Gender Differentials And Academic Performance In English Language

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

Gender Differentials And Academic Performance In English Language


This study was undertaken to ascertain if there is any significant difference in the level of achievement of gender differentials in secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. In other word, to see whether the type of schools and sex, affects performance of students in West Africa School Certificate (WASC) English Language. This study examined the gander difference in the performance of students in English language in Nigerian secondary schools. Ex-post facto design of descriptive research was adopted for the study. A proforma was used to collect data from a sample of three hundred (300) students, selected using stratified random sampling procedure from the Science secondary schools in Edo state Nigeria. The data collected ware the students’ performances in English language achievement test. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Independent-Sample t-test to test the hypotheses at 0.05, level of significance. Overall results showed that students perform below average and a significant gender difference exists in English performance, significant gender difference was also observed with respect to school location; Females performed above average in both urban and rural schools while males performed below average. It was recommended that English teachers should regularly test students on the various English concepts and feedback provided should be used to prepare them for credible performance in English at both internal and external examinations.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background to the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Scope
  • 1.7 Significance of study
  • 1.8 Organization of Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.0 Overview
  • 2.1 Academic performance of boys and girls
  • 2.2 The differences between boys and girls in the academic performances
  • 2.3 Factors that lead to academic performance in boys and girls
  • 2.3.1 Self- efficacy
  • 2.3.2 Teachers attitudes and behavior
  • 2.3.3 School facilities
  • 2.3.4 Ability
  • 2.3.5 Gender biases and stereotypes
  • 2.3.6 Parental and family attitudes
  • 2.3.7 Gender
  • 2.3.8 Attitudes and interest

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Study area
  • 3.3 Sources of data
  • 3.4 Sampling and sampling technique
  • 3.5 Instrument
  • 3.6 Data analysis

Chapter Four:

Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the study

Education in this country and outside have over these years geared up. Importance should be attached to the level of performance of boys, girls school and co-educational secondary schools in English language. It is not often realized that the type of secondary school purely on the basis of sex can have a tremendous effect on student’s level of performance in English Language. This is more so, in a society like ours, where English is the language of instruction in schools. The language of trade and an accepted medium of communication in all facets of life.
On the contrary, findings of different scholars, Maceoby and Jackline (1974), blot Jeane (1979) seem to advance that sex differences also contribute to variation in academic performance .while archer and mc advocate that of boys better perform better than girls in many subjects. So basing on the above controversies among teachers and scholars, the research seeks to find out whether there are significant differences between boys and girls in academic performances and more so find out the causes for academic differences.

The governance of schools is therefore done through a coalition of interest, working together while performing different roles all aimed at enabling the school to operate and achieve its aims and objectives. The success in academic performance in schools is dependent on the quality of services available.

Academic performance is the quality and quantity of knowledge, skills, techniques and positive attitudes, behavior and philosophy that students achieve or acquire. This achievement is evaluated by the mark or grade that students attain in a term or education cycle. The quality of grades and the number of students that pass in the various grades determine the level of academic performance.

There are many factors, which account for the good or poor academic performance in secondary schools like; the quality of students admitted the type of scholastic materials available in the school and home environment, the methods of teaching, the nature of administration and teachers involvement in academic matters. However, it seems that the most important factor to the academic performance of students is the impact of sex differences on students; academic matters.

Academic achievement has become an index of students’ future in this highly competitive world. It has been one of the most important goals of the educational process. Concerns about academic performance with respect to males and females have generated a considerable interest in the field of educational testing over the years. Also, studies have shown that there is a difference between boys and girls in their academic achievement, differences in academic achievement of the two genders are likely to contribute disparities in the allocation of cognitive roles in the world of work (Oppong-Sekyere et al., 2013; Karthigeyan and Nirmala, 2012)

In the same way, academic performance in secondary schools is a concern of all people who have invested interest in schools. This category may include teachers, parents, administrators, proprietors and the public. Regarding performance discrepancies of boys and girls, Megary (1984) concluded that once out of the primary school environment, Females under achieve in a variety of subjects. The reason why this occurs has to be answered. This is in order to get a clear picture of situation from the Nigerian perspective; research on this topic is of paramount importance.

