Instructional Strategies And French Students’ Proficiency In Oral Expression In Secondary School

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Instructional Strategies And French Students’ Proficiency In Oral Expression In Secondary School


Abstract


This study examined the relationship between instructional strategies and French students’ proficiency in oral expression in secondary school in Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom state. To guide the study, four research purpose, four research questions, and four research hypotheses were formulated. The design adopted for this study was survey design. The sample size of 100 respondents was used. The study used simple random sampling to select the schools. The instrument used was Instructional Strategies and French Students Proficiency in Oral expression Questionnaire (ISFSPOEQ).

The data were gathered using one instrument after ascertaining their face and content validity and reliability co-efficient of 0.82 by experts. The hypotheses were tested in the study using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation at .05 level of significance. The result of the analysis showed that there is significant relationship between teachers’ error correction strategies, teachers’ competence, teacher’s communication strategies and students’ proficiency in oral expression in French. Students’ proficiency in Oral expression does not differ based on gender. Some useful recommendations were made one of which was that Teachers as continuous learners should be trained and retained in teaching methods, because teacher’s competence is one of the strategies to a successful career in teaching. Also, teachers should posse good instructional strategies as to achieve academic excellence.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Education is an instrument for national development and an asset to any nation. It is a vehicle for developing skills and competencies, impacting knowledge and learning. Without education various socio-economic activities in the societies will remain stagnant and human society will continue to wallow in ignorance. It is in the light of the importance of education that Fafunwa (2003) said that education as a human right should as much as possible be accessible to all.

Languages are part of the cultural richness of any society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfillment (Evans, 2012). While learning languages, students learn to appreciate different cultures, become aware of interconnectedness of all people and at the same time gain access to world’s markets places. As Nigeria grows in its importance in the global economy, so does the importance of its students becoming proficient in another language other than French language. In recent years, the Nigerian Government placed more emphasis on the study of French language (Agbor, 2012).

Teaching is an essential profession (Emeh and Agbor, 2007), as such every student deserves to be able to take advantage of this opportunity and study French language, more so as it has been made the second official language in the country. This pronouncement which was approved and later incorporated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) caused it to be made a compulsory, core subject in Junior Secondary Schools in the country. Clearly, making French compulsory in the curriculum at this level, in addition to French helps prepare students for life and for success in the twenty-first century. As such, every student deserves to be able to take advantage of this opportunity and study French language, more so as it has been made the second official language in the country.

The primary and ultimate goal of teaching and learning involves transfer and the acquisition for the individual learner, the ability to function within the world of work or in the society in general. This implies that the learners already have some information, knowledge or ideas stored in their brains. The presentation of new skill, facts knowledge or content must have for learning to occur. The role teacher in teaching learning situation is therefore the direction of learners to such situation that have similarities of differences with the new event being presented so as to make some comparison. This results in the formulation of a new concept or a modification of an already held one (Offorma, 2013).

No single instructional strategy is ideal, each has advantages and draw backs. The optimal instructional strategy depends on the interaction of the students.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

French classes across Nigeria has reported increased enrolment; however, French students have not attained the same oral language skills that native French speakers have (Endler, 2008). The students’ rate of speech continues to be slower, and they make many syntax errors. French students also lack the French colloquialisms used in common phrases when they are engaged in authentic conversations. Mougeon et al. (2004) suggested that French students lack the desired colloquialisms mainly because of the context of their French language learning. Their research further suggested that students have acquired academic French that is carefully scripted and less authentic. In addition, Mougeon et al. also demonstrated that, without communication in less formal situations such as within a community of peers, students will not learn the method of building authentic sentence structures.

Students in French have typically remained dominant in their native language regardless of the support of an effective language teacher (Mougeon & Rehner, 2001).Mougeon and Rehner reported that the errors that most French students make in French were a result of the influence of their English language skills. When French students speak French, they often use Anglicisms, which are English structures transferred into French sentences. Another observable difference is that later in the French class, students transfer their literacy skills from the language of instruction to their second language (“Acquisition of Oral Language,” 2012). They then incorporate their knowledge of literacy skills into both languages. Even with French as the language of instruction, students continue to rely on visual cues, nonverbal cues, cognates, repetition, and rephrasing to comprehend oral instructions. Therefore, French instructional teaching strategies have continued to encourage creative and engaging approaches.


1.3 Objectives of Study

  1. Examine the effects of instructional strategies French students’ proficiency in oral expression in secondary schools in Uyo.
  2. Determine the effects of instructional strategies on performance of male and female French students’ proficiency in oral expression in secondary schools in Uyo.
  3. Find out the effects of instructional strategies on retention ability of French students’ proficiency in oral expression in secondary school.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the effect of instructional strategies on French students’ proficiency in oral expression in secondary schools in Uyo?
  2. What is the effect of instructional strategies on academic performance of male and female French students’ proficiency in oral expression in secondary schools in Uyo?
  3. What is the effect of instructional strategies on retention ability of French students’ proficiency in oral expression in secondary schools in Uyo.

1.5 Significance of the Study

Historically, research into French education has identified many cognitive benefits of French class, such as higher academic achievement and more diversified intelligence (MacKnight, 2013). To further support the importance of bilingual programs, research has also proven that French students achieve higher academically and demonstrate more mental flexibility and more diverse intellectual reasoning (Genesee & Jared, 2008). However, some children have had difficulty in achieving the academic competencies of two languages in the French class (Harper, 2010). Harper suggested that the difficulties that students in the French class face are similar in nature. They make errors in grammar, phonology, and syntax and lack lexical knowledge inboth English and French (MacKnight, 2013). Research into the explicit reasons for these difficulties is necessary to understand the specific language-acquisition needs of French students.

