THE EXTENT OF USE OF AUDIO–VISUAL MATERIALS IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study:

English is a language of the people of England. It originates from the Jute, Angles and Saxon, who are the early settlers in Britain. It is part of the Germanic branch of the Indo European language family. At the initial state, English was confined to Britain alone. Later, it grew wide within the British Empire as a Prestigious Core Language among all other European languages in the upper classes of London, Oxford, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cambridge and England. It further developed and got to other people of the world. It spread to Asia, Germany, Africa and other continents as a Native Language, Second Language or Foreign Language. Progressively, English Language has spread virtually all over the world.

English, throughout the world, is a significant everyday language. It is a global language and widely distributed medium of instruction and communication. It has a prestigious official status and has acquired a constitutionally endorsed legal right. It has gained explicit recognition, which has established it as a medium of administration, education, international relations, commerce and law. Throughout the world, English language is very important (Mac Arthur, 1996).

In Nigeria, English language is a second language and a lingua franca. This means that it is the language for unit, communication economy, national pride, law, press, trade and instruction. As a language of instruction, it is an essential prerequisite for an advancement and career succession in the country. It means a lot in the life and progress of a child as it is a key subject with profound influence on all the school subjects.

The English Language is used in the Junior Secondary Schools as core school subject. It is a solid foundational course. The key elements of the course are designed to cover the basic four language skills, which are listening, reading, speaking and writing. It is expected that after learning these skills in Junior Secondary School, the students who choose to work can use the language fluently while those who wish to go further can be very proficient in the language. According to Harold (1995), the teachers are to integrate the key elements of the language experiences at school. English at this stage tends to receive more critical attention. He posits that the professional English language teacher is one who has been trained or has trained himself to do a competent work. He should at least possess a college major in English or a strong minor. He must have deep interest in literature and a solid knowledge of the language skills. Moreover, he has to acquire strong skill in the handling of the instructional materials and educational problems. The emphasis here lies on training and qualification of the teachers.

The importance of instructional materials in teaching the English Language in Junior Secondary School cannot be under-estimated. It makes whatever amount of work being done at Junior Secondary School easy and fast. It promotes greater acquisition and high retention of actual knowledge. They provide increased interest and integrated experience (Eya and Ofoefuna, 1999)

Vikoo (2003) observes that the most suitable instructional materials for the effective teaching and learning of the English Language at this information age are audio – visual materials. He describes the audio – visual materials as the instructional system which uses the operations of the scientific and technological equipment combining both visual projections and sound productions to provide tangible experiences to learners. Some of such materials are computer assisted instruction, video – taped instruction and film shows. Baldeh (1990) states that audio – visual aids have been introduced, tested and tried in the school system and found effective.

In spite of the importance of the English Language and the effectiveness of the audio – visual aids in teaching English Language in Nigeria, the students’ performances are found low in the Junior Secondary Examination in Chief Examiner’s report (2006), it is stated that the students attainments in English Language have been dwindling every year while the enrolments of the candidates are astronomically increasing. Rowtree (1994) still, describes audio – visual aids as the most fitted materials to aid the teachers to inculcate the language competence in students. It uses electric method to enhance learning. Yet, the results of the students are found low.

Statement of the Problem:

English Language emerged from a common origin of the Germanic branch of indo European language family, and has far–reaching spread and uses in Nigeria, it is her lingua franca and a second language. It is the official language, which has gained it’s endorsed statutory legal position. It is the language of education and all other transactions in Nigeria. In effect, it is of paramount importance for all users of the language in the country; in education, all students of Junior Secondary School should gain competence in it.

In order to gain the required competence, audio – visual materials are specifically used in instructional activities to mitigate the instruction problems and improve knowledge of both teachers and students in relatively short time. Incidentally, the failure rate of the students is disturbing.

This poor performance may imply that the students have not grasped the basic language skills. Secondly, it suggests that the teachers may use it on a minimal level or may have ignored the use of the materials in their classroom practices. Thirdly, the training of the teachers may contribute to its success or failure in the students’ performances.

Again, there is controversy on gender differences. It is not certain whether female and male teachers react differently in the extent of use of audio – visual aids. The question here is, to what extent does the teachers use audio – visual materials in learning English Language in Junior Secondary Schools in Enugu East Local Government Area? Finding an answer to this question is the major concern of this study.

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Updated: 14th July 2017 — 5:04 pm

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