Influence Of Mother Tongue In Learning Of English Language Among Igbo Speaking Learners In Selected Secondary Schools

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

Influence Of Mother Tongue In Learning Of English Language Among Igbo Speaking Learners In Selected Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the influence of mother tongue in learning of English language among Igbo speaking learners in selected secondary schools. Specifically, the study examine the level at which mother tongue influences the learning of English language among Igbo students in secondary school. The study also find out the level of speech qualification of English teachers in secondary schools. The study further evaluate if teachers makes use of correct teaching methods during the teaching of English language. Lastly, the study investigate whether background and environment influence the learning of English language among Igbo secondary school students. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 77 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analyzed, the findings revealed that the level at which mother tongue influences the learning of English language among Igbo students in secondary school is high. Also, the level of speech qualification of English teachers in secondary schools high. Furthermore, teachers makes use of correct teaching methods during the teaching of English language. Lastly, background and environment influence the learning of english language among Igbo secondary school students. The study thereby recommend that students should be made aware of the differences in the phonological, orthographical, vocabulary and grammatical patterns in English and Igbo languages. Also, also, more written and practical discussions involving students should be encouraged. Such discussions could be in the form of debate, symposium and quiz. Lastly, the written and practical work could also be in the form of introduction of oral English in the school curriculum and more oral work like Speech drills.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Language is the most distinctive human quality and attribute. Language is characterized by a set of vocal sounds which can be decoded. Language does not exist in a vacuum. It is always contextualized. There is a relationship between language and society. The importance of the relationship between language and society cannot be over-emphasized in the education of a child. Language is a guide to social reality. English language is one of the languages used in Nigeria. English language has become a valuable legacy of the British which has provided Nigerians with yet another means of expressing their culture. English language is Nigeria”s official language #$dedime%i& ‘(()*. English language performs numerous functions in igeria. It serves as lingua franca. It is the language of instruction& language of constitution& language of nationalism& media&+government & education among others. This is because Nigeria is a multilingual country and English language serves as a link among the people. English language is introduced to a child from the fourth year of primary school up to the university level #la%ide& ‘((*. This is clearly stated in section / paragraph 0& subsection on primary education& ‘((/ of the 1ederal republic of  Nigeria”s national policy on education.

In Nigeria& much importance is attached to English language. It occupies a vital role in the educational system& such importance could be seen in terms of the functions English language perform in Nigeria. It is an act of political expedience and in addition& it helps to remove the fear of ethical domination. The practical oral aspect of English language becomes even more important for the purpose of interaction and articulation in our day to day use of the language.1urthermore& the use of English language paved way for participation at national and international levels. To be able to participate in the social& political and economical life of the country& one must be able to understand and use English language effectively and efficiently. English language is used for vertical mobility#$dedime%i& ‘(()*. It enables one to move from a lower social class to higher one. It is the language of prestige not because the users are more intelligent than the illiterates but because they can speak, it. 3o it has become a language of personality#$dedime%i& ‘(()*. The role of English language in Nigeria stresses the need for  Nigerians to learn& understand and ma,e use of English language proficiently. There is no doubt that interference is the ma%or effect of mother tongue language on English language.

