Effect Of Mother Tongue And Students Academic Performance In Mathematics

Mathematics Education Project Material

Effect Of Mother Tongue And Students Academic Performance In Mathematics


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the effect of mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA,Rivers State as a case study. The study was specifically set to ascertain whether there is a significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics, determine whether the use of mother tongue facilitates effective communication during the teaching and learning of mathematics, determine whether the use of mother tongue in teaching of Mathematics stimulates student’s interest and retention ability in secondary schools, and determine whether the use of mother tongue enhances students academic performance in mathematics. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of mathematics teachers and students of some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA,Rivers State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores. While the hypotheses were tested using Pearson Correlation statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that there is a significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics. Furthermore the study also revealed that the use of mother tongue enhances students academic performance in mathematics. Therefore the study recommends that teacher training institutions should incorporate instructions in mother tongue in their teacher training programme so as to produce teachers that will be able to teach all subjects in their mother-tongue. To mention but a few.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

All students deserve to become mathematically literate regardless of gender, socioeconomic background, language, cultural background, learning ability or previous mathematics experiences (Njagi, 2015). Equity in education has become a common concern with a focus on positive attempts to achieve equity in different educational systems Equity in education can be achieved by teaching students corresponding to their level of readiness, their interests and learning style, maximizing their opportunities for personal learning and growth. Thus equity in education and social justice can only be met if teachers find the way to correspond to various learning situations by modeling teaching.

Mathematics can be defined as the science of numbers and space and the language of science and technology. Mathematics remains one of the compulsory subjects for the Nigerian students at both primary and post primary schools (Ayeni, 2012). Yet pupils` perform poorly in Mathematics. This problem could be attributed to inadequate grasp of the language of instruction among others (Abubakar, Umar and Musawa 2015).

The development and growth of the society largely depend on the language which links the people together (Abubakari, 2015). Boris, Stefan, Sherry, Ashok and Michael (2009) defined language as a vehicle for conveying the culture and traditions of the people that own it. This implies that language must be the pivot on to which the appreciation of culture revolves. In other words, people’s culture cannot be fully appreciated without the use of language which conveys such culture. Therefore people that lose its language will be people without a culture and once people have no culture they cannot be identified as people; it becomes people without a future and identity. Language education is the most important of a people’s culture; it is the most distinctive of all the traits that separates human being conceivable. In other words, it is that tool that differentiates the human from animals. Language forms the basis for translating thought, discoveries and inventions into reality from one generation to another (Adefugbo, 1980).

Primary education is where the foundations of secondary and tertiary education are laid Abidogun, (2012), Etor, Mbon&Ekanem, 2013 and Omoogun 2015). Therefore, the selection of the suitable language as medium of instruction is important. The general usage of the term “mother tongue” denotes not only the language one learns from one’s mother, but also the speaker’s dominant and home language, that is, not only the first language according to the time of acquisition, but the first with regard to its importance and the speaker’s ability to master its linguistic and communicative aspects (Richard, 2019)

