It has been noted that most times while speaking English language students often have the interference of mother tongues both at the level of phonology, grammar and semantics. For instance if students from the Yoruba and Igbo tribe come to learn English he/she would have some mother tongue interference while speaking English. This study aimed at determining the impact of the mother tongue interference on the learning of English language among the junior secondary school students of Eti-Osa local government Area of Lagos State, on the levels of phonology, grammar and semantics.
The study adopted the descriptive survey research design. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting 30 English teachers who were used as the respondents of this study. Teachers’ Perceived Interference on the Learning of English Language Questionnaire (TPILELQ) was used in collecting data from the respondents of study. Data for the study were collected personally by the researcher with aid of research assistant. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and simple linear regression.
The study revealed that mother tongue interferes in the learning and teaching of English Language among junior secondary school students and this in turn affect students’ pronunciation and grammar which leads to poor performance, mix up words and also affects the students’ confidence in communicating in English. Some of the problem posed by the interference of Mother Tongue to English language is it affect the students pronunciation, spelling pattern of the students is adversely affected. The teachers perceived that students who use mother tongue perform poorly in English Language. It also influence students confidence and the way students pronounce in English.
Based on the findings of the study, it was recommends that the management of the schools in the study area should come up with policy making English language as the only language for communication for all students in Schools. This will go a long way of improving the performance of students in Schools. Also, students that Speaks their mother tongue in schools should be punished. Furthermore, parents on their own part should form the habit of communicating with children using English. This will assist the children to be familiar and be confident when speaking it with their friends and teachers in School hence, improving their performance. The study concluded that mother tongue interference have negative influence on the learning of English language among the junior secondary school students of Eti-Osa local government Area of Lagos State especially on the levels of phonology, grammar and semantics
1.1 Background to the Study
Language is the use of signs and symbols by which human beings convey or pass information to one another. It is an instrument of communication for the purpose of interaction. It is a means of giving expression to our thoughts for others to hear and respond. It is the basic key to human communication that makes man’s day-to-day activities meaningful and successful (Oyinloye, 2018). According to her it is unique phenomenon that distinguishes human from animals. Through language, man is able to comprehend the challenges and problems that confront and hinder his advancement. Language is the dress of thoughts, by implication, since the effectiveness and efficiency of thoughts are anchored on language. The key to society’s ability to comprehend his environment, domesticate it and tap its resources in order to enhance it well-being anchored on the society’s ability to effectively and efficiently use language.
In the same vein, Aje (2019) said that language is an important tool that enhances human communication and interaction. It is the vital instrument in cultural transmission and preservation and propagation of the human species. An examination of the linguistic content of a particular speech community can provide information about the life style and occupation of a particular people. English language is a world language, It is the national official language for the British (Aje, 2019). It was introduced to Nigeria as a result of colonization even though it was formerly the language of the British, but today, it is no longer an exclusive property of the British. Most of the world countries have adopted it either as a lingua franca, foreign language or an official language. (Nwaugo, 2012) stressed further that it has made it a global language of political, social, economic and religious affairs. It can be regarded as one of the major languages in Africa because it has become a vital and essential tool in the daily lives of the people in the continent.
Nigeria being a multi-lingua and plural-linguistic nation endowed with myriads of languages belonging to different families of about 452 ethnic languages according to Bamisaye (1997) adopted English language as the official language. The reason for this was that every attempt since independence to adopt one of the Nigeria languages has not yield any fruit due to disagreement on the part of the multi-linguistic ethnic groups that make up the country (Nwaugo, 2012). Thus, in Nigeria, education and job opportunities were tied around English language, those who desire better life according to her had to be trained in the language. As a result, it has become our official language; this makes it make its teaching to become so paramount at levels of education. For any child to understand any subject, he needs to understand the language used in teaching the subject, Nigerian child has the taste of learning English language since most of the course studied in Nigeria education centres were introduced and are taught in English language. This makes English language our second language in Nigeria. Hence our respective mother tongue exists before colonization which interfere with our English language in various study points nationwide. Our mother tongue heavily interferes with the process of learning a new language. The reason for this according to Melissa, (2019) is that our brains use habitual patterns we know from our mother tongue to establish any new hypothesis of how the new language works. It is reflected in everything from phonetics to grammar, to semantics. This interference can be both negative and positive depending on how similar your first language is to the one you try to learn. The impact of mother tongue on second language can be observed from mere pronunciation to even grammar and vocabulary of the language Mackay (2016) says that error in pronunciation may be due to transfer from the native language. Lack of accuracy and language skill is also the result of negative language.
