The Effect Of Unofficial Languages Usage On Teaching And Learning In Secondary Schools In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Secondary Schools In Aba North LGA)

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The Effect Of Unofficial Languages Usage On Teaching And Learning In Secondary Schools In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Secondary Schools In Aba North LGA)


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Language is a means of communication and it contributes in no small measure to national building and development. It provides us with not only just a mode of interaction, but also with a capacity of representation. Everybody knows that language concerns the everyday lives of people their social interaction, economic, political and developmental situation. Language is a socio cultural phenomena on which has the characteristic role of communication as well as being an index of group’s identity. For language to be functional, it has to perform a communicative role. According to Farinde and Ojo (2001), they cited Gimson, stating that: language is a system of conventional vocal symbol used for communication by a whole community. Language is characterised by a set of vocal sounds which can be decoded. According to Akindele (1999) stated that, language is a system of symbol or vocal system by which human being communicate experience. Language helps human beings to express their feeling and thought to one another. According to Gimson (2000) “language is the institute whereby humans communicate and interact with one another by means of habitually used oral-auditory arbitrary symbols.

Unofficial language can be construed to mean a language spoken of belonging or connected with a particular place or area which one is talking about or with the place where one lives (Adedeji, 2014). Indigenous languages are the tribal, native or local language spoken. The language would be from a linguistically distinct community that has been settled in the area for many generations (Jibir-Daura, 2014). Language being a potent vehicle of transmitting culture, norms, values and beliefs from generation to generation remains a central factor in determining the overall status of a nation (Yusuf, 2012). Indigenous language refers to the various native languages spoken in Nigerian. They are languages that are aboriginal to the people (Adeniyi & Bello, 2006).

Today, English has grown to become the official national language of Nigerian and continues to play important roles in the nation as the language of education, media, religion (especially the Pentecostal Christian Faith), and the language of politics, governance and law. However even though English as the official language has been adopted as the means of teaching and learning in the school environment, there has been an either intentional or unintentional use of the native language known as unofficial language or mother tongue which seemly affects the learning and teaching process from what it ought to be. Therefore it is on this note that this study seek to examine the effect of unofficial language usage on teaching and learning in secondary school.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

It is becoming increasingly difficult to know if a particular student really went to school or perhaps was well schooled in the rudiments of English. It is not an over statement if we say that most of the students cannot make simple, clear and error-free sentences in English language. This has been attributed to the frequent use of unofficial languages by teachers and students during the teaching-learning process either by way of code switching or code mixing in communication within the school environment .Though the use of native language or mother tongue is fast becoming more and more important as a language but notwithstanding, English remain the only official language of communication in Nigeria. Therefore when Unofficial language is repeatedly use by the teachers or the student during the teaching-learning process, it poses to be a problem to effective teaching. Hence Student find it difficult to differentiate the importance between their native language and Standard English both in their spoken and written form which is not ideal to the purpose of schooling. Again the constant use of mother tongue impedes proper communication within the school environment thus English language as the official language becomes a problem for a child to effectively learn, write, speak as he cannot understand the teacher because the only language he/she understands in native language.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The focus of this study is to examine the effect of unofficial language usage on teaching and learning in secondary schools using Aba North as a case study. Specifically the study will examine if the use of mother tongue in school affect the ideal purpose of formal education. It will examine if teachers in secondary schools either by the way of either by way of code switching or code mixing d use unofficial language during teaching process. It will examine if the use of native language affects the learning pace of the student. It will investigate if unofficial language usage by teacher affects the writing and speaking skill of the student.


1.4 Significance Of The Study

Students and teachers, government, parents, authors, and publishers of English textbooks are expected to benefit from the findings of this study. Students are going to benefit from the study because they will discover that the use of unofficial language poses a great limitation to their learning pace. For instance, they cannot use native language to to write internal and external examinations. They cannot use native language to communicate their ideas in the midst of educated people. This study will help them begin to use English so as to be conversant in it and at the same time meet their academic attainment. This study will benefit the teachers in that it will move them to use simple and correct English in teaching instead of unofficial language no matter how easy it is. The school management board will also benefit from this study since it will help them to understand the causes of failure in English and other subject in the secondary school certificate examinations and other unified English examinations. Finally this study will contribute to the knowledge body, serving as a reference material for other researcher and give room for further researches on this field.


1.5 Scope Of The Study

The focus of this study is to examine the effect of unofficial language usage on teaching and learning in secondary schools using selected secondary school in Aba North Local government area of Abia State as a case study.


1.6 Research Questions

The following research question guides the study:

  1. Do you think the use of mother tongue in school affect the ideal purpose of formal education?
  2. Do you think think that teachers in secondary schools either by the way of code switching or code mixing uses unofficial language during teaching process?
  3. Do you think that the use of native language affects the learning pace of the student?
  4. Do you think that unofficial language usage by teachers affect the English writing and speaking skill of the student?
  5. Do you think that unofficial language usage has a significant effect on teaching and learning in secondary school?
  6. To what extent does the use of unofficial language usage affect the teaching and learning process in secondary school?

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

During the course of the study challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following numerous. These are

Inadequate Finance:

The research was face with problem of inadequate fund which hinder the researcher from shuttering to Access Banks within Lagos more so in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time Constrain:

Time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in large more representative skill.


1.8 Definition Of Term

Unofficial Language:

Unofficial language can be construed to mean a language spoken of belonging or connected with a particular place or area which one is talking about or with the place where one lives

Pidgin English:

This is an informal language used among people from different ethnic group who already have mother tongue before coming in contact with English.

Standard English:

This refers to the language of the British which is generally accepted and use as an official language in Nigeria. It is also known as second language(L2)

Mother Tongue:

This refers to the first language a person learns to speak before acquiring any other language. It is also known as first language. (LI)


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Frequently Asked Questions


Is English a second language in Nigeria?

English is regarded as a second language. Nigeria civil service, government establishment armed forces, the public and judiciary system English is the prescribed language of communication among the various ethnic groups with different language backgrounds. In social gatherings, English is used among people for social interaction.

What are the problems of English language teachers in Enugu North?

That teachers of English language in Enugu North do not have teaching aids in their various schools visited. That students are hardly fluent in English language. That most of the English language teachers are not qualified that students are hardly buy books in English language.

What is the importance of English in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, English serves several purposes that are very important to her existence. It is the lingua franca of the country and the official language in the society due to multi-ethnic groups that speak different languages.

Is English a second language in secondary schools?

Although the English language is now the language of government, business and commerce, education, mass media, literature and internal as well as external communication, there are still problems in the teaching of English as a second language in secondary schools. 

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