ATTITUDE OF TEENAGERS TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN ADO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EKITI STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The existence human beings are fastened on communication which facilitates mutual interaction and relationship among the human species. Communication can be said to be the exchange of information between two people or more (Afe, 2007). Also, it is widely known that the Yorubas including Ado Ekiti people whom this study is centered upon generally communicate to one another by speaking the indigenous language which is Yoruba language and this affect the attitude of teenagers to speaking and learning other languages especially English Language which serve as a medium of passing across all school subject apart from being the lingua franca in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the language policy on education (1998) stipulated a role for all Nigerian languages. The languages of the immediate environment of the teenager are prescribed as languages of instruction for pre-primary and the first three of six years of primary education. English is to be a medium of instruction from the fourth year of primary education onwards, and is to be taught as a subject from primary four so the importance of English language cannot be disregarded.
Generally the disposition of teenagers to speaking and learning English language in Nigeria especially in Ado Local Government Area where the study is focused upon has been discouraging due to the teenagers lack of exposure to English input and also their inability to speaking the language consistently. Even in secondary schools it is a common thing among the students to speak their indigenous language which is Yoruba, not only that the teachers at times even communicate to students in Yoruba, all these contribute and determine the attitude of this teenagers to English language.
Meeting with the teenagers it was observed that the English language constitutes an important part in their daily life towards their academics and in their relationship to their immediate environment. Teenagers are well aware of the fact that the English language is the key to a future with international elements to it. It is not difficult to imagine that the teenagers in Nigeria, using Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti as a case study should be motivated to learn and speak English language because it is something of value to their performance in the class and also of great importance to their future.
However, In Nigeria focusing on Ado Local Government Area, some teenagers cannot speak English language fluently but resorted to their mother tongue due to high level of illiteracy and also to their cultural background and this may hinder them from exhibiting brilliancy in their academic works. Not only for teenagers to reach their goals set up for English language, but in accordance with the curriculum for English language, they should also bear in mind they will also be equipped with enough English language skills to relate with anybody in the nearest future and with the interest to continue developing their English speaking and learning skills it will contribute to their general academics in school and also after finishing school. Sequentially to reaching this aim, we believe that it is important that the teenagers feel that the English language somehow develops their personality and that they find that they have to speak and learn English language also outside the English classroom. Teenagers must be stirred to have an interest in English language and developing good attitudes towards its usage knowing that English language can help us to express our opinions, hopes, and even our dreams (Tavil, 2009). In English Language learning and speaking context, there are various factors that influence the learning and speaking process such as motivation, attitudes, anxiety, learning, achievements, aptitudes, intelligence, age, personalities, etc.
Moreover, attitude is a convenient and efficient way of explaining consistent patterns in behavior (Mamun, et al., 2012) as it often manages to summarize, explain, and predict behavior (Baker, 1992). Accordingly, it may be assumed that teenager’s attitudes towards English language speaking and learning may enhance and influence his relationship among with his peers and the class performance (Mealey 1990).
Many studies on teenager’s attitudes to English language have revealed that there is a strong relationship between attitude and achievement (Hough and Piper, 2008). Fakeye (2010) claim that attitude is a vital factor that influence English language performance. Also, Padwick (2010) stated that apart from the way of intellectual, the nature of learning and speaking English language depends on the learners’ motivation and attitude to learn the language. After World War II, English became lingua franca throughout the world. (Acat and Demiral (2002) stated that it has become a necessity for nations to learn and speak the world language of English in addition to their own language. There is no hesitation that English is the international scientific language and the world language today, as well as the language use on mass media, such as on computers and televisions (Eskicumali and Turedi 2010).
Many scholars focused on attitude about than a century ago. Initially, Baker, (1992) described attitude as a physical posture or pose that a person adopted when he or she had their portrait painted.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Students discuss or communicate very often among themselves just as lecturers do while imparting knowledge. In Nigeria as a whole, Good attitude to English language is needed for ease of communication even when the language of communication is also as diverse as the many tribes of teenagers that are present. It is expected therefore that different mother tongues will be used in different area of the country including Ado Local government. The researcher remains curious how teenagers in this study area manage to communicate in English language and also their attitude towards the language in a situation where their tribal language is very dominant. The study further seeks to define how the predominant use of English Language will affect the lives of teenagers most especially in their academics and other facets of life as inferred from their attitude to English language. Also, the researcher is curious as to whether the constant usage of English language in teenagers will subdue their interest in the use of their mother-tongue in the long run or worse still lead to the use of adulterated mother tongue, or diminished interest in it.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The general purpose of this study is to analyze the attitudes of teenagers to English language in Ado Local Government Area while the specific objectives are;
- To examine the attitude of teenagers to English Language in Ado Local Government Area.
- To examine the level to which teenagers are able to speak English language amidst diverse languages in Ado Local Government Area
- To examine the academic performances of teenagers in English language in Ado Local Government area;
- To examine the views of the teenagers towards English language in Ado Local Government.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In trying to find solutions to specific problems arising from the attitudes of teenagers to English Language in Ado Local Government Area, the following research questions were raised:
- What is the attitude of teenagers to English Language in Ado Local Government Area?
- To what level do teenagers able to speak English language amidst diverse languages in Ado Local Government Area?
- What is the academic performances of teenagers in English language in Ado Local Government area?
- What are the views of the teenagers towards English language in Ado Local Government?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The outcome of this research work on the attitude of teenagers to English language will form a useful guide for ministries, schools and government in determining the approach that can be adopted to make English language a top priority in the school’s curriculum which the knowledge derived from their attitude. It will also educate the general public on the attitudes of teenagers to English language
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the attitudes of teenagers to English language, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
This study is limited teenagers of Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti state. It will also cover their attitudes to speaking and learning of English language.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
- 1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.7 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Attitude: is an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event.
Learning: is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences which may lead to a potential change in synthesizing information, depth of the knowledge, attitude or behavior relative to the type and range of experience
Teenager: is a person aged from puberty to maturity, commonly between the ages of 13 and 19
English Language: it is a language that has its origin from England
Local Government: is a form of public administration which, in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state.
This chapter is the first chapter and the general introduction to this research work with the main aim of analyzing the attitude of teenagers to English Language in Ado Local Government Area. The chapter is comprised of the background of the study, problem statement, research purposes and questions, significance, scope and limitations of studies and finally the definitions of key terms that are related to the variables under study. The next chapter will contain the conceptual, theoretical and empirical review of related literature.