Background of the Study
Education is the greatest tool for the development of any nation, the major objectives of sending our children to school is to help them learn some basic concepts, skills, knowledge and beliefs necessary for the development of some specific goals. Observations have shown that in even level of schooling whether at the primary, secondary or tertiary level of education, there are basic facilities which make it possible for the school to attain her desired goals school facilities can also be referred to as school plant.
According to Costaldi (2007), school facilities are those materials of education which enables a skillful teacher to achieve a level of instructional effectiveness that exceeds what is possible, when they are not provided, the materials of education or educational facilities are numerous, whatever materials or services that helps to facilitate teaching and learning fall under the term school facilities. They consist of land, buildings, playground, school farm, laboratories, libraries, assembly hall, classrooms, workshops, audio visual aids (radio sets, video sets, tapes) slide projectors and slide flip charts e.t.c. graphics (charts, posters, pictures) photographs, cartoons, graphs maps e.t.c) display materials chalkboard, flannel boards, magnetic boards and many others.
In one sense, we are being educated all the time, to the extent that everything that happens to us may bring about some changes in the way we feel, think, act, and obviously the way we speak. We learn from the things we hear, from the circumstances in which we live, the people we meet, ideas in books or papers. Infact everything that surrounds us and of which we experience is educating us and our children all the time.
For the process of education to function effectively, the school curriculum is taken into consideration. Therefore, curriculum is the term used to indicate a group of subjects or field of study arranged in a particular sequence. According to Anwuka, A.G. 2005, (2004). Curriculum is the selection of subjects in the school, organization and administration of a body of subject matter designed to lead the pupil on the same definite life objective.
In spite of the fact that so many aspects of man’s knowledge compete today for inclusion as subjects in the school curriculum, at least one modern language continues to maintain the right to a place in the secondary school curriculum. All those who believe that the study of a modern language other than one’s own has an important part to play in the development of the adolescent, a part which perhaps today were even more essential than in the past, are content that this should be so. It has been observed that in the theory and practices whenever circumstances allow. The advantages inherent in such a study are beneficial to children in secondary schools.
Language according to Webster’s Encyclopedia unabridged Dictionary of English language. Is the body of wards and same community or nation, the same geographical area or the same cultural tradition.
Language is human speech either spoken or written. Whenever there is a human society, there is language. Most forms of human activity depend on the co-operation of two or more persons. A common language enables human beings to work together in an infinite variety or ways.
Bragg, Melvyn (2004)argues that human language is built on a biological based that is present in other primates and that both humans and animals have innate neural mechanisms which are matched to their respective sound producing mechanisms. Yet most linguists will readily agree that only human’s have language proper and that the possession of language put humans at considerable advantages compared with other species.
English is one of the major languages, out of 5000 estimated language spoken in the world. About 200 years ago, English was simply the language of less than 15 million peoples. Today, however, English is used by more than 300 million peoples and second only to Chinese as regards the number of people using a particular language. English is one of the most influential and fast growing language spoken across the globe.
One fifth of the earth’s land surface used English either as native tongue or official language of the entire world’s languages, English is the most widely studied language; especially in areas where it is not native. Today, English is used in several countries in the American continent including the United States of America and Canada, Republic of countries in the West African subcontinent. Though English was actually the language of colonization in these countries, like India colonized territories.
In other countries including Japan and china English as usually taught as cheat foreign language. Equally about half of the world’s scientific and technical journals, as well as newspapers, are printed in English. The spread of English is further enhanced through the establishment of British council and United States information service by the British and U.S governments respectively with centers and libraries in various countries including Nigeria. All these factors have therefore made it easy for anyone to understand and speaks English, and moves around major cities in the world to communicate effectively with one another.
According to Anibueze, (2007), English language is a lingua Franca. As lingua franca, it is the language for unification. It is highly established so that the people of varied language will have purposes to relate together mutually and work in union. For example, Hausa man may comfortably stay effectively speak with a Yoruba man or Igbo man vice versa.
The English language had remained a very important tool for socialization and bureaucratic activities in Nigeria, since the days of colonization. It was only natural that emphasis was laid on spoken English only and either on written English or both of them. However, with the emergence of a new class of people, with time, the civil servants, and their new roles in colonial administration, the teaching and learning of the language took another form.
Today, English is the language for the international community, according to Emerson, Ralph Waldo (2006),the English language is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is used as either primary or secondary language in many countries. It is the language of education, administration, law trade, international diplomacy as well as that of cultural.
It is, therefore worthwhile acquiring mastery of this very important language for whosever does not, has deprived himself of access to the world’s brightest idea modern technologies In Nigeria today, English remains the language of pedagogy, students can hardly make commendable progress in their studies without adequate mastery of English through which most of the course in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are taught and examined.
Language teaching according to Oluikpe (2005) emphasizes that the basic criteria for assessing student’s proficiency in writing and speaking are generally control of the basic grammatical categories such as punctuations, tense, number, gender, etc language teaching in Nigeria had fought with deficiencies. The major reason for these deficiencies is our English teacher who are not well trained only but are also non- professionals. And even if they are well trained, their training is rooted into the work. A situation where a teacher of the language has no mastery of its grammatical categories, as we see today does not mean well for the system. Also on these problem facing language teaching, according to Regner et al (2001) ascertained that “many good teacher are adaptive rather than rigid in their approach to teaching children and only loosely base on their instruction on a given method.
Language is the official medium of communication of humans; it is one of the things that differentiate man from animals. Signs and symbols have no international understanding and it may be difficult to understand picture, painting and sculptures cannot be read by all. This makes language superior to all of them because it is easily understand and generally used. According to Ozohils (2007) language literally means the “tongue” a human organ used in speaking. Traditionally, language is defined as system of arbitrary vocal symbols by which thought are communicated from one to another.
Chumbow 1984 asserted that attention has been draw before now to the poor state of language development in general and reading in particular at the senior secondary school level as well as in levels of education in Nigeria. The problem accentuated in recent times perhaps by the massive students in take following the launching of the universal primary education (UPE) programmes. But collectively, there has been little concern for the problem of teaching and learning of reading at the senior secondary schools level.
The burden of this study is on improving reading ability at senior secondary schools level is to bring home to teachers, educators and parents that it is imperative that we being to care about the state of reading in our senior secondary schools for it is a matter that concerns everyone and from which we cannot escape. This study discusses general and specific problems in the Nigeria language and cultural environment which impede the development of reading ability at the senior secondary schools.
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