TEACHERS’ GENDER AND ITS EFFECT ON THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE A Case Study of Selected Secondary Schools of Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State


The study examined teachers’ gender and its effect on the performance of students in English Language in selected secondary schools of Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State. Relevant and related literatures were reviewed under relevant sub-headings.

The descriptive research survey design was used for the assessment of respondents’ opinions with the use of the questionnaire and the sampling technique.

A total of two hundred respondents, made up of 100 males and 100 females) were involved in this study. A total of four null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlational Coefficient tool at 0.05 level of significance.

At the end of the analyses, the following outcomes emerged:

1.       There is a significant relationship between teachers’ gender and students’ performance in English Language.

  1. Hypothesis two shows that there is no significant relationship between female teachers’ preference for male students and their performance in English Language.
  2. It was also found in hypothesis three that there is no significant relationship between male teachers’ preference for male students and their performance in English Language.
  3. Hypothesis four reveals that there is a significant relationship between teachers’ preference for the opposite sex and students academic performance in school.
















Title page                                                                                            i

Certification                                                                                         ii

Dedication                                                                                           iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                iv

Abstract                                                                                              v

Table of contents                                                                                 vi


CHAPTER ONE:     INTRODUCTION                                                   1

1.1         Background to the Study                                                             1

1.2         Statement of the Problem                                                            5

1.3         Purpose of the Study                                                                  6

1.4         Research Questions                                                                    7

1.5         Research Hypotheses                                                                  8

1.6         Significance of Study                                                                   8


CHAPTER TWO:    Literature Review                                                10

2.0         Introduction                                                                               10

2.1     History of English Language                                                         10

2.2         English as a Global Language                                                       12

2.3         Studies On Language Acquisition                                                  13

2.4         Effect of Teacher Gender on Students’ Performance                       16

2.5         Teachers’ Opinions about Students’ Attitude and Performance

in English According to Gender                                                     22

2.6         Educational Qualifications for Teachers                                          28

2.7         Summary of the Review                                                              33



3.0     Introduction                                                                               35

3.1         Research design                                                                         35

3.2         Population                                                                                 36

3.3         Sampling technique                                                                    36

3.4         Sample size                                                                               36

3.5         Research instrument                                                                   37

3.6         Validity and Reliability of Instrument                                             37

3.7         Procedure for data collection                                                        38

3.8         Procedure for data analysis                                                          39


CHAPTER FOUR:   Data Analyses and Presentation of Results         40

4.1         Introduction                                                                               40

4.2         Descriptive Analyses of Data                                                        40

4.3         Testing of Hypotheses                                                                 43

4.4         Summary of Findings                                                                  47



1.1         Introduction                                                                               48

1.2         Discussion of Findings                                                                 48

1.3         Summary of the Study                                                                52

1.4         Conclusions                                                                               53

1.5         Recommendations                                                                      54

References                                                                                 56

Appendix                                                                                   60




1.1       Background to the Study

The concept of gender has become an essential phenomenon for some psychologists on how students learn. Gender distinctions, gender bias, and gender issues remain very paramount in understanding achievement-related behaviours so as to make it predictable, and as such amenable to possible manipulations (Dee, 1988). The source of gender differences has long been a topic of heated debate. Though tests of general intelligence suggest on overall differences between men and women, there are large gender differences between men and women, there are larger gender differences in scores of cognitive tasks (Linda, 2006).

According to the same source, men perform better in certain visual tasks; women excel in verbalization, while these differences may some day be traced back to known differences in hormonal exposure and male and female brain structures. It is also possible that differences in academic development arise from the fact that male and female teachers have tendency to treat boys and girls differently in the classroom.

In teachers and gender gaps in student achievement (NBER Working Paper No. 1160 Dec. 1988) findings included that gender interactions between teachers and students have significant effect on whether a student was afraid to ask questions in a particular class. Dee (1988) opined that assignment to a teacher of opposite sex lowers students’ achievement by about 0.04 standard deviations. Other result implies that just “one year with a male English teacher would eliminate nearly a third of the gender gap in reading performance among thirteen years olds. And would do so by improving the performance of boys and simultaneously harming that of girls.

Similarly, a year with a female would close the gender gap in science achievement among thirteen year olds by half and eliminate entirely the smaller achievement gap in mathematics. On all the data suggests that “a large fraction of boys” dramatic under-performance in reading reflects the classroom dynamics associated with the fact that their reading teachers are overwhelmingly female.

Gender biased behaviours of teachers has been discovered as insidious problems. Sitting in the same classroom, reading the same textbook, listening to the same teacher, boys and girls receive very different education (Sadker, 1999). In fact, upon entering school, girls perform equal to or better than the boys on nearly every measure of achievement but by the time they graduate from high school or college, they have fallen behind. However, discrepancies of girls and the performance of boys in elementary education lead some critics to argue that boys are being neglected within educational system. In the contrary, American Association of University women published a report in 1992 indicating that females receive less attention from teachers and the attention that female students receive is often more negative than the attention received by boys (Baily, 1992). In fact, examination of the socialization of gender within schools and evidence of gender biased hidden curriculum, be it in English language or mathematics demonstrate that girls are short-changed in the classroom.

