THE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE PRONUNCIATION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

          English language as a course holds the key to further academic progress in Nigeria.To have the opportunity to study any course in the University, Polytechnic or College of Education, a candidate must have obtained a credit in English in the West Africa School Certificate Examination or its equivalents. It is apparent that candidates’ performance in English is on the whole not sufficiently sound to equip them for further studies at the tertiary level. Considering the poor standard of English in our Primary  school and the importance roles of English In the academic life of every student, there is therefore an urgent need to improve the level of performance in our schools.

          English language is not native in Nigeria. It was brought by the colonialist and it has been completely domesticated (Amayo 2005), 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 (Ajayi, 2005). Apart from the contact with the new language, Nigerians later received formal instruction in English in missionary schools.

          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 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 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.

Statement of the Problem

The research is seeking to study such problems of pronunciation e.g. the mispronunciation of some sounds and the shifting of particular sounds with others and to try to find what are the exact reasons for such errors i.e. are these errors related to the mother tongue interference, sound system differences between the native and the foreign language, moreover, to study the influence of spelling on the pronunciation, then see to what extent the inconsistency of some English sounds affects on the pronunciation. There are also some studies on pronunciation errors among speakers of Yoruba. The study also aims at helping the Sudanese pupils of English improve their pronunciation using the modern techniques and aids in learning language e.g. internet, audio aids such as (CDs, tapes, and TV).

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Updated: 10th March 2020 — 8:24 am

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