AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECTING PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
- Background to the study.
Language is one of the most helpful tools we have as humans, and it is fundamental to our survival. It has evolved into a vital means of communication across nations, cultural groups, communities, and friends. It assists in the overall development and grooming of one’s personality. It is used to communicate thoughts, wishes, and feelings. It denotes a certain culture (Ogiegbaen and Delona , 2010). There is no such thing as a nation that does not have a language. There are around 6,500 languages spoken in the world today, with English being one among them. In general, English is one of the most widely used languages in the world today. Nigeria has about 450 ethnic groups and is a multilingual nation. English became the official and second language, and it is the language of inclusion, uniting people of various ethnic backgrounds. The language is vital because it is utilized in communication, science, commerce, and entertainment, among other things (Ogiegbaen and Delona, 2010). This language is taught in Nigerian schools from pre-nursery to university institutions, and it has a major role in the national curriculum. This is due to the fact that it is the primary mode of education in schools. Language plays an important part in learning, and if the learner is unable to communicate in the language of instruction, learning may not take place at all (Malekale, S.D, 2003). Furthermore, according to ADEA (2005), “language is not everything in education, but everything in education is nothing without language.” Despite the fact that the English language is entwined in every element of Nigerian education, secondary pupils continue to struggle with language learning.
Language learners study English in a second language context, which makes it challenging to learn English. “In second language acquisition, students find it challenging to use language abilities outside of language classes since there are less possibilities owing to bad linguistic environment,” according to Maesin et al (2009).
When learning a new language, the environment plays an important role, and it may either help or hinder language acquisition. According to Ogiegbaen and Delona (2010), environmental problems in Nigerian schools include:
1.Many schools, particularly those in metropolitan regions, are situated in places with a lot of people moving about and doing things.
2.Many schools have crumbling structures with leaky roofs and damaged walls.
3.The majority of schools are without power.
4.He also noted that most schools, particularly those in metropolitan regions, are overcrowded, with some classrooms holding up to 100 children.
5.The majority of the institutions lacked sufficient staff rooms and offices.
6.Most schools lack libraries, and when they do exist, there is a dearth of literature on the shelves.
This is the critical situation of most secondary schools in Nigeria, which serves as an impediment to successful English language teaching and learning. Hence this study investigate into the impact of environmental factors affecting proficiency in english language among secondary school students.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The English language is Nigeria’s official language. In Nigeria, it is also a second language that is taught and mastered. But most Nigerians find it difficult to acquire the language since there are numerous elements that impact the learning of English language. This research focuses at the environmental elements that impact the development of English language, among other things. Many psychologists agree that the environment in which one finds oneself influences one’s language development (Ogiegbaen and Delona , 2010). The detrimental impact of the environment on students’ academic performance in general, and their learning of the English language in particular, has been a source of worry for all educational partners. In particular, it has been stated that secondary school pupils’ English language proficiency is poor and unsatisfactory. In this regards, this study aims to investigate environmental factors (specifically looking at the learning resources and learning environment) and its effect on English language.
1.3 Objective of the study
The general objective of this study is to investigate the impact of environmental factors affecting proficiency in english language among secondary school students. This study specifically sets out to:
- To find out the availability of instructional aid used in teaching english language in the school.
- To examine if schoolenvironment affects the proficiency of english language.
- To recommend possible strategies of improving the learning environment and enhancing proficiency in english language.
1.4 Research questions.
The following questions have been prepared for the study
- Is there an availability of instructional aid used in teaching english language in the school?
- Does school environment affects the proficiency of english language?
- What are the recommended possible strategies of improving the learning environment and enhancing proficiency in english language.
1.5 Significance of the study.
The findings of this study would be beneficial to the students, the teacher, parents and the school.
It will encourage and enable the students to study and proficiency in English language zealously.
It will enable the teachers to always make the learning environment very conducive for learning and also make them know the various means in which the learning resources can aid their teaching.
The feedback they get from their children’s result will motivate them to encourage their children to learn the language properly. It will also motivate the parents to contribute financially to the upkeep and development of the environment in which their wards learn.
The result of this study will help the school to detect their mistakes and make positive preparation to make the learning environment conducive for learning and to provide the right learning resources for the teacher to use while teaching.
Academia: the study is significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature
1.6 Scope of the Study
The studywill find out the availability of instructional aid used in teaching english language in the school. The study will also examine if school environment affects the proficiency of english language. Lastly, the study will recommend possible strategies of improving the learning environment and enhancing proficiency in english language. Hence this study will be delimited to primary schools in Benue 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.
1.8 Definition of terms.
Environmental factors: It is the known characteristics in an environment that affects the acquisition of English language.
English language: It is the official language and second language in Nigeria.