An Evaluative Study Of Teaching Of English Grammatical Structures In Some Selected Primary Schools

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An Evaluative Study Of Teaching Of English Grammatical Structures In Some Selected Primary Schools


Abstract


This research work is concerned with the evaluative study of teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school. The research deals with the nature, objectives, methods steps and the problems of teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in some selected primary schools in Kaduna North Local Government. In chapter one, the problem to be investigated was stated; objectives, hypothesis, scope and delimitation of the study were well treated. While chapter two reviews relevant literature related to the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school. The last three chapters centered on research methodology (i.e. methods of data collection), tabulation, analysis and discussion of data collected, summary, recommendations for the improvement of teaching and learning of grammatical structures in the primary school; there is also a general conclusion of all the issues raised in this research work.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The teaching and learning of English Language is very important in our society today. This is because of the various roles it plays in the geo-political structure of the country. In Nigeria, English Language is used for communication, education, economic and social purposes. In the school system, English Language is not only taught as a subject but it is also the core subject by which over school subject is being taught.

Despite the above, less attention is given to the grammatical aspect of English in the primary school. Today, the nature of teaching and learning of English grammatical structure in the primary school has become area of great interest to teachers, researchers, and policy makers because through it the acquisition of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) is greatly enhanced.

In view of the above, grammatical structure which entails English tenses, parts of speech, punctuation, concord, clauses and phrases, is of immense importance to the teaching, learning and mastery of English language among primary school pupils. Therefore it must not only be taught to the pupils, but it should be taken seriously at the primary school level since primary education is a better foundation on which the future depends.

Looking however at what is applicable in some selected primary schools in Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the general practice by both teachers and pupils towards the teaching and learning of English grammatical structure is not encouraging. Emphasis has shifted from learning the grammar of the language to teaching of writing and reading comprehension, the use of past common entrance examination question papers, teaching of spellings, dictation etc instead of adequate instruction/explanation on the aspects of English grammatical structures which is much needed by the pupils.

Lack of trained/qualified teachers, inadequate materials (textbooks and teaching aids), poor classroom facilities, ambiguity of some English syllabi, inadequate evaluation of teacher’s work by the supervisory authority, the teacher’s inability to properly evaluate pupils’ work on grammar, are all contributory factors to pupils’ poor performance in not only grammatical structure but other aspects of English language at large.

Therefore the teaching and learning of English language in the primary school should be to ensure that pupils have good knowledge and mastery of the grammatical structures and the ability to use these effectively for a better improvement in English language. This is what has actually prompted the need for this research.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem to be investigated in “An evaluative study of the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in some primary schools.”

The research work is aimed at identifying the causes of pupils’ poor performance in using English structural items correctly. As a result of this, and other problems, this research will specifically investigate the following:

  1. How pupils in the primary schools are motivated to learn and use English grammatical structures.
  2. The methods and techniques employed by teachers in the teaching of English structural items in the primary school and the effectiveness of these methods and techniques.
  3. The types of materials (textbooks/teaching aids) used by the teachers and how relevant these materials are to the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures.
  4. The types of teachers employed to teach English language in the primary school.
  5. The areas of difficulty faced by teachers and pupils in the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary schools.
  6. Suggest how best to improve the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research are:

  1. Find out how English grammatical structures are being taught in the primary school.
  2. Address the various challenges faced by teachers and learners of English especially in the aspects of grammatical structures.
  3. Make educational planners, language policy makers, curriculum developers and educational administrators to be aware of what is happening in the field (class room).
  4. Identify problem areas in the teaching and learning English grammatical structures in the primary schools and to proffer solutions to such identified problems.
  5. Assess and evaluate the quality of teachers teaching English and the materials used in the teaching of English grammatical structures whether the materials are adequate, relevant or not.
  6. Finally this research work will suggest and recommend some measures for improving the standard of English language teaching and learning with special focus on grammatical structures at the primary school level.

1.4 Hypothesis

There has been great and serious concern from parents, teachers and educational bodies about the declining standard of pupils’ performance in English language. It is because of this that the researcher sets out to test the following hypotheses:

  1. That pupils in the primary school show non challant attitude to the learning of English grammatical structures due to its rules and technicalities.
  2. That some of the teachers teaching English are not qualified to teach English.
  3. That some teachers use methods that are inappropriate and inadequate for pupils comprehension in the teaching of English grammatical structures.
  4. That there is general neglect by both teachers and pupils on the aspect of grammatical structures.
  5. That some English textbooks are inadequate, outdated and inappropriate for pupils’ learning background.

