This study was to proffer solutions to the problems of teaching English as a second language in Nigeria secondary schools, with particular attention on selected secondary schools in Ado Local Government, Area in Ekiti State. The population for the study was forty teachers which also made up the sample. Questionnaires were administered on the respondents. The two points rating scale were used to rate the level of the respondents. Frequency and mean were used to analyze data for the study. Analysis revealed that the problems facing English teaching involves, difficulties in teaching English language in schools, hardships involves in teaching English as a second language, responsibilities of parents and guardians in procurement of textbooks for effective teaching of English. The causes of the problems is inability of the government to supply necessary textbooks for effective teaching, poor evaluation during teaching learning process, using of appropriate instructional materials and relevancy of the textbooks to Academic curriculum, class and age of the students. Attitudes of the students towards English study interest of the students during teaching of English periods and difficult tasks involves in teaching English. Suggestions were provided on solving the problems which include; teachers should attend seminars or workshops on the effective teaching of English, well equipped laboratory for teaching English and availability of enough English teachers in schools.
1.1 Background of the Study
Language is a human and non – instinctive method of communicating ideas, feelings and desires by means of a system of vocal symbols. These symbols are in the first instance, auditory and the so – called organ of speech produces them. Robin (1964) describes language as a “communicative noise making”. Communication implies that linguistics study human sounds that make meaning. Robin explains linguistically, no language is primitive, and the vocabulary of any language reflects closely the state of the materials and more abstracts culture of the speaker. An unfamiliar language comes across to the uninitiated listener as a sequence of mere sounds, lacking meaning, or in the words of Gleason (1969), as a torrent of disorganized noise carrying no sense whatever”.
English language is not nature in Nigeria. It was brought by the colonialist and it has been incompletely domesticated (Amayo 1985, kujore 1985). English as a language came into Nigeria in the 16th century. The immediate effect of contact through trade and evangelism was the rise of pidgin English in the early 19th century (j.f Ade Ajayi, 1965). Apart from the contact with the new language, Nigerians later received formal instruction in English in missionary schools.
Learning a second language is a life long process and it is often a challenging experience for learners. English has become the second language after it was introduced to Nigeria during colonization. At present it is an international language, it is used in exchanging knowledge, it is a language of technology.
English, which is the most widely spoken language in the world, has been serving as the second language and the official language in Nigeria. Over 60% of the world’s radio programmes are broadcast in English. It is the language of politics, economic and social life in Nigeria. All transactions be it administration commercial, legislative or even judicial, are carried out in English language.
Adebayo (1985), quoting Adekunle, remarks “ the English language, apart from being Nigeria’s language of science and technology is both in theory and practice, the language which those who have the basic educational background use in discussing official matters and in exchanging views …. Where there is no common local language among the interlocutors ( ).
We notice the powerful influence of English language as a means of social interaction among educated Nigerians, where there is no common language. In 1978, the Nigerian constitution (section 51) formally bestowed on the English language a special place in the scheme of things. “ the business of the national assembly shall be conducted in English, and in Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba, when adequate arrangement have been made”. This enhancement of the status of the English language developed out of a recognition of the unifying power of the language, it also shows that English has been recognized as the language in which the business of the national assembly must be conducted.
Akere (1978), quoting Edward Blyden Kas rightly asserts: “ English is undoubtedly the must suitable of the European languages for bridging over the numerous gulfs between the tribes caused by the great diversity of language or dialect among them, it is a composite language, not a product of nay one people”.
Steven (1980) also says that English serves as intra – national as well as international purpose in countries like Nigeria. Therefore, the choice adopting English, a neutral language as the official language and lingua franca in Nigeria could be said to be a guided one.
English language is a passport to educational advancement and prestigious employment. Admission into higher institution of learning depends on how creditably students perform in English language and other relevant subjects. English has been conferred upon us not only as a international language but also as a language of national unity.
Kolawole (1998) asserts that Nigerian secondary school students have problems in the learning of English as revealed in their performance in the subjects at public examination, most of the students are being delayed from advancing in their studies to higher institutions of learning because of their inability to obtain a credit pass in English language, which is a pre – requisite for admission into any course in the tertiary institutions, many of the students normally pass every other subject, but excellent performances in other subjects without a credit pass in English is non effectual.
Fakaye (2002), the bottom line is that native like command of a language in a second language, learning situation is almost impossible, in fact, it is impossible to attain a nature like command of a second language without an opportunity to live among the native speakers fro a considerably long period of time.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
English occupies the status of a second language (L2) in Nigeria. Learning English as a second language is not an easy task, the learners of English faces several difficulties while learning the language, this is because most second language learners find it difficult to speak or write good English.
The learning of English among Nigeria students is on the decline despite learning English for several years.
Mike sawfish (1978) states clearly that the problems that students are bound to encounter would be weak vocabulary in appropriate use of grammar in sentences.
Paradowki (2008) observes that English is one of the rapidly changing language in the world and one of the identified reasons for this is the fact that new speakers of the language are not passive but are actively shaping it.
Paradowski (2008) concludes that the inevitable consequence of these is that nature speakers norms are loosing relevance and referenced world wide.
There are various factors that are responsible for the problems of feeling English as a second language, some of the problems are
I Lack of qualified English language teachers
II the use of unsuitable English language textbooks
III impoverished libraries with unsuitable learning environment
IV lack of instructional materials or language laboratories in school. This has greatly affected the effort of the teachers.
With the above in mind, this research work focuses on the problems of teaching English as a second language in Nigeria secondary schools with particular focus on selected secondary schools in ado local government area. This is to find out the problems and difficulties in teaching English as a second language, the causes and possible suggestions of how to reduce the problems.
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