Schools


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The capacity of students or learners to possess writing, listening, reading, and speaking abilities in English Language is referred to as English Language competence. Language competency, often known as linguistic competence, is the capacity of a person to speak or act in a foreign language, according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL, 2008). It was suggested that different pedagogues had different ideas on what defines competency. Because of the multilingual and multicultural structure of the Nigerian politics on the one hand, and the lack of a national unifying indigenous language on the other, English has been adopted as a medium of intra-national and inter-national communication (Fakeye, 2006). More crucially, English has become the pivot around which Nigeria’s educational wheel revolves. In addition to being a required school topic that must be passed at all levels of education in Nigeria, the language serves as the medium of teaching for all educational courses from elementary school to university. Ajufo Ajufo Ajufo Ajuf (2007). The deterioration in academic attainment and educational standards in Nigeria has been attributed to pupils’ low performance in English language public tests in recent years. According to Maleki (2007), one of the most important obstacles that EFL students experience in their specific course of study is having difficulty properly absorbing the contents and concepts of the many courses of the curriculum taught in the target language (English language). This is the same difficulty that Nigerian ESL students face in public examinations, when they do poorly in many performance subjects. This might be owing to their inadequacies in the English language, the medium of teaching, which could harm their overall academic performance. According to Feast (2002), if pupils are not proficient in the language of instruction, they will struggle in the numerous educational topics taught in the target language. As a result, the entire performance of Nigerian ESL students is heavily reliant on their English language skills. Language competency is defined by Bachman (1990) as the capacity to communicate in a foreign language. Language competency, according to Oller (1983), is made up of various unique but related notions in addition to a broad construct of language proficiency (Zangani, 1992). Scholars have looked at the link between students’ overall academic success in topic areas and their language skills. Wellington (2000) showed a link between students’ content-area performance and concurrent performance on a language competence exam. Maria (1981) investigated the link between Hispanic students’ performance on English language examinations and their proficiency in mathematics, finding that language test results were ineffective in predicting mathematics achievement. Bayliss (2004) investigated the relationship between academic performance and second language competency, concluding that when pupils reach native-like proficiency levels, the association between academic performance and language proficiency vanishes. As a result, the focus of this research is on the consequences of English language proficiency in secondary schools, with Abi local government serving as a case study.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The ability to communicate in English has long been a prerequisite for understanding other courses taught in secondary schools. Students’ low performance has been linked to a lack of English language ability. Nigerian senior, secondary school students’ low performance in various school topics in public examinations has frequently been blamed on their lack of proficiency in English, which is the medium through which knowledge in school subjects is communicated to learners (Butler, 2003). In a nation like Nigeria, where English is a second language, poor English language use abilities may have an impact on pupils’ academic performance. Students’ academic progress in cataloguing and categorization may suffer as a result of this. Students with poor English language abilities may struggle to understand cataloguing and categorization criteria and may be unable to express themselves well in written assessments and examinations (Castellon, 2004). The purpose of this study is to look into the consequences of English language competence on secondary school students’ academic performance, utilizing Abi as a case study.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall goal of this research is to look at the effects of English language proficiency on secondary school students’ academic performance. The particular goals are as follows:

  1. Determine if secondary schools in Abi local governments employ qualified English Language instructors.
  2. Determine the degree of English language proficiency among Abi LGA secondary school students.
  3. To examine the influence of English language proficiency on secondary school academic performance in Abi LGA.
  4. To see if English language proficiency influences how quickly pupils grasp other courses.
  5. Determine if students with a limited proficiency in the English language are able to express themselves correctly in written assessments and examinations.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Do secondary schools in Abi local governments employ qualified English Language instructors?
  2. What is the degree of English language proficiency among Abi LGA secondary school students?
  3. What are the influences of English language proficiency on secondary school academic performance in Abi LGA?
  4. To see if English language proficiency influences how quickly pupils grasp other courses.
  5. How can determine if students with a limited proficiency in the English language are able to express themselves correctly in written assessments and examinations?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The research sheds light on the core causes of Nigeria’s declining secondary education standards. The findings of this study will also be used to help Nigerian secondary school pupils improve their English language proficiency as a means of correcting their poor academic performance. Curriculum planners and other education stakeholders will be made aware of the importance of English language in the whole knowledge acquisition process in formal education. By considering sections of the literature that have not yet been researched or explored and including these factors into the current study, this study will add to the existing body of knowledge. As a result, the research will serve as a foundation for future research in the sector.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The aim of this research is on the consequences of English language proficiency on secondary school pupils’ academic performance, with Abi local government area as a case study.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Lack of time, respondent unwillingness to provide information, and restricted resources were among the significant challenges the researchers faced in conducting this study.


The Consequences Of English Language Proficiency On Student Academic Performance In Secondary Schools


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The Consequences Of English Language Proficiency On Student Academic Performance In Secondary Schools


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Frequently Asked Questions


Do deficient English language use skills affect academic performance?

Deficient English Language use skills could affect academic performance of students in a country like Nigeria where English Language is a second language. This may result in poor academic achievement of students in cataloguing and classification.

What is the importance of English language proficiency?

The level of English language proficiency has been an important requirement for the comprehension of other subjects offered in secondary schools. The poor performance of students has been connected to poor English language proficiency.

Why do English poor students fail to learn English?

Study findings also indicated that students’ infrequent use of English language at school and home, large class size, teachers’ responsibilities, poor conducive teaching and learning environment in the classrooms, limited home support environment and poverty were contributing factors for English poor.

What are the factors that affect English language learning?

Study findings also indicated that students’ infrequent use of English language at school and home, large class size, teachers’ responsibilities, poor conducive teaching and learning environment in the classrooms, limited home support environment and poverty were contributing factors for English poor. 

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