The Effects Of Mother Tongue Interference In The Study Of English Language In Secondary Schools In Enugu North Local Government Area Of Enugu State

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The topic of the study is the effects of mother tongue in the study of English language in secondary school in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The aim is to know how the mother tongue affects the learning of English language in Secondary school especially in four selected schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The targeted population for the study was 500 but collection was questionnaires. The questionnaires were distributed to the four schools selected in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The data were analyzed using percentage. The following were the researchers findings. That  teachers of English language in Enugu North do not have teaching aids in their various school visited. That students are hardly fluent in English   language. That most of the English language teachers are not qualified that students are hardly buy books in English language. That most student are very poor in understanding some of the English language vocabularies. In view of the above, the researcher recommends that teachers should be made to make use of correct teaching method in teaching of English that  mother tongue should be restricted as stipulated by the national policy on education 4th edition. That student should be taught and made  to speak English language always. That teachers of the English language should be made to ensure that  at least every student is carried along in the classroom lesson. That qualified teachers should be employed.

Table of Content

Title page          –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       i

Approval page    –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       ii

Certification        –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       iii

Dedication         –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       iv

Acknowledgement      –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       v

Table of Contents       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       vi

Abstract     –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       vii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                            1

1.1    Background of the study     –       –       –       –       –       –       1-2

1.2    Statement of the problem    –       –       –       –       –       –       3

1.3    Significance of the study     –       –       –       –       –       –       4

1.4    Purpose of the study   –       –       –       –       –       –       –       6

1.5    Research Question      –       –       –       –       –       –       –       6

1.6    Hypothesis                 –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       6

1.7    Scope of the study      –       –       –       –       –       –       –       7

1.8    Definition of terms      –       –       –       –       –       –       –       7

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW                                  

2.1    Brief History of the development, teaching and learning of the

English Language in Nigeria         –       –       –       –       –       9-13

2.2    The Medium of Communication    –       –       –       –       –       14-15

2.3    Interference of Second Language –       –       –       –       –       16-17

2.4    Language uses in Nigeria    –       –       –       –       –       –       18

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCHER METHODS                           

3.1    Research   Design      –       –       –       –       –       –       –       20

3.2    Area of Study     –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       21

3.3    Population of the Study               –       –       –       –       –       21

3.4    Instrument for Data Collection      –       –       –       –       –       23

3.5    Validation of Instrument      –       –       –       –       –       –       23

3.6    Reliability of the Instrument         –       –       –       –       –       –       23

3.7    Data Collection   –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       24

3.8    Data Analysis     –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       24

CHAPTER FOUR:                                                                      25

Presentation of Results                –       –       –       –       –       –       –       25-35

CHAPTER FIVE                                                                                       



5.1    Discussion of Finding –       –       –       –       –       –       –       36

5.2    Summary   –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       37

5.3    Conclusion –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       38

5.4    Implication of Finding –       –       –       –       –       –       –       39

5.5    Recommendation        –       –       –       –       –       –       –       40

5.6    Suggestions for further research  –       –       –       –       –       41






Background of the Study.

Language is a creation which every human being is endowed with or blessed; a unique gift of language is used naturally as one tool of expression consisting of different sub skills.

The English language is the official and native language of Britain, Ireland, North America, Australia, America and most of the British colonies, (for the colonies, it is regarded as the official language rather than native). It is commonly divided by periods into Anglo-Saxon, or old English (about 450-1100 Bc), Middle English (about 1100 to 15Bc) and modern English (from 1500 to date).

Mother tongue is one’s native language. A language besides being the major distinguishing phenomenon between man and other creatures is evidently the most enduring of every people’s cultural heritage. It reflects the culture of a people and it is in extricable bound up with it.

Language is an important tool that enhances human communication and interaction. It is a vital instrument in cultural transmission and preservation of a social group. It is in a fundamental sense, a crucial tool in the preservation and propagation of the human species. An examination of the linguistic content of a particular speech community can provide information about the life style, occupation etc. of a given people.

