1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The influence of instructional materials in promoting students’ academic performance and teaching and learning in educational development is indisputable. The teaching of English language in Nigerian secondary schools needs to be properly handled. The materials used by teachers to teach and drive home their subject points at the primary and secondary school levels of our education system is incontrovertibly a paramount issue in practical classroom interaction and successful transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the learners. Instructional materials are materials which assist teachers to make their lessons explicit to learners. They are also used to transmit information, ideas and notes to learners (Ijaduola 1997). Instructional materials include both visuals and audiovisuals such as pictures, flashcards, posters, charts, tape recorder, radio, video, television, computers among others. These materials serve as supplement to the normal processes of instruction.
English Language is an important and fundamental subject that must be credited by students before gaining admission into any tertiary institution. The importance and technicality of this subject makes it necessary that relevant instructional materials should be used to teach it to the learners.
This fact is supported by Macaulay (1989) who asserts that visual aids make lesson come alive and help students to learn better. It is against this background that this study attempts to examine the extent to which the utilization of instructional materials could advance junior secondary school students performance in English language.
Poor academic achievement in English Language could beattributed to many factors among which teacher’sstrategy itself was considered as an important factor. Thisimplies that the mastery of English Language concepts mightnot be fully achieved without the use of instructionalmaterials. The teaching of English language withoutinstructional materials may certainly result in pooracademic achievement. Franzer , Okebukola and Jegede(1992) stressed that a professionally qualified Englishteacher no matter how well trained, would unable to puthis ideas into practice if the school setting lacks theequipment and materials necessary for him or her totranslate his competence into reality.
Bassey (2002) opined that art of teaching is resource intensive,and in a period of economic recession, it may be verydifficult to find some of the electronic gadgets andequipment for the teaching of English language in schoolsadequately. A situation that is further compounded bythe galloping inflation in the country and many at times,some of the imported sophisticated materials andequipment are found expensive and irrelevant; hence theneed to produce materials locally.
Obioha (2006) and Ogunleye (2002)reported that there were inadequate resources (Teaching aids inclusive) forteaching in most secondary schools in Nigeria.They further stated that the available ones are notusually in good conditions. There is the need therefore,for improvisation. Adebimpe (1997) and Daramola,(2008) however noted that improvisation demandsadventure, creativity, curiosity and perseverance on thepart of the teacher, such skills are only realizable throughwell-planned training programme on improvisation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The art of teaching is fundamentally concerned withpassing ideas, skills and attitude from the teacher to thelearner. In Nigeria, for example experience has shownthat spoken words alone in the communication of ideasare grossly ineffective and inefficient in producingdesired learning outcomes. Every year, when the resultsof public examination are released, there has alwaysbeen mass failure in English language. The reason for thiscould be ascribed to the fact that teaching English language as a second language (ESL) in Nigeria pose serious problem of comprehensionto students.
The effects of mother tongue interference also poses challenges to learners,this subject cannot be taught effectivelywithout the use of relevant instructional materials tomake the learning practical rather than purely theoretical.
On the foregoing, Mutebi and Matora (1994) have emphasized theeffect of instructional materials utilization on teachingand learning. According to them, we learn and remember10% of what we hear 40% of what we discuss with othersand as high as 80% of what we experience directly orpractice. However, the questions here are: does the useof instructional materials really influence students’academic performance? Is teaching effectivenessenhanced by the use of instructional materials?Could students’ learning be advanced by the use ofinstructional materials? Finding answers to thesequestions and more summarizes the entire problem ofthis study.
1.3PURPOSE OF THE STUDY/OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of instructional materials on the teaching and learning of English language in junior secondary school students in Nigeria.
The objectives of this study are:
- To find out what instructional materials are used by English teachers in Junior Secondary Schools.
- To identify what areas of language do teachers use instructional materials
- To ascertain what stage of the lesson do teachers introduce these instructional materials
- To assess the constraints to using instructional materials in schools
- To Suggest ways to improve the effective use of instructional materials
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In order to achieve the objectives of this study, thefollowing research questions were raised to guide theinvestigation:
- What are The Instructional materials used by English teachers in junior secondary schools?
- What areas of language teaching do teachers use instructional materials?
- When do Teachers make Use the instructional materials during the English lesson?
- What are the constraints to using instructional materials in schools?
- What suggestions can be made to improve the use of instructional materials?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The use of instructional materials gives the learneropportunity to touch, smell or taste objects in theteaching and learning process. Consequently, knowledgepassed unto the students at different levels ofeducational instructions should be well planned andproperly allied with relevant instructional materials forclarity and comprehensibility. Hence the significance ofthis study to the students, teachers, curriculum planners,educational system and the society at large.To the students, the effective use of instructionalmaterials would enable them to effectively learn andretain what they have learnt and thereby advancing theirperformance in the subject in question. This is becauseaccording to Nwadinigwe (2000), learning is a processthrough which knowledge, skills, habits, facts, ideas andprinciples are acquired, retained and utilized; and theonly means of achieving this is through the use ofinstructional materials.The study would help enhance teachers’ teachingeffectiveness and productivity. This is in line withassertion of Ekwueme and Igwe (2001) who noted that itis only the teachers who will guarantee effective andadequate usage of instructional materials and therebyfacilitate success.
Consequently a teacher who makes useof appropriate instructional materials to supplement histeaching will help enhance students’ innovative andcreative thinking as well as help them become plausiblyspontaneous and enthusiastic. Oremeji (2002)supportively asserts that any teacher who takesadvantage of these resources and learns to use themcorrectly will find that they make almost an incalculablecontribution to instruction. He further says thatinstructional materials are of high value in importinginformation, clarifying difficult and abstract concepts,stimulating thought, sharpening observation, creatinginterest and satisfying individual difference.
The study is also significant to the educational systemand society at large. This is because when teacherssolidify their teaching with instructional materials and thelearners learn effectively, the knowledge acquired willreflect in the society positively. Students will be able tounderstand the functioning of the economy, interpretgovernment’s economic policies and activity and performeconomically better in the choice of life and work.
1.6 THEORITICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
This study is focused on investigating the effect ofinstructional material utilization on advancing juniorsecondary school students’ performance in English language. Due to time and financial constraints, thisstudy is limited to some selected junior secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. This is because the researcher resides in this localgovernment area and as such had the opportunity ofhaving a comprehensive knowledge of the area and itsenvirons.
This study intend to adapt a theoretical frameworkin the same manner, Moronfola (1982) carried out a research in Ilorin LocalGovernment Area of Kwara State. She used questionnaires to collect data on the material resources available for the teaching of some selected subjects in ten secondary schools and related these to students’ achievements in each of the selected subjects and to the amount of resources available for the teaching of the subjects.
1.7DELIMITATIONS AND LIMITATIONS.
This study is basically restricted to investigating the effects of instructional materials in the teaching and learningof English language in junior secondary schools in Jos North LGA, it does not include Senior Secondary Schools in the same study area, the study basically ascertain the types, time and methods of usage of such instructional materials to impart the right English language skills on junior secondary school students in the study area.
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the courseof carrying out this study was the delay in getting datafrom the various respondents. Most respondents werereluctant in filling questionnaires administered to themdue to their busy schedules and nature of their work. Theresearcher found it difficult to collect responses from thevarious respondents, and this almost hampered thesuccess of this study.
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