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MOTHER TONGUE INTERFERENCE IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING

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MOTHER TONGUE INTERFERENCE IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 Background of the study

The study is designed to examine the influence of mother tongue on Students performance in English language  in Junior School Certificate Examination. The study investigated if mother tongue is solely the cause of the students’ woeful performance in English language  in Junior School certificate Examination or if there are other complementing factors.

The subjects for the study were one hundred male and female SSI students drawn from various government schools in western Nigeria. Using simple percentage descriptive statistic, the research questions that were raised analysed. The findings reveal that mother tongue influences the students’ poor performance in English language  in Junior School Certificate examination and that there are other factors contributing tostudents’ poor performance in English language . These other factors are poor method of teaching, lack of textbooks, language background and lack of professional growth and development of teachers. Measures that could be taken to enhance students’ achievement in every aspect of English language  are suggested also. The respondents’ age ranged between 10.52 and 15.17. The participants were those who have sat for the Junior Secondary School

Certificate examination. They were randomly selected across diverse religious and socio-economic background.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The importance of English language  as a school subject derives mainly from its utilitarian value to the larger Nigerian society. English is

the official language of administration and

commerce. It is major language of science. Above

all, Salami (2002) had emphasized the importance

of the use of English language  in improving

communication among the various ethnic groups

in Nigeria. He further highlighted the need for

improving the quality of spoken and written

English language  among school children.

However, one of the current educational

problems of public interest is that of poor level

of achievement especially in public examinations

(Kolawole 1998, Kolawole and Dele 2002). This

problem of underachievement among school

children has persisted in many subject areas such

as Mathematics, English and Science (Ivowi,

Okebukola, and Oladotun, 1992; Falayajo, 1997).

This poor level of achievement in many subject

areas may be due to poor foundation in English

language at the primary school level. There are

also several research reports, which support the

view that language inefficiency invariably leads

to poor academic performance (Ayodele, 1988;

Falayajo, 1997). No wonder why today, according

to Iroegbu (2006) much emphasis is placed on

the passing of English language  at credit or

distinction level in addition to other subjects to

enable any candidate gain admission into any

Nigerian Higher Institution of learning or be

placed well in a good white collar job.

In recognition of the importance of English

language for enhancing educational attainment

as well as for improving communication ability

of citizens, the government had made the subject

a core subject (FGN, 2004). It is also compulsory

for students to have credit in English language

before entering the university. This also explains

why many parents go off their way to see that

their children pass at credit level or above in

English language .

1.3 Research Objectives

  1. To understand theeffects of mother tongue interference in the study of English language
  2. The understand the relationship between the mother tongue and the study of English language
  3. To know the solutions to challenges of studying English language after learning the mother tongue

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the effects of mother tongue interference in the study of English language ?
  2. What are the relationship between the mother tongue and the study of English language ?
  3. What are the solutions to challenges of studying English language after learning the mother tongue?

1.5Research Hypothesis

H0: Mother tongue interference have a negative effect in the study of English language

H1: Mother tongue interference does not have a negative effect in the study of English language

H0: There is a negative relationship between mother tongue interference and the study of English language

H1: There is a positive relationship between mother tongue interference and the study of English language

1.6 Limitations of the study

There was limited time and finance during the course of the research

 

 

 

 

 

 

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