IMPACT OF SPEAKING SKILLS ON STUDENTS ENGLISH USAGE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background to the Study

Language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols, permitting people in a culture, or others who have learnt that culture‟s system to communicate or interact (Bashir, Azeem, and Dogar, 2011). It plays significant roles in social interaction and transmission of social values. The English language is the lingua franca of a vast proportion of the world‟s population. There are over a billion-people learning English as a foreign language while over 750 million people have English as a second language. Global significance of English language contributes in the efforts of donor agencies in funding programmes targeting improving English proficiency of non-native speakers in developing countries. For example; British Council organized a 10- day workshop at Barewa College, Zaria in 2012. Similar to Nigeria‟s situation, many African countries with linguistic diversity, such as South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania have adopted English as a second language (ESL). This was done to overcome cross tribal barriers and access the world beyond Africa (Adegbite, 2004). In most African countries where English is their (L2), children in the public schools are exposed to learning activities through English language from primary education. This is to make them competent and use English as the medium of communication. Learning through English may sometimes be a complex issue with nonnative speakers, who are neither proficient in the language. Second language (L2) education in itself is not a herculean task, but its teaching requires exceptional instructional skills. Worse still, most African teachers teach English as L2 without seeking effective pedagogical strategies. These strategies are capable of maintaining a balance between the quality and quantity of teacher and learners‟ talk.

Statement of the Problem

Many students have problems in learning and communicating in English language in schools. They tend to have low self-concept and self-efficacy when using English as a tool for communication (Choy, 2002). These situations decrease students‟ motivation to participate actively in English language classroom. Students have individual needs when learning English language such as the need for more meaningful interactions with their learning environment and teachers. Through the inside and outside the classroom interactions, their confidence will be developed and motivation to learn the English language will increase. In Nigeria, education is regarded as the instrument for socio-political development and the determinant of economic mobility (Rahji, 2005; Lawal, 2007). It follows that, if some children are allowed to remain educationally disadvantaged, the national economy would be affected due to reduced pool of skilled workers. David (2008) opined that the absence of conscious efforts in effective teaching of basic language skills; will leave pupils‟ competence in ESL to chance.

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Updated: 29th April 2019 — 8:48 am

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