The Problems Facing The Teaching Of Yoruba Written Literature In Junior Secondary Schools

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The Problems Facing The Teaching Of Yoruba Written Literature In Junior Secondary Schools


The study was aimed at assessing the problems facing the teaching of Yoruba Written Literature in junior secondary schools in Lagos state. These factors were identified and the level to which they influence reading comprehension of learners tested for significance. Using a mixed-method study design. Responses to a Likert-type questionnaire items as well as performance on a Yoruba written Literature was generated for a random sample of 50 Yoruba teachers from junior secondary schools in Lagos State. The results of the analyses showed that in general home and school factors significantly affected achievement in teaching writing and reading Yoruba. Specifically, the problems identified were Lack of support from parents, Lack of encouragement from teachers, Lack of well-equipped school library for Yoruba literature, Lack of adopting motivational strategies to improve in reading and writing Yoruba, Inaccessibility of school library, and the books in the library are not relevant to Yoruba literature. The strategies to improve teaching of Yoruba written literature include Teaching to read and write for exact meaning, teaching inferential reading and writing of Yoruba Teaching to identify main idea from supporting details, writing to narrate stories related to the passage, Inviting resource person knowledgeable in written Yoruba text, Using audio visual aids, and Teaching to write and read aloud. Recommendations were made to parents, school administrators, government and other relevant stakeholders on the need to revitalize the Yoruba teaching and learning in the national education system.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

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

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background To The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives Of The Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.7 Definition Of Terms
  • 1.8 Organization Of Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.3 Yoruba Language
  • 2.4 The Yoruba Language: Methodology And Materials
  • 2.5 Qualities And Attributes Of Language Teachers
  • 2.6 Problems Of Teaching And Learning Yoruba
  • 2.7 Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population Of The Study
  • 3.3 Sampling Procedure
  • 3.4 Instrumentation
  • 3.5 Data Analysis Procedure

Chapter Four

4.0 Results And Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendations

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

In Nigeria, just like other former British colonies, English language is retained as an official language and the language of post-primary education. In contrast, the indigenous. languages are restricted to pnmaiy education and the cultural domain Yoruba, alongside Igbo and Hausa, has the status of a national language as prescribed in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Repubhc of Nigeria. Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba are prescribed in the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) as a medium of instruction in primary schools and to be studied as a second language in junior secondary schools in Nigeria.

The National Policy on Education emphasises the importance of Nigerian language in the education of a child as means of preserving the culture of a people and for national unity (Section 1, 10a). In school, mother-tongue is of immense importance to the educational foundation of learners. The Nigerian National Policy on Education stipulates that from preprimary to the first three years of primary education, mother tongue (MT) or Language of the Immediate Community (LIC) should be the medium of instruction, while from the fourth year of primary school onwards, the medium of instruction should be English but the MT or the L,IC should continue to be taught as a school subject (NPE 2004, section 2, 14e; section 4, 19 e & f). To the end of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level, learners’ LIC and one major Nigerian language, other than that LIC, should be among the basic subjects to be offered (NPE, 2004, section 5, 24a). This is because the background experience is required to make learning conducive for learners.

In Patrick, Sui, Didam and Gyang (2013), it is stated that the ‘lie of mother tongue to teach at the elementary level will enable the learners to use their mother-tongue to establish and maintain good relationships with family members (especially grandparents) and relatives, understand their culture and develop organised interpersonal relations. In evaluating the interdependence of English language and learners’ mother league. Krasben (2004) states that many skills acquired in the first language can be transferred to the English language. For example, if a child has developed good reading skills in the Yoniba language, she/he is likely able to apply these skills when reading the English language. This means that children will learn English much more effectively if they continue to develop their first language at the same time. Oribabor and Adesina (,013) corroborate the above assertion when they declare that a child will learn faster and better if he is taught in his mother tongue at the early stage of his education. It is identified that mother-tongue instruction will help the children to acquire facts and; information easily and quickly interpret information obtained properly and correctly.

Formal learning of the Yoruba language is facing a lot of C a enges. The stakeholders (Government and parents) are not enhancing the prospects of the language. For instance’ ‘in employment exercise, few Yortiba teachers are employed compared to other disciplines as a result of which some schools now experience shortage of trained Yoruba language teachers Some private primary schools do not offer Yoruba as a school subject at all while some start at primary four; just because the implementation is not enforced as if it were not meant to serve a purpose at its inception. Most parents prefer schools where the English language is the medium of instruction even at the preprimary level so they abandon Government schools and take their children to private schools. For the fact that no sanction is placed on private schools for non-compliance on the issue of medium of instruction and parents also have preference for English language, most public schools’ teachers also adopt ng^sh as the medium of instruction at the lower primary. Abijo (2014) discovers no significant difference in the use of mother tongue between the public and private primary schools in South-west Nigeria

In schools-, ‘No speaking of vernacular’ is a strong rule with punishment for violators. Yoruba language speaking is only allowed during its lessons while English is welcomed everywhere and every time. This attitude to use of Yorubd language makes children perceive Yoruba as less important. OlaOlorun, Ikonta and Adeosun (2013) opine thatw here one language is devalued and the child is made t,o have a low perception of it, low cognitive functioning results. These problems and many others inform negative psychological affects and poor academic achievements in Yoruba language. Some parents hardly buy Yoruba textbooks for their wards, assist in doing homework and encourage children to read Yoruba textbooks and literature books.