The English language beings the national official language for the British colonies of which Nigeria is among makes it our second language. Hence, our respective mother tongue exists before colonization. This has necessitated the teaching and learning of the English language and its consequent interference in our mother tongue in various study points nation wide. It is therefore, glaring to state that, Nigeria is a linguistically complex society by the mere fact of the history of its creation. It is estimated that there are between 250 and 400 language spoken in Nigeria (INTER NET).

This linguistic heterogeneity promotes the continued use of English in Nigeria. Ethnologic include English amongst its list of Nigeria language this hardly supervising since the role of English language in Nigeria diverse and ubiquitous, especially as a means of intra and inter national communication. It is as a result of the negative effects which the mother tongue had caused the study of English language on the educational structures of the attempt to determine the effect of the use of mother tongue on the teaching and learning process in secondary schools.

Statement of the Problem.

Before the advent of British traders, missionaries and colonialists, indigenous Nigerian language defined every aspect of the speech community from its religious, cultural, political, Economics, social to whatever else that can be through of the language functioned effectively to deal with every thing relating to the day existence of the people. The arrival of the British, concomitant with the English language provided a language contact situation with an attempt to a language shift in the population.

New sets of ideas, concepts and values were introduced to the system where indigenous local language had previously been self-sufficient, rendering them inadequate to deal with the new concepts introduced by the British, particularly in the areas of formal education, Western law etc. the result was the initial subtle and later blatant intrusion & influence of English language on domains that were the exclusive preserve of indigenous language.

Now, the English language is generally an accepted language which was introduced into Nigeria through colonialism and missionary activities is now spoken, thought and learned in Nigeria.

Where English language sentence are made, they are characteristically uttered with variation in pitch often referred to as intonation. This is often an area of difficulty for second language, users of English language who have tonal? Language as their first language. This is one of the major problems encountered by learners of English language. Other areas of problem encountered are’, Sentence and word stresses, vowel sounds and English suprasegmental of pitch. The study intended to identify the effect of mother tongue in the study of English language in senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Significance of the Study:

This study will help to expose the numerous factors that influence the interference of 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.

Since English language has been used as a second official and some times even as a foreign language in Nigeria for along time and give the inescapable behaviour of language in contact, it is normal to expect it to have factors which can identify it as bonafide subject, dialect, variely or idiom of world English. These may be seen as research findings relating to interference, derintation and creativity as are seen to obtain among speakers. In Nigeria. English is now the term Nigerian English is used to refer to the subject of English spoken or written by Nigerians, it is commonly known that the features of Nigerians English language, like those of other new English, are essentially inherent particularly at the early stages of learning by the mother tongue features.


Purpose of the Study:

  1. To find out the level at which mother tongue can interfere in the learning of English language in secondary school.
  2. To investigate the qualifications of English teachers in secondary school in Enugu North.
  3. To know how teachers makes use of correct methods in teaching of English language in secondary school in Enugu North

Reasarch Question

  1. Does mother tongue actually interferes in the learning of English language in secondary school?.
  2. Are the English language teacher in schools qualified­­?
  3. Does English language teachers adopt correct teaching methods in teaching?



Ho    Mother tongue interfers in the learning of English language.

Hi     Mother tongue dose not interfers in the learning of English language.

Ho2   English language teachers makes use of correct method of teaching in teaching and learning of English language.

Ho2   English language teacher do not make use of correct teaching method.

The Scope of the Study.

This research is the effect of mother tongue interference in study of English language among secondary school students in Enugu North Local Government Area.

It is based on the available result gotten from continuous assessment and summative examinations of schools such as West Africa Examination Council, the national examination council and examination development centre for senior school certificate examination all in English Language.

Definition of Terms:

It is imperative to properly defined the terms that make the heading of the research topic under study. This will go along way at giving direction to the research work.

These includes:

MOTHER TONGUE: The native language one first learns to speak before other language.

INTERFERENCE: In this context, interruption of a language by another especially in pronunciation and intonations.

ANGLO-XASON: A person whose an cestors were English. (2) An English person of the period before the norman conquest.

FUNDAMENTAL: Serious and very important affecting the most central and important parts of something. (2) Foundation of reality.

HETEROGENEITY: Consisting of many different kinds of people or things (2) Uniformity/Alike.

ETHNOLOGICAL: The moral ideas and attitudes that belong to a particular group or society (2) peculiar to a race or nation.

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