However, beyond changing their own teaching behaviours teachers need to be aware of the gender bias imbedded in many educational materials and texts and need to take steps to combat that need to be considered when trying to establish a gender equitable curriculum.

Gender fair materials need to acknowledge and affirm variation. They need to be inclusive, be accurate, affirmative, representative and integrated in weaving together the experiences, needs and interests of both males and females (Bailey, 1992). Far too many of our classroom examples, story books and text describe a world in which boys and men are bright, curious, brave, inventive and powerful but girls and women are silent, passive and invisible (Conmick, 1995).

Needless to say that to the extent stated above, female students are being short-changed in the quest to learn the official language which the Colonial Lord (Britain) brought to Nigeria this was to enable them to create an elite class that would help propagate the basic tenets of Colonialism (Slavery, exploitation etc) foster the administration of the “Indirect Rule” system in the country and eventually serve as the multi-ethnic groups in the country (Omoyajowo, 1992). There seems to be nothing that is naturally compelling an average Nigerian to learn the language more than the instrumental functions it performs in the Nigerian life that is, it is a means through which certain special needs for national interest can be met.

As at now English Language is used nationally for politics administration, business, educational endeavour and international communication. It has thus been accepted as the country’s second language. The average Nigerians need it for higher education, higher status in the society and a times better employment opportunities.

The National Policy on Education (NPE, 1981) clearly stipulates that it should be the medium of expression at secondary and tertiary levels. English language performs the above mentioned rules in our national life among others and this is why it is appropriate for an average Nigerian, irrespective of gender to have some knowledge of it for him/her to relate with the society.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

English Language is one of the compulsory subjects in the secondary school and at least, a credit in it is a major prerequisite for admission into all courses in most of tertiary institutions in Nigeria (Olusakin, 2000). This is because English Language which is the second language of most Nigerians is the nations lingual franca.

Many students seeking admission to higher institutions of learning could not be admitted because of their failure to obtain at least a credit grade in English Language at the senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE). This kind of academic failure according to Adeyoju (1995) continues to generate a lot of concern among those who are engage in academic pursuit.

Several inhibitions to the learning of English Language by students have been identified, some are human in nature, while others are non-human. One of the most prominent human inhibitions is teachers’ gender, female and male teachers will naturally exhibits feminine and masculine traits respectively while teaching the language. These include tolerance, energy, attention, assertion, accents, body communication and, of course teachers’ preference for a particular sex of student. On the other hand, students are too likely to have their gender preference in respect of their language teachers.

It is said that male and female students sitting in the same classroom, reading the same textbook, listening to the same teacher, receive different education. In the light of this, Ibe (2004) stated that education for the future that will equip the individual with the power to adapt change irrespective of gender should be the most important goal of education.

In order to accomplish this, the curriculum planners and authors of  textbook should provide gender reality modules for in-service English Language teachers as well as the pre-service teachers. Educators need to be made aware of the bias they are reinforcing in their students through socialization messages, sexists texts and materials type of attention spent on boys and girls in the classroom.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which teacher’s gender affect the performance of students in English Language in selected secondary schools in Ado-Ode Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State. The researcher intends to determine specifically whether:

  1. The sex of the teacher is related to the performance of students’ in English Language.
  2. The female teachers impact better on the female students’ achievement in English Language.
  3. Whether male teachers impact better on the male students’ performance in English Language.
  4. Whether students achieve more under a teacher of opposite sex in English Language.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. Is the sex of teachers relate to the performance of students in English Language?
  2. Do female teachers’ performance for female students affect their performance in English Language?
  3. Do male teachers’ preference for male students affect their performance in English Language?
  4. Do students’ preference for teachers of opposite sex affect their performance in English Language.

1.5       Research Hypotheses

  1. There will be no significant relationship between teachers’ gender and the students’ performance in English Language.
  2. There will be no significant relationship between female teachers’ preference for female students and their performance in English Language.
  3. There will be no significant relationship between male teachers’ preference for male students and their performance in English Language.
  4. There will be no significant relationship between teachers’ preference for students of opposite sex and their performance in English Language.

1.6       Significance of Study

The study will benefit the following stakeholders in education:

  1. 2.           The Students: The students at the centre of any educational system require the mastery of English Language in order to do well in other subjects, as the medium of instructions in secondary schools in the English Language. Secondly, for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria, a credit pass in English Language is a prerequisite.
  2. 3.           The Teachers: The teachers are the vehicle through which knowledge is passed to the students in school. This work will enable them to appreciate the biases in their teaching behaviour as well as those inherent in the curriculum and correct such in their teaching in the classrooms.
  3. 4.           The Curriculum Planners: This group of people will benefit from this research by becoming more of the hidden gender biases that they package in the curriculum.
  4. 5.           The Counsellors: The counsellor as the advisory personnel in secondary schools will be equipped with the knowledge of the extent to which teachers’ gender can affect the performance of the students and be able to guide the school in order to make use of gender to the advantage of learning in schools.
  5. 6.           The Evaluator: This research work would enable the evaluator to appraise the learning difficulties that students encounter in English Language as a second language and proffer solutions to such difficulties.