It is therefore, important to find out whether any relationship exists between secondary schools type, on the basis of sex and students achievement in English Language in West Africa School Certificate Examinations.

1.2 Statement of problem

Research has shown that there are sex differences in the academic performance between boys and girls and researchers who have come out with contradicting finding about the impact of sex differences on academic performance have showed this. It is common knowledge that some girl’s secondary schools are predominantly staffed by female teachers, while some boy’s secondary schools on the other hand are mostly staffed by male teachers. However, research has shown that female teachers pay greater attention to female students, while male teachers pay greater attention to male students in the process of classroom interaction. The findings in the area of mixed secondary schools are not at all clear. The fact that secondary school is purely girls or boys or mixed secondary school could affect student’s performance in English Language.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the academic achievement of senior secondary schools students in English Language and find out whether gender difference in English language performance exist among senior secondary school students in Edo state.

Specifically the objectives of this study are;

  1. To assess the overall academic achievement of students in English Language
  2. To find out whether gender difference exist in the students‟ achievement in English
  3. To determine whether School location influence gender difference in English achievement

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How well did secondary school students perform in English language achievement Test?
  2. Is there gender difference in academic achievement of students in English?
  3. Will school location influence academic achievement of male and female students in English?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance

  • Ho1: There is no significant gender difference in students‟ academic achievement in English
  • Ho2: There is no significant gender difference in students‟ academic achievement in English with respect to school location

1.6 Scope

The study was carried out in some selected secondary school in Egor Local Government Area, Edo state. The study covers period of 2015-2017.

1.7 Significance of study

This study might be of great importance to the following groups of people:


The teacher used this study to design suitable methods of teaching and to make the subject they teach relevant, interesting and meaningful to the learners. The teacher in grouping learners for self help, grouping in the class, that is, they avoid to bundle boys alone in one group but mix them with the rest of their girls counter parts. It will also help them have an insight into some factors that affect girls’ academic performance.

It will also help them have an insight into some factors affecting the girl child academic performance. The teachers are also to explain to lay men in the profession of teaching, why boys are better classroom positions whenever responsibilities and tests are given respectively.


Other researchers may use this report as a point of reference and a base for carrying out research in other related areas of education.

1.8 Organization of Study

The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

From the findings of this study, the academic achievement of students in English fell below average, and gender difference in English language achievement exist. Similarly academic achievement of females is higher than that of males with respect to location of school (urban and rural). Negative attitudes and behaviours of the teachers, time wasting activities by female students, boys have more reading hours than girls, inadequate facilities lack of satisfaction and motivation among the teachers’ irregular attendance low levels of persistence inferiority complexes among female students.

It should be noted that no single factor could independently explain the factors that underlying to observed gender differences in performance but a host of variables interplay to bring out a true picture of gender differences in performance. However most factors put the blame on the girls’ inadequacies as compared to the boys.

5.2 Recommendation

Basing on the discussions and conclusions made, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Further training in gender sensitive techniques through workshops should be given to teachers to transform the negative attitudes and behaviors towards girls in classrooms. Workshops should also involve parents on how they can get involved in their daughters education
  2. Female students should be sensitized on how to manage time while at school, and this is done to eliminate wastage of time.
  3. Government may come in to help schools by providing them with desks, chairs water lights and books which facilitate learning and teaching in schools.
  4. Schools administrators’ should improve teachers working conditions by, increasing their numeration and fringe benefits to motivate them for work. They can also be made aware of impact of their actions on girl’s child education.
  5. Female students should be empowered through counseling and guidance to improve their esteem, persistence levels reading habits and school participation.

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