The study investigated the factors affecting effective spoken English among secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis, Taraba state. Specifically, the study sought to identify the problems that students of Jalingo metropolis encounter when they get to speak English, determine the factors that affect spoken English among the students and to determine the extent the frequent use of English affects spoken English among secondary school students in the study area. A survey research design was adopted for the study. Also, general observations was recorded. Target population for the study consisted of all the senior secondary two (SS2) students and teachers, which was 16032 students and 325 teachers from 62 Government approved secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area of Taraba State. Therefore, 402 respondents (390 students and 12 teachers) were selected from 6 different secondary schools within Jalingo metropolis making up a total of 67 respondents taken from each secondary school to form the sample size. Mean and standard deviation were used to analyze the data collected in order to answer the research questions while chi-square was used to test the hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The result showed that old methods in teaching made the learning process dull and not interesting, so students feel bored and lack interest, students perceived English language as difficult to learn, lack of English background knowledge, students' lack of confidence to use the language and teachers’ inability to communicate English enough were the factors found to affecting effective spoken English in Jalingo metropolis, Taraba state. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recommended that students should be motivated to acquire confidence whenever they make mistakes in language classrooms, parents should try to encourage their children to actively involved in learning the English language at home and schools and the curriculum designers should think about the learners’ needs in language learning when they plan to design curriculum.
Speaking seems to be the most important skills of all the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) because people who know a language are usually referred to as speakers of that language (Ur, 1996; Tuan and Mai, 2015).
In Nigeria, English remains the undisputed language of school instruction, governance, administration, legislation, judiciary, international relations, unification of the country‘s numerous ethnic constituents, social prestige, and so on (Adio, 2010). Spoken language production is often considered one of the most difficult aspects of language learning (Brown and Yule, 1983; Tuan and Mai, 2015).
English language is taught as a subject and at the same time it is a medium of instruction for other subjects in the Nigeria education curriculum. The aim and objectives of teaching oral skills in English being taught in the Nigeria education curriculum is to make the student communicate effectively and intelligently in English. It also helps the student to develop confidence in his ability to express himself in English as fluently as possible and provides an opportunity for the correction of mistakes in spoken English (Babu, 2010).
The major goal of all English language teaching should be to give learners the ability to use English effectively, accurately in communication. However, not all language learners after many years studying English can communicate fluently and accurately because they lack necessary knowledge (Tuan and Mai, 2015).
A good approach to oral language instruction will develop the reading, writing and speaking skills of the student thereby making the learning of English language more effective and the learning experiences of the learners in other subjects being taught in Secondary Schools more concrete and more enjoyable (Yichu, 2013).
In reality, many language learners find it difficult to express themselves in spoken language in the target language. Each student has their own problems. Determining the causal factors is the focus of this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There are several of determinants and problems that affects the effective spoken English as a foreign or second language in a diverse-native speaking country as Nigeria. Those factors may derive from many components including social environmental issues, the difference of culture, social economic extension, and etc. These issues cause students to have poor performance in language learning, particularly in a vast populated countries such as Nigeria. The purpose of this study is to investigate the speaking problems of the secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis, Taraba State, Nigeria.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of the study was to determine the speaking problems of the students of Jalingo metropolis, Taraba State, Nigeria.
Specifically, the study sought to:
- i. Identify the problems that students of Jalingo metropolis encounter when they learn to speak English
- ii. Determine the factors that affect spoken English among secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis
- iii. Determine the extent the frequent use of English affects spoken English among secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For the purpose of this study, the following research questions were raised:
- i. What are the problems that the students of Jalingo metropolis encounter when they learn to speak English?
- ii. What are the factors that affect spoken English among secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis?
- iii. How does the frequent use of English affect spoken English among secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H01: There is no significant relationship between the frequent use of English and effective speaking of English among secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of the study would provide information to the curriculum planners, teachers and school administrators on the factors affecting the spoken English amongst secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work focuses on the factors affecting the effective spoken English among senior secondary school students in Jalingo metropolis, Taraba state. This research work covers all public secondary schools students in Jalingo Local Government Area of Taraba state. However, six public secondary schools will be used as case study.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Factors: Things or circumstances contributing to result.
Affecting: Produce effect on or to bring about.
English: The language, originally of England, now spoken in many countries and used as a language of international communication throughout the world.
Language: Use of words in agreed way as means of human communication.
Spoken English: An oral language or vocal language is a language produced with the vocal tract, as opposed to a sign language, which is produced with the hands and face.
Students: A school pupil or a person studying at a place of higher education
Secondary School: Level of education that comes after the basic or results from the primary education.