Students in Nigeria learn English language as a second language after the acquisition of their various mother tongue. The students who are visited in their mother tongues before coming to the school system are compelled to learn English because of the roles it would play in their lives. Hence, most of the students find it more convenient to use their mother tongue more often than the English language even in the school environment. The resultant effect of this is that some Nigerian student seems to be deficient in oral communication when it comes to the issue of speech work in English language (Oyinloye, 2002).
According to Aje (2019) other problem that can face a child whose mother tongue is different from the English language is that he often think in his mother tongue while expressing himself in second language. This usually encourages rote learning and so in pairs understanding. There is also the question of educational loss especially in system where the use of the second language begins too early in the first few years of school. Melissa (2019) is of the opinion that interference of mother tongue with learning a foreign language is an influence that cannot be discounted but if handled correctly, it can be limited or even used beneficially. Our general notion is that interference phenomenon affects learner’s performance in the target language which is English. It is as a result of the negative effects of our mother tongue on learning and speaking correct English language that necessitated this study. Hence, this study will attempt to determine the effects of the mother tongue interference in the study of English language in secondary schools at Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos State.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
English language is a language that unites us in Nigeria and it can also divide us. In the studies conducted so far it has been noted that most times while speaking English language we often have the interference of our mother tongues both at the level of phonology, grammar and semantics. For instance if students from the Yoruba and Igbo tribe come to learn English he/she would have some mother tongue interference while speaking English. E.g., "Shebi you are sick" instead of "Are you sick?" Then the Igbo student might say "biko lemme alone" instead of "Please leave me alone". This study, will consider the influence of interference of mother tongues on the learning of English language in the aspect of phonological, grammatical, and semantic situations. It is in view of these concerns that this study is set out to determine the influence of mother tongue interference on the learning of English language among the students in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos State in the areas of phonology, grammar and semantics.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to determine the impact of the mother tongue interference on the learning of English language among the junior secondary school students of Eti-Osa local government Area of Lagos State, on the levels of phonology, grammar and semantics. The specific objectives are:
(i) to determine if mother tongue interferes in the learning and teaching of English Language among junior secondary school students in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State;
(ii) to investigate the problems posed by the interference of mother tongue to English Language in junior secondary school students in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State;
(iii) to assess the perception of teachers on the influence of mother tongue on students’ performance in English Language in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State;
(iv) to ascertain if there are enough resources and materials available in the school enhance the learning of English language in junior secondary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State; and
(v) to assess whether teachers’ perception on the influence of mother tongue have any relationship with learning and teaching of English Language in junior secondary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.4 Research Questions
- Do teachers make use of correct methods of teaching English language in junior secondary school students in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State?
- What are the problems posed by the interference of mother tongue to English Language in junior secondary school students in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State?
- Are there English resources and materials available to enhance the learning of English language in junior secondary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State?
- Does mother tongue interfere in the learning and teaching of English Language among junior secondary school students in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State?
- Does teachers’ perception on the influence of mother tongue have any relationship with learning and teaching English Language in junior secondary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho1: There is no significant interference of mother tongue in the learning and teaching of English Language among junior secondary school students in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Ho2: Teachers' perception on the influence of mother tongue has no significant relationship with learning and teaching English Language in junior secondary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study would be significant to English language students in learning and speaking of English language. This is to be able equip students from their early years to be conscious of how they speak because this is one of the ways to overcome the interference of mother tongue in English for effective communication and academic success. This study will also be useful to all those who use English language as a means of instruction. It will also be useful to identify ways through which they might improve methods and techniques of teaching. As students cannot learn without the teachers being there to guide them, the teachers should choose good instructional materials to enhance the learning process of the students in English language.
The benefit of this study to curriculum planners and researchers is to make them aware of the problem of mother tongue influence on English language and be able to help in planning a good and effective curriculum that will help improve students’ performance in English Language in Secondary schools.
It also helps the curriculum planners to carefully select the instructional materials that can be used to teach students more effectively, such as audio visual aids, visual aids, audio aids, reading materials and charts. Effective teaching methods that aids better understanding of students in English Language are also determined by this study.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This work will focus on the effects of mother tongue interference on the learning of English language. The research work will concentrate on the phonological level, grammatical level and semantic level in a sample of junior public secondary schools at Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Mother tongue – for this study, a mother-tongue is a child’s native language that is, a language that a child learns from birth or home language or native tongue. It will be referred to in this study as the first language (L1).
Interference – The impact of the way in which one’s native language or first language is spoken on the second language or interruption of a language by another especially when it comes to pronunciation and intonat
English language - English is an Indo-European language belonging to the West Germanic branch; the official language of Britain and the United States and most of the commonwealth countries.
Mother tongue interference - refers to the influence of the native language of the learner on her/his acquisition of the target language
Target language – Is the English language that the learner is aiming to learn. It is also the second language in this work to be designated as L2.
Students - The definition of a student is someone who is learning at a school, or in any teaching environment.