Factors Militating Against Success In English Language Examinations At The Senior Secondary School Level

Project and Seminar Material for English Education

Factors Militating Against Success In English Language Examinations At The Senior Secondary School Level


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

There is no doubt that the main purpose of teaching is to cause learning to take place, and English language is an important factor that contributes to students’ achievements. Many factors are contributory to the high performance of students in English Language (Esun, 2004). Notable among the major factors among others that cause success in English language examinations such as the WAECC (West African Examinations Council), the General Certificate of Education (GCE). The National Examinations Council (NECO), the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) and Internal examinations and tests in English Language in the classrooms are: the availability of teaching and learning facilities, students’ interests and motivation, teachers’ mastery of contents in which English is taught, teacher-student ratio, good school attendance, good academic background, good study habits, concentration, effective memory and comprehension are largely responsible for success in English language examinations in Nigeria secondary schools and beyond (Owuamanam, 2007).

According to Adeoye (2005), many students in English language, do not possess interests in the subject and do not have the required motivation to study the subject in order to have success in their examinations. For students to pass their English examinations in both external and internal examinations, they need to put proper interest and be motivated in the subject. Adeoye (2007) submitted that, absence of interest and motivation in anything one does, is the cause of failure or lack of success in achievement.

Another factors that militate against students’ performance in English language are non-teachers’ mastery of what is taught in the classroom and the non-availability of teaching/learning materials in the classrooms. Most teachers according to Adeleke (2006), do not possess the proper mastery of content of the aspect of English they teacher in the classrooms, coupled with the non-availability of teaching materials which help the teacher to carry out effective presentation in the classrooms. If teachers carry out effective presentation of the subject-matter in the classroom, students will learn effectively, thereby leading to their success in the classroom (Lamu, 2000)

High teacher-student ratio in English language classroom enables teachers to be in-effective in their teaching if the ratio is not as recommended by the National Policy on Education (NPC, 1998), which stipulated that, teacher-student ratio should be 1-30. The recommendation is that, for effective teaching and learning to take place, teacher-student ratio should be 1-30 in the classroom. According to Uzor (2004), when teacher-student ratio is low or moderate, it results to high academic achievement of students. In another development, Osarenren (2003), is of the opinion that, good school attendance, and effective study habits are pluses to the examination success of students in English language.

For Osarenren (2003), if students attend to their English language classes regularly and listen with rapt attention, they will obviously put up good performance in the subject during the examinations or tests. Again, good study habits of students in the subject is a great assistance to their effectiveness needed in examinations. When students study seriously, they obviously come out in flying colours in the subject which they are examined.

Proper study-habit, means effective or high academic performance in examinations in English language amongst senior secondary schools in Lagos state, Nigeria. Other factors that help students to achieve good success in English language examination are: students’ academic backgrounds, students’ home background, students’ socio-economic status: paying proper attention to home works taking notes during examinations; allocation time to daily activities which may interrupt effective reading or studying, drawing time table etc. The above identified factors if properly attended to, would assist students to perform well in English language examinations.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The factors that militate against success in English language examinations cannot be over emphasized. For instance, lack of teacher- mastery of contents and methodology, lack of instructional materials, lack of school facilities for English language teaching, high teacher-student ratio, poor school attendance, poor interest and motivation of the students in the subject matter, poor study habits, poor or lack of concentration by the students, poor memory and comprehension, cram-pour-forget syndrome, poor home environment, poor academic backgrounds of students and so on, are responsible for examination failures in English language examinations in secondary schools in Lagos State, Nigeria.

The problems enumerated above, made this researcher to examine the factors militating success in English language examinations.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the factors militating against success in English language examinations at the senior secondary school level in Mainland Local Government Area Lagos State, Nigeria.

The specific objectives of the study will include the followings:

  1. Examine whether teacher-mastery of contents affect examination success in English language among students.
  2. Assess whether Teacher-mastery of methods of teaching affect students’ success in English language examination in schools.
  3. Find out whether students’ poor school attendance affect their performance in English language examinations in schools.
  4. Ascertain whether the availability of language laboratories affect students’ success in English language examinations in schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be examined in this study:

  1. Will teacher-mastery of contents affect examination success in English language among students?
  2. Will Teacher-mastery of methods of teaching affect students’ success in English language examination in schools/
  3. Will students’ poor school attendance affect their performance in English language examinations in schools?
  4. Will availability of language laboratory affect students’ success in English language examinations in schools/

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses will be tested in this study:

  1. There will be no significant relationship between teacher-mastery of contents and examination success in English language among students.
  2. There will be no significant relationship between teacher-mastery of methods of teaching and students’ success in English language examination in schools.
  3. There will be no significant relationship between students’ poor school attendance and students’ high performance in English language examinations in schools.
  4. There will be no significant relationship between availability of language laboratories and students’ success in English language examinations in schools.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be relevant to the following individuals:

1. Students:

Students will be able to understand the factors that militate against their examination successes in English language in schools.

2. Teachers:

Teachers will no doubt, be able to come in proper terms with the issues of the factors that hinder or promote the success of students in English language examinations in schools. This study will also enable them to enhance such factors that promote students’ academic performance in English language examinations.

3. Parents:

Parents will be also appreciate the findings of this study because they will assist them to know the exact factors that prevent their children from performing in their examinations, especially in English language which is one of the compulsory subjects offered in schools.

4. The Society:

The society will be able to appreciate the findings of this study because the members of the public will discover through this study, the factors that can prevent or enhance the performance ofstudents in English language examinations at the secondary schools level.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will cover the examination of the factors militating success in English language examinations at the senior secondary school level in Mainland Local Government Area Lagos State, Nigeria.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Operational definition of terms will be defined in this study thus:

1. Factors Militating Against:

This term means the elements that hinder or are responsible of stopping something.

2. Examination Success:

This means high academic performance in examinations or tests in the classrooms in schools.

3. School Attendance:

This connotes the level or rate of attendance at


Factors Militating Against Success In English Language Examinations At The Senior Secondary School Level


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