Ojetunde (2012), is of the opinion that mother-tongue should serve as a medium of instruction in the formative years (1-12). This, according to him, will offer the child opportunity to explore his natural environment, develop inquisitiveness, communicate in the natural language, develop reasoning capability and aggravate self-confidence. This implies that language of learning mathematics at this level is very crucial. Pupils have to learn and understand mathematics perceptions through a language, this arises the need of making use of the correct vocabulary as they make mathematical inquiries, elucidations and create inferences (Tracy 1994 in Abubakar, Umar and Musawa 2015). However, Kioko (2015) pointed out that learners benefit from using their home language in education in early grade years. English language poses challenges to learning Mathematics because; the language was imposed on the people of Nigeria by the colonial masters; (Okudo, 2013).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is clear at local and national levels when communities, parents, local education officers and national authorities recognize that the longstanding language-in education policies they have been relying on to usher in economic and social progress have simply not worked. Parents may wonder why they are investing so heavily in an education that yields no employment; teachers spend their careers attempting to communicate knowledge in an international language to students who cannot assimilate it; education officers in rural areas despair of ever improving the national standing of their schools when most of their students fail final exams; and national education authorities meet with their international counterparts and realize that in effective national schooling exists in other countries as well (Koseoglu, 2015). Each of these concerns can be addressed in some measure by explicitly including local languages in formal education systems. The research evidence today clearly shows that using the learners’ mother tongue is crucial to effective learning.In summary, nations like Europe and Asia have kept pace with the national development on both continents, while these nations involve their mother tongues in their development enterprises and succeed, black nation of Africa like Nigeria rather withdrew their own languages from this very vital enterprise and development eludes them (Dada, 2020). However, the problem of poor achievement by Nigerian students in mathematics has been of concern to all mathematics teachers in the country. These could be seen in the introduction of different teaching strategies and reforms to arrest the situation which has all been in vain. This is why the researcher observed that mathematics education in Nigeria is still in a deplorable state at various levels of Nigerian educational system. The achievement of Nigerian students in mathematics both in internal and external examinations has shown a considerable and progressive deterioration. At the school certificate level the West African Examination Council, chief examiners’ reports from 2012 to 2017 confirm these observations. The situation seems to be getting worse, up to the point that Nigeria has started taking as low as second to the last position in achievement of students in school certification in mathematics examinations among the eleven English speaking West African countries.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to examine the effect of mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain whether there is a significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics.
  2. Determine whether the use of mother tongue facilitates effective communication during the teaching and learning of mathematics.
  3. Determine whether the use of mother tongue in teaching of Mathematics stimulates student’s interest and retention ability in secondary schools.
  4. Determine whether the use of mother tongue enhances students academic performance in mathematics.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

  1. Is there a significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics?
  2. Does the use of mother tongue facilitates effective communication during the teaching and learning of mathematics?
  3. Does the use of mother tongue in teaching of Mathematics stimulates student’s interest and retention ability in secondary schools?
  4. Does the use of mother tongue enhances students academic performance in mathematics?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: There is no significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics.
  • Ha: There is a significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be significant to the ministry of education as it will be exposed to considering the benefits of using mother tongue in the teaching and learning of some subjects in schools as this will go a long way in ensuring students academic excellence.The study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally examine the effect of mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics. However the study will be delimited to some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited to extention teachers as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other aspect of agriculture. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Mother Tongue:

The first language learned at home in childhood and still understood by the person at the time the data was collected.

Academic Achievement:

Performance outcomes in intellectual domains taught at school, college, and university.

Mathematics:

Mathematics in a strict sense is the abstract science which investigates deductively the conclusion impact in the elementary concept of spatial and numerical relation. It has also be defined as a science size and numbers of which arithmetic algebra, trigonometry and geometry are the branches.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the effect of mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA,Rivers State as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the effect of mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State as a case study. The study was specifically set to ascertain whether there is a significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics, determine whether the use of mother tongue facilitates effective communication during the teaching and learning of mathematics, determine whether the use of mother tongue in teaching of Mathematics stimulates student’s interest and retention ability in secondary schools, and determine whether the use of mother tongue enhances students academic performance in mathematics.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are mathematics teachers and students of some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. There is a significant relationship between mother tongue and students academic performance in mathematics.
  2. The use of mother tongue facilitates effective communication during the teaching and learning of mathematics.
  3. The use of mother tongue in teaching of Mathematics stimulates student’s interest and retention ability in secondary schools.
  4. The use of mother tongue enhances students academic performance in mathematics.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. It is recommended that having found mother tongue to be effective in teaching and learning mathematics at lower basic classes, government should enforce the mother tongue policy as stated in National policy of Education.
  2. Teacher training institutions should incorporate instructions in mother tongue in their teacher training programme so as to produce teachers that will be able to teach all subjects in their mother-tongue.
  3. The use of the national language in our schools should be encouraged: this will help to preserve our national culture and heritage.
  4. Parents should endeavor to speak and encourage their children to speak and study in their mother-tongue.
  5. Society and groups should be educated on the need to support mother tongue initiatives in the teaching of mathematics.

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