Factors Affecting Teaching And Learning French Language In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Oshodi/Isolo LGA Lagos State)
The major aim of the study is to examine factors affecting the teaching and learning of French language in Nigeria. The study was aimed at assessing the areas responsible for reluctant attitude towards the language. The findings of this study revealed that the lukewarm attitude toward the language is a long standing one. The lack of interest amongst other factors has led to poor academic achievement of students in French language which has spilled over to poor performance in both internal and external examinations. The level of acceptability of French in Nigerian schools has also been revealed. It has been revealed that there is an unhealthy situation in the teaching of the language in the country. A good number of and students’ parents now see French language learning as a waste of time. This alarming challenge is now telling on the departments of France in the different schools in Lagos state and in Oshodi, Lagos. In this study, some recommendations were made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefit in addressing the challenges associated with the teaching.
1.1 Background of the Study
French is one language that is taught in every school in Nigerian. It is perceived to be as important as the mandatory English Language.
The Nigeria nation is perceived as a country where diverse languages are spoken but belong to the English population that is surrounded by the population of French countries, Cameroon specifically. For smooth and productive communication and working relationship with the border countries, the Nigerian citizens mandatorily require a good knowledge of French language (Ntibe 2009). Onyemelukwe2004 opined that Nigeria is a country where diverse languages are spoken in a sea of francophone, and as such, the Nigerian citizens do not just need a good knowledge of French language to be able to relate and interact with the border countries but also to be able to relate with the French world as a whole. Irrespective of the mentioned above, French language has still been given little attention in Nigeria as students see it as a difficult to learn and understand subject. In recent times, dating back the sixties, French language was instituted into the countries education after the extinction of Latin language. The language was highly esteemed because the users were seen as prestigious. But today, the feelings are no longer the same. In the late seventies and eighties, professionals were brought into the country to teach the language in the Nigerian secondary schools. Since early nineties, Nigerian government started losing interest in the teaching and learning of the French language. Presently, French teachers are rarely if not no more employed in the secondary schools, while the already employed ones are subjected to teach some other subjects like English language, literature in English and some other subjects because the original language they came to teach, French, is seen as irrelevant. This behavior of the government towards the introduction, teaching and learning of French has made both the parents and the students to have a loss of interest and diversion for the language. A good number of and students parents now see French language learning as a waste of time. In view of this, the students now pay very little or no attention to French as a subject in the few schools where the language is still taught. This attitude has reduced many French graduates, made them irrelevant to the society and rendered them unemployment. This alarming challenge is now telling on the departments of French in the different schools in Lagos state and in Oshodi, Lagos. Presently, few students now willingly enroll for French language as a course. School departments now rely on prelim program in other to have some students in the departments. The few students that are now offering the language are handling the course with lack of seriousness because they see it as a course that cannot assure them a better and sound future.
In the twenties, Nigerian government started pursing out the teaching of French language in secondary schools. Presently, French language native speakers teachers are no were to be found in and the already existing ones have been subjected to teach other subjects like English , social studies, literature in English, History and a host of others. This attitude of Nigerians towards the study of French language in Nigerian schools is due to the fact that most of these people are not well oriented about the need of French in our educational system as an international language. This is also because they just assume that people should not whirl away their time going to school to study French language. The thought has misled and confused some of the students and parents that they no longer have interest in studying the language (Okeke 2004). The above issues, together with the unmentioned were researched on. Irrespective of the fact that Nigeria is an Anglophone country, she is surrounded by francophone countries as it has been earlier mentioned. Bliss (2007) mentionedthe importance of French language in Nigeria, which is surrounded by French countries. Nigeria has also been described as an Anglophone country in a sea of Adie-Of francophone. Though, the geographical location of Nigeria as a country has made French language mandatory in the country. Researchers have noticed that Nigeria highly needs a good knowledge of French so as to have a healthy relationship with the francophone neighbors. Also, for Nigeria to enter a relation of mutual benefit with these nations, it is paramount for her to be able to interact with these official language- French, at least to an extent.
1.2 Statement of the General Problem
The poor teaching and learning of French has been muted in certain quarters as being as a result of lack of interest amongst other factors, the poor performance of French language in Nigerian schools has led to poor academic achievement of students in French language which has spilled over to poor performance of students in both internal and external examinations.In the recent time, Nigerian government has started deemphasizing the teaching of the language. In schools, French teachers are no more employed in and the already existing ones are made to teach some other subjects like English language, literature in English and some other subjects. This attitude of the government has made both the parents and the students to have an aversion for the language. Many of the parents now consider French language learning as a waste of time. Consequently, the students to pay very little or no attention to French as a subject in the few schools (mostly private schools) where the language is still taught today. This attitude has led many French graduates into unemployment. The problem is now telling seriously on the departments of French in Nigerian colleges of education. Very few students voluntarily enroll for French language as a course. The departments now depend on prelim programme so as to have some students in the departments. The few students that are now offering the language are handling the course with levity because they consider it as a course that cannot guarantee them a better future. Base on the enrolment on the French language course the researcher investigate the factor militating against the teacher of French language.
1.3 Aims And Objectives Of The Study
The major aim of the study is to examine factors affecting the teaching and learning of French language in Nigeria. other specific objectives of the study include;
- To determine the importance of teaching French language in Nigerian schools.