More problems have arisen in the French class because of unforeseen circumstances. Many students lack the desire to continue in the program because of a disconnection with where they belong in nigerian society. The rate of attrition in the program is high because French students do not consider themselves truly bilingual because their oral language proficiency does not align with that of native French speakers (Roy, 2010).

Furthermore, Roy presented research on French students who were comfortable with using French oral skills amongst themselves and their teachers, but who experienced great difficulty in using the language with French native speakers.

French teachers strive to meet the needs of their students to attain an academic level of competency in French. To provide rich, intentional instructional teaching strategies and exposure to native-language speakers, Britton (1970, as cited in “Acquisition of Oral Language,” 2012) contended that “literacy floats on a sea of talk” (p. 4). This suggests that ideal conditions such as a classroom with targeted oral language instructional teaching strategies could encourage students to develop oral communication skills and give them opportunities to develop or transfer their reading and writing skills. The article “Acquisition of Oral Language” stressed the importance of students’ use of oral language to develop “reasoning and observation, prediction, sequencing, and other skills connected with reading and writing” (p. 4). After the researcher examined these statements, it became apparent that the oral-production skills of French students is a crucial area for further study.


1.6 Definition of Terms

Anglophone:

A native speaker of English.

Bilingual:

The ability to communicate orally and in writing and, particular to this study, in French and English.

French:

A form of bilingual education in which a child who is typically non- French speaking receives instruction in French in school.

Grammar:

The set of structural rules in a language. Lexical knowledge: The meaning of a word or phrase. Literacy: The ability to read and write.

Oral language skills:

The skill of producing language.

Native language:

An individual’s first language or the language that a person speaks best; it is often the basis of sociolinguistic identity.

Phonology:

The organization of sounds in language.

Project-based learning:

A model of instruction in which teachers organize learning through projects in response to a targeted question; it includes research-based discovery and authentic sharing of information.

Reciprocal Teaching:

An instructional reading activity in which a student and teacher dialogue to improve the student’s comprehension.

Read-aloud:

Interactive reading with specific literacy goals that occurs when students and teachers share the reading of a book out loud.

Scaffolding:

A variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process.

Shared Reading:

Interactive reading with specific literacy goals that occurs when students and teachers share the reading of a book.

Syntax (syntactic):

The set of rules that govern the structure of a sentence.

Think-pair-share:

A collaborative learning strategy in which students work together to answer questions about a shared reading.

Whole language:

A teaching approach that incorporates targeted language instruction by encouraging students to read by sight rather than phonetically.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study was limited to French students in secondary schools in Uyo, Akwa Ibom school. This study included students who are primarily English- language speakers.


1.8 Organization of Study

In chapter two, the researcher discusses the analysis of the data to identify practical instructional techniques for oral language learning in French teaching schools. The analysis demonstrates that a range of intentional and researched-based learning activities is integral to an effective oral language program. The elementary teachers considered a range of oral language instructional teaching strategies to give their students an opportunity to practice speaking French in authentic social situations. In chapter three the researcher examines the research methodology and discusses her analysis of various teaching practices in the elementary French school. Finally, chapter four reports the possible implications for French class in Akwa Ibom and offers suggestions on how to improve the oral language skills of students who participate in the programs.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The study finds out the effects of instructional strategies on the academic performance of junior secondary school French students in oral French. The improvement in the academic performance of students due to the uses of instructional strategies with English was also found.

The research design used for the study schematic representation of quasi – experimental design using pre – test, post – test and retention – test. A sample of (76)students were purposely selected for the study from the population of (6,616) in ten coeducational junior secondary schools in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The instruments used for generating data were performance test (GPT) test, re-test and retention test.

The data analysis was done using descriptive statistics, mean, and standard deviationused to answer research questions and paired sample t – test statistical tools to answer the research questions.


5.2 Conclusions

Based on the results of the findings from this study, the, the following conclusions are made;

Instructional strategies are encouraging determinant in the enhancement of students‟ academic performance. This study found the effects of instructional strategies in teaching and learning of oral French concepts have improved students‟ assimilation. The study also confirmed that lack of effective and efficient use of instructional strategies in teaching and learning French concepts lower students‟ performance. The excitements and motivations the students got from the oral French models used in learning oral French concepts enhance their academic performance. The findings and conclusion of this study can therefore, be said to have emphasis the relevance of instructional strategies with oral French models in the instructional process.


5.3 Recommendations

The followings are the recommendations of the study

  1. The French students should develop oral French imaginative thinking; since oral French models was designed, developed and integrated in the teaching and learning process.
  2. The stake holders should encourage French teachers to deploy appropriate teaching techniques in the instructional process; especially conventional method and instructionallearning.
  3. French teachers should have the instinct of diverse methods in teaching and learning situation respectively.

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Frequently Asked Questions


How can I Foster oral expression in my students?

Strategies to foster oral expression at home and school: Allow ample opportunities to practice without penalty (e.g., brainstorming, conferencing, sharing). Provide questions/topics in advance to allow time for preparation.

What is oral expression in the classroom?

What is Oral Expression? Oral expression is the ability to convey wants, needs, thoughts, and ideas meaningfully using appropriate syntactic, pragmatic, semantic, and phonological language structures. Oral expression should NOT be confused with reading aloud or reading fluently.

What is the objective of using instructional strategies beyond subject comprehension?

The objective of using instructional strategies beyond subject comprehension is to create students who are independent strategic learners. The hope is, with time and practice, students will be able to select the right strategies on their own and use them effectively to complete tasks.

Do ells need differentiated instruction?

Data Sorted by the Regional Percentage of ELL’s Meeting Standard Above State Average c Need for Differentiated Instruction ELLs come to the classroom with a wide range of educational backgrounds and varying levels of English language proficiency. 

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