Evaluative Study Of Teaching And Learning English Grammatical Structures In Some Selected Primary Schools
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.
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:
- How pupils in the primary schools are motivated to learn and use English grammatical structures.
- 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.
- 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.
- The types of teachers employed to teach English language in the primary school.
- The areas of difficulty faced by teachers and pupils in the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary schools.
- Suggest how best to improve the teaching and learning of English grammatical structures in the primary school.
1.4 Research Questions
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 answer the following questions:
- How do children learn and acquire grammatical structures and English language skills in primary schools?
- Which are the methods of teaching and learning of grammatical structures and English language skills in primary schools?
- What was the impact of teaching/learning materials on teaching English language in primary schools?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study attempted to identify ways of improving teaching and learning of grammatical structures and English language skills in primary schools. This study assisted stakeholders address issues on effect of teaching on acquisition of grammatical structure skills in primary schools in Nigeria.
The study highlighted gaps that existed in the teaching/learning English language curriculum in primary schools in Nigeria. The research recommendations helped stake holders assist learners acquire and improve their English language skills.
This research work raised pertinent issues, generated questions and stimulated the need for more research in the area of English language development. The study gave solutions on how children learned and acquired grammatical structures and English language skills, methods of teaching/learning English, and impact of teaching/learning materials on teaching/learning of English.
1.6 Scope and Limitations 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.
1.7 Definition of Terms
This is the arrangement of words, phrases and clauses in a sentence.
Medium of Instruction:
Is officially designated language used to deliver content in a number of subjects of an education system.
Are signs and symbols used in language to give meaning.
Means listening, speaking, reading and writing.
1.8 Organisation of the Study
The study is grouped into five chapters.
- Chapter one is the general introduction of the study. It looks at the background of the study, problem statement, objectives of the study; it also briefly looks at the research questions, significance, scope and limitations of the study.
- Chapter two looks at the literature review. Literature review was based the research questions used in the study. The conceptual framework for the study was also outlined.
- Chapter 3 is on the methodology. It explains the research design. It also gives details about the population, sampling procedures used in the study. It further explains the research instrument, methods of data collection, data analysis.
- Chapter 4 looks at data presentation, analysis and discussion with
- Chapter 5 providing summary, conclusion and recommendations for the study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This chapter presents the summary of the study findings as per the objectives of this research work; conclusions arrived at and the recommendations for future response and research.
5.1 Summary of the Findings
The results of data analysis from this study indicated that 46.8% of the respondents strongly agree that children learned English language at school while 86.2% of the schools had put in place policy rules on how to improve pupils’ spoken language. Parents, teachers and peers contributed significantly to pupils’ language development both at home and school by acting as facilitators, mentors and role model.
The study further established that 45.5% of the teachers did not use appropriate teaching/learning methods that enhance learning of English language skills. Teachers used lecture method of teaching and this did not improve the quality of learning of English language skills in children. Although teachers made schemes of work, 96.2% of them did not prepare and used lesson plan notes; this meant that teachers go to class not prepared to teach. Lack of adequate teacher planning affected the quality of teaching/learning in class.
The results of this study found out that 53.3% of the schools had adequate teaching/learning resources. Schools had acquired adequate text books for their pupils; yet in some schools some of the classes had a pupil text book ration that was higher than 1:3. Even though the schools had acquired enough teaching/learning resources this did not add value to the teaching/learning of English. This may mean children were not exposed to many readers. This study also learned that 78.6% of the teachers of English did not prepare and used teaching/learning materials. Minimal learning took place without the use of teaching/learning materials.
This study found out that children acquire first language or mother tongue naturally and that LAD enables children learn other languages very easily. The research also established that children learn English as a second language in school. Children came to school when they are already speaking mother tongue and this lays a foundation for second language acquisition.
Teachers played a big role in the teaching/learning of English but this study established that despite the fact that teachers of English had met the minimal requirement for teacher training and education and had professional qualification in teacher training/education; these teachers did not enhance learning in children. The teachers lacked skills and knowledge in teaching English and these teachers had not been capacity built by the DQASO on how to teach English.
There was evidence that teachers of English did not prepare and used teaching/learning materials. Although it was true primary schools had acquired some teaching/learning resources, results showed that children were not benefiting from these resources, this was because pupils were not able to communicate effectively in English. Effective use of teaching/learning resources enhanced language development in children.
English language was an important tool that assisted children to learn in school and interact with the environment.
The study, therefore, recommended that-:
- Schools should enforce school language rules, this helped improve pupils spoken English and reduced use of mother tongue in schools.
- Teachers should provide quality teaching by preparing adequately to teach.
- They should make schemes of work and lesson plan notes, maintain all professional records and prepare and use teaching/learning materials. Teachers should vary teaching/learning methods to make their teaching more interesting and effective to their pupils. Some teaching methods the teachers used did not enhance learning.
- Methods that involved learners in practical activities were more suitable and appropriate.
- This study recommends that the Sub County Quality Assurance and Standards Officer should mount teacher in-sets once a term to improve teacher competencies in teaching English language skills.
- This study also recommends that schools should acquire adequate and use teaching/learning materials and teachers should make and use them to enhance pupils learning.
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