Interference has been observed as a cogent influence that mother tongue language has on English language. 3ources of the interferences therefore could be phonology- #a science which deals with the study of sounds in language* that is how different sounds or phonemes are combined. 4orphology #this deals with the combination of morphemes to form words& morpheme is the smallest indivisible unit of a language that has a significant meaning*. 3yntax #the arrangement of words in a language according to rules*. The concern of this project is on the phonological aspect of English language #oral English*.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The use of a particular form of a language by an individual reflects the individual s social status. That is why Blackar (1999) says, we actually live and behave in a world of language. Hence, the use of language to an extent is an item which reflects social identity. In a politically, socially, culturally and linguistically diverse society, the learning and usage of a second language becomes very necessary not because it makes possible mutual interaction. In our Nigerian society, such is the situation because Nigeria has a geographical and political entity as was colonized by the British who were from a different linguistic background but English was adopted as a medium of communication and interaction. Wilson and Smith (2009) states that, it is widely held and proven that human beings are disposed to learning certain types of language . This innate disposition enables one to acquire a first language and learn a second one. This ability however, differs from one individual to the other and this is what Elindor (1989) described as linguistic inequality a striking difference in the lexis users the difference that exists between these two speakers enables us to assess them as one belonging to a higher class and the other to a lower class in the social strata. When we listen to most students in secondary schools in Igbo land traces of interference are observed. If we listen to some students and also listen to a monolingual student who is a speaker of Igbo, we notice an obvious difference. We realize a considerable element of English in the student of Igbo origin. Linguistically, the effect is located at the phonological level. Here lies the problem which this study seeks to investigate.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of the study is influence of mother tongue in learning of English language among Igbo speaking learners in selected secondary schools. Specifically, the study will be guided under the following:

  1. To examine the level at which mother tongue influences the learning of English language among Igbo students in secondary school.
  2. To find out the level of speech qualification of English teachers in secondary schools.
  3. To evaluate if teachers makes use of correct teaching methods during the teaching of English language.
  4. To investigate whether background and environment influence the learning of English language among Igbo secondary school students.

1.4 Research Question

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What is the level at which mother tongue influences the learning of English language among Igbo students in secondary school?
  2. What is the level of speech qualification of English teachers in secondary schools?
  3. Do teachers makes use of correct teaching methods during the teaching of English language?
  4. Do background and environment influence the learning of English language among Igbo secondary school students?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will help to expose the numerous factors that influence the study of English language by the mother tongue or native languages.

It will also identify the effects of this interference on other study area that are based on the use of the English language as the basic communication.

This study will enable teachers to identify their problems in English language. This study will also enable student to understand how to make use of English words especially in pronunciation, intonation and phonetics. It will also enable the teachers to make more research on the use of English language.

This study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will examine the level at which mother tongue influences the learning of English language among Igbo students in secondary school. The study will also find out the level of speech qualification of English teachers in secondary schools. The study will further evaluate if teachers makes use of correct teaching methods during the teaching of English language. Lastly, the study will investigate whether background and environment influence the learning of English language among Igbo secondary school students. Hence this study will be delimited to Imo state.


1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend 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), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on the influence of mother tongue in learning of English language among igbo speaking learners in selected secondary schools using selected secondary schools in Owerri as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at highlighting the level at which mother tongue influences the learning of English language among Igbo students in secondary school, find out the level of speech qualification of English teachers in secondary schools, evaluate if teachers makes use of correct teaching methods during the teaching of English language and investigate whether background and environment influence the learning of English language among Igbo secondary school students. A total of 77 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from teachers and students of the selected secondary schools.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. The level at which mother tongue influences the learning of English language among Igbo students in secondary school is high.
  2. The level of speech qualification of English teachers in secondary schools high
  3. Teachers makes use of correct teaching methods during the teaching of English language
  4. Background and environment influence the learning of English language among Igbo secondary school students.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. Students should be made aware of the differences in the phonological, orthographical, vocabulary and grammatical patterns in English and Igbo languages.
  2. Also, more written and practical discussions involving students should be encouraged. Such discussions could be in the form of debate, symposium and quiz.
  3. The written and practical work could also be in the form of introduction of oral English in the school curriculum and more oral work like Speech drills.
  4. The government should strive to introduce adult education and compulsory mass literacy program. This will help improve home and linguistic backgrounds of the pupils.
  5. Also, only qualified teachers should be engaged to handle the subject as this will help a lot.
  6. Teachers should cultivate a positive perception towards the use of English in school. They should be role models to the students and encourage them to converse in English.

Influence Of Mother Tongue In Learning Of English Language Among Igbo Speaking Learners In Selected Secondary Schools


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