1.5 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

Due to the large size of the study area and the number of primary schools availably, the researcher finds it uneasy to cover the whole primary schools in the local government area. Few schools are therefore randomly selected for the purpose of this study, namely:

  1. L.G.E.A Primary School, U/Sarki
  2. L.G.E.A Primary School, U/Rimi
  3. L.G.E.A Primary School, Kaduna
  4. L.G.E.A Primary School, Kawo
  5. L.E.A Primary School, U/Shanu.
  6. L.G.E.A Primary School, M/Gari.

This research is also going to centre on the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the above primary schools only.


Chapter Five


Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

In this research, the researcher has tried to find out the meaning of grammar and structure. The research work also investigated the nature, methods, steps, objectives and problems of teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school. Views of some linguists concerning this subject matter were also discussed. In undertaking this research, six primary schools, teachers, pupils, district and local government education offices, and education officers within the study area were used as major sources of data.

It was discovered that for any successful learning on grammatical structures to take place, the preparedness of the pupils is very important. As a result, teachers should expose the pupils to different learning materials and situations. These will prepare the pupils and make them read for the real learning situation on grammatical structures.

In the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures, the role of the teacher is very important. However, this research discovered that most teachers of English in the primary school are either not having the minimum teaching qualification or are not trained in the art of teaching English language. Therefore teachers of English need to be well trained so that they can do their job with professional competence.

During the data collection and analysis in this research, several methods including the use of questionnaire, interview, observation, text and course syllabus were employed.

Based on the findings of this research, some recommendations on how to improve the teaching and learning of English language and grammatical structures in particular are made.


5.2 Conclusion

This research work has exploited and put together the necessary requirements for the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school. The researcher therefore is encouraging parents, teachers and the government to take interest in the primary education of children especially in areas relating to English language learning. The teachers, should discharge their duties with dedication and honesty so as to enable pupils master the aspects of English grammatical structures very well at the early stage of education.

Finally all the findings and recommendations put in this research will enable pupils, teachers, local education authorities, state primary education boards, National Primary Education Commission, National Primary Curriculum Implementation Committee (NPCIC), and other related bodies to effect changes and ensure efficiency in the teaching and learning of English language in general and grammatical structures in particular in the primary schools.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this research, it is very important for the researcher to make some recommendations on how the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school can be improved.

  1. English lesson in the primary schools should be placed at the early hours of the day. At least between eight and ten O’clock in the morning. This is because these hours are conducive for learning to take place unlike in the afternoon when the pupils are tired, hungry and inattentive.
  2. The government, from the local to the federal legal should make it a point of duty to organize conferences, workshops and seminars for English language teachers to broaden and update their knowledge.
  3. In addition to the above point, the Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) and the State Primary Education Board (SPEB) should assist in sponsoring teachers of English who might wish to attend conference and seminars organized by professional and accredited language organizations.
  4. Out of the total English lessons per class in a week, a good fraction of the time should be given to the area of teaching and learning of grammatical structures.
  5. Teachers should attend to and teach all the needed aspects of grammatical structures in the primary school. They should not rely on only one aspect of grammar, for instance concentrating only on parts of speech neglecting other areas like clauses, sentence linking and tenses.
  6. Enough class exercises and assignment should be given to the pupils. The teacher must however make sure that he properly evaluates such work by marking and correcting pupils’ errors. Pupils’ exercise books should also be returned in good time.
  7. Representatives of the primary teachers, LGEA, SPEB, NPEC should come together, agree and select suitable textbooks and other relevant materials to be used in the teaching and learning of English language at various levels of the primary school. This should be immediately followed by an orientation programme on how the newly selected materials can be properly used by both teachers and pupils.
  8. Structural items to be taught in the primary school should be selected from a variety of available textbooks so as to expose both the teacher and the learners to the experiences of different authors from whom they learn a lot.
  9. Authority concerned should ensure proper monitoring, inspection and evaluation of the teachers’ work. This will encourage the teachers and also make them effective inn their work.
  10. Remuneration of teachers such as adequate and prompt payment of salary, food, housing, provision of other benefits, though not peculiar to teachers of English alone, will however motivate the teachers in the primary school to do their jobs effectively.

It is hoped that a good observation of the above recommendations by all those concerned, would provide a meaningful, effective and successful teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school.


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