Adeosun (2008) reports that it is ironic that most Yoruba parents prefer their children speak English to speaking their mother tongue. The result, according to Isola (1995), is that the competence of the child in Yoruba would be dangerously affected. Adeniyi and Bello (2007) confirm incompetence when examining teachers’ attitudes and students’ performance in Yoruba language learning in private schools in Lagos metropolis. The study found that most of the learners had English as their first language (Lj), and had little or no knowledge of the Yoruba language which is either their mother tongue or language in the immediate community. When these categories of pupils get to secondary school, it is difficult to teach them the basic concepts they have missed in primary education. As a result, some of them usually lose interest or simply claim that Yorubci is a difficult subject (Adeyinka, 2015).

Globalisation is seen as posing problems to use of the Yoriiba language in conversation among young ones. Raheem (2013) observes that globalisation is shaping our world in different ways and producing undeniable consequences in our interaction at the individual, interpersonal, societal and international levels. He discovers that it has got great impact on the patterns of language choice, attitudes to languages, language shift and language use among youths in Southwestern Nigeria. The English language remains the most dominant language on the internet. Those who are not versed in English would rather use pidgin or code-mix English with Yoruba in order to converse with their peers (Adeyinka and Awolere, 2013). Many of them transfer the habit of code switching to conversations in Yoruba formal setting and writing. Hence, they score ridiculous marks in internal and external examinations.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

There is a decline in interest and number of young generations speaking the Yoruba language and studying it as a subject in school. Amazingly, students begin to record performances that are below average in internal and external examinations despite the .act that this language is their MT or LIC. There arose concern from scholars and researchers on how to sustain interest ana improve academic achievements in Yoruba language These result in many studies on the implications of altitudinal disposition of government, parents, learners and society a* large to the use of Yoruba, influence of globalization/civilization on the Yoruba language, code alternation among bilinguals, ways to save the Yoruba language from going into extinction, new teaching strategies and socio-cultural aspects of the language to mention a few; yet, poor performance continues. Since studies have shown that psychological factors such as locus of control, self-concept and motivation correlate significantly with students’ achievements in English and French, there is the need to examine this correlation in the Yoruba language. Moreover, there is paucity of research on the relationship among these variables and students’ achievement in Yoruba language. In order to partake of filling this gap, this study focuses on the problems facing the teaching of Yoruba written literature in junior secondary schools in Lagos state.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main aim of this study is to assess the problems facing the teaching of Yoruba written literature in junior secondary schools in Lagos state.

The specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To identify the problems facing the teaching of Yoruba written literature in junior secondary schools
  2. To investigate the impact of these problems on the academic achievement in junior secondary schools
  3. To find out the strategies being used by schools to teach Yoruba written literature in junior secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the problems facing the teaching of Yoruba written literature in junior secondary schools?
  2. What is the impact of these problems on the academic achievement in junior secondary schools?
  3. What are the strategies being used by schools to teach Yoruba written literature in junior secondary schools?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The study intends to test the following hypotheses:

  1. Teacher effectiveness significantly relates to achievement in Yoruba written literature.
  2. School factors significantly predict achievement in Yoruba written literature.
  3. Home factors significantly predict achievement in Yoruba written literature.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The outcome of the findings of this study would add value to the existing theory of practice and teaching of Yoruba in our various primary and secondary schools. The outcome of the findings of this study would enrich the existing literature or the body of knowledge in the domain of reading. To the parents, this is going to be a springboard to understanding the impact of the seemingly little but valuable contribution they can make to assist their children achieve maximally not only in reading but other areas of their wards‟ academic endeavor. Finally, it is the belief of the researcher that the outcome of this study would positively reshape the existing theory and practice of the teaching of reading and serve also as revolutionist to the education industry in general.

1.7 Definition Of Terms


The facilitation of students learning through importation of knowledge and skill by arrangement and manipulation of a situation.


This is refers to the process or the act of acquiring a modification in a behavioural tendency through experience and acquisition of knowledge and skills.

Yoruba Language (Ede Yoruba):

This is a language spoken by the Yoruba in Southwestern Nigeria. It is identified as a tonal language.

1.8 Organization Of Study

The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

There is no doubting the fact that as the study indicated, underachievement in writing and reading comprehension is a major hurdle that must be crossed before any meaningful teaching and learning can be achieved. As shown, parental involvement, availability of reading facilities in school and teaching methods affect the teaching of Yoruba written literature significantly. This shows that the earlier apprehension raised in this study is genuine as performances on Yoruba literature writing comprehension over the years have continued to deteriorate. These crucial indicators, which can make or mar the quality of the education being given to the Lagos state and Nigerian students in general should not be taken with levity by the stakeholders involved particularly the home and the school.

5.2 Recommendations

  1. Parents should make it an attitude to be buying books for kids as gifts during their birthdays. Also, parents should control their children’s accessibility to electronic media because rather than being a blessing and promote learning, they seem to be wrecking more havoc. If the axiom charity begins at home still holds sways till date, then the task of helping the children to be good readers should start from the homes. The home should be the first school of the child. In a nutshell, the need to get parents proactively involved in the formal education of their children of their wards is very crucial.
  2. Parents should procure for their children interesting reading materials that will spark off the love for reading. Associated with this is the fact that they must monitor their reading progress.
  3. Since Information and Communications Technology enhances the quality of pedagogy in Yoruba language, and student’s autonomy and control over the learning process; then Information and Communications Technology(ICT) should be adopted to provide model for effective teaching and learning of Yoruba language in secondary schools.
  4. For greater reference, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) should be fully integrated into teaching and learning of Yoruba language.

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