- To examine the level of acceptability of French language in Nigerian schools.
- To determine the factors militating against effective development of French language in Nigeria.
- To recommend ways of ensuring effective teaching and learning of French language in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the importance of teaching French language in Nigerian schools?
- What is the level of acceptability of French language in Nigerian schools?
- What are the factors militating against effective development of French language in Nigeria?
- What are the ways of ensuring effective teaching and learning of French language in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study would be of immense importance to the education sector as it would unveil the factors affecting the teaching and learning of French language in Nigerian schools with the objectives of strengthening the teaching and learning of French language. the study would also be of immense importance to students, scholars and researchers who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study is restricted to the factors affecting the teaching and learning of French language in Nigeria using Oshodi/Isolo LGA of Lagos state as the case study.In the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some limitations which limited the scope of the study;
The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
1.7 Definition of Terms
French or la langue française [la lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛz]) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages.
Particular style or kind especially of works of art or literature grouped according to their form or subject matter
Having influence to prevent something from working out well.
Information got from interview and questionnaires
Information got from textbooks, seminar papers, journals etc
Written or printed list of questions to be answered by students, teachers etc
Quess that will guide the whole process in this study.
Facts based on observation or experiment not on theory.
1.8 Overview of the Study
This research work is presented in five (5) chapters in accordance with the standard presentation of research work.
- Chapter one contains the introduction which include; background of the study, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of study, research questions, significance of study, scope of study and overview of the study.
- Chapter two deals with review of related literature.
- Chapter three dwelt on research methodology which include; brief description of the study area, research design, sources of data, population of the study, sample size and sampling technique, instrument of data collection, validity of instrument, reliability of instrument and method of data presentation and analysis.
- Chapter four consists of data presentation and analysis while
- Chapter five is the summary of findings, recommendations and conclusion.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is pertinent to note that this research was aimed at assessing the areas responsible for reluctant attitude towards the teaching and learning French language, thus the topic “factors affecting teaching and learning French language in Nigeria”.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges associated with teaching and learning French language in Nigeria.
It is important to recall that the study was to outline the major challenges currently besetting the teaching and learning of French language in and suggests possible solutions toward improving the present state of French language teaching in Nigerian institutions. From the findings of this study, it has been revealed that the lukewarm attitude towards the language is a long standing one. The study also revealed the existence of an unhealthy situation in French language in Nigeria. Neither the teacher nor the learner at the secondary school level regards it as a language for learning or for living. Teachers and school administrators are not committed to offer such minimal professional and administrative support as they do for the sciences. Apparently, most of the teachers themselves do not believe in what they are doing, and this impedes the ability to design an effective frame work within which they can fairly successfully do their difficult job. Besides, French language instruction has not been made relevant to the varied life needs and interests of the students who wish to go for subjects which are science-based or technology-oriented.
Based on the review of related studies which concludes that the area of specialization of the students has a significant influence on the students’ attitude to French language. Thesestudies suggest that the students in the language related areas and communication and media study are mostly favored. More awareness and sensitivity measures can be taken by the government to influence the attitude of the students to the value inherent in the study of French language irrespective of students chosen fields of study. From the view of the researcher here, it is very important that Nigeria should study French language for international mutual understanding and cooperation. It is also essential for socio-economic and technological development of both Anglophone and the Francophone neighbours. Re-training of French teachers through in-service programmes would be necessary for the effective implementation of the curriculum.
Lastly, the general schooling conditions of Nigerian public and private schools is deteriorating, as teaching and learning French languages are operating at the lower ebb. French teachers are therefore left with no alternative than to work in a poor condition, which reverse effects are on students’ academic performance and moral decadent. These factors are challenges to teachers they find it difficult to fulfill their primary responsibilities.
- Verb-conjugation in French was equally observed to pose some serious problems to students. This, because the style of conjugation in French does not follow the same process as either in Nigerian native or English languages. Moreover, French verbs are categorized into groups and are conjugated in specific forms. This requires careful handling in order to avoid confusing the students. The teachers of French should therefore, endeavour to give the students proper drilling on the conjugation of each of the groups of French verbs in meaningful contexts beginning with simple and easy ones first. Each of the groups should be taught at a time. Adequate attention should be given to verb-conjugation in French teaching for it is only correct and appropriate verb-conjugation and use that can lead to clarity of expression or meaning in written as well as spoken French.
- French language educationists should be invited to prepare textbooks for the students’ integration of their learning experiences and their everyday activities.
- Spelling of French words should be taught well right from the beginning more so when they are not spelt the way they are pronounced. Emphasis should be placed on French phonetics which basically determines how French words are spelt.
- The Government should embrace a more positive attitude towards the French language learning. Learning of French language should be madecompulsory in all the secondary schools (both public and private) in the country.
- Both the teachers and the students of French language in schools and colleges should be motivated through scholarships to francophone countries. Also, modern French laboratories and libraries should be sited in all colleges of Education to facilitate the learning of the language. Equally, the government should be ready to subsidize the amount needed for the linguistic immersion programme.
If all these recommendation could be followed, Nigeria will soon be a model among the other Anglophone nations in term of French language.
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