English Language Use. The Case of Level 400 English Students of the Faculty of Education
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This research project sets out to describe English language use. The level 400 English students of the Faculty of Education at the University of Buea. Data was collected using questionnaires and 50 students were randomly selected to answer them. Descriptive statistics, tables and percentages were used to determine the extent of deviation and compliance from the research questions. The overall result of the students was fair despite the fact that they are language students.
Grammar is often a generic term used to refer to any aspect of English that people object to. This is grammar and a vast majority of the information on it is acquired at least in the case of one’s native language not by conscious study or instruction but by observing other speakers: much of this is done at infancy. The influence of English Grammar on level 400 CST English students of the Faculty of Education is that they will know the rules and regulations in writing and speaking English grammar.
Many students including the English students of the Faculty of Education do not speak and write the English grammar well. Thus, it affects their academic performance.
English is one of the world’s major languages with about 341 million native speakers of about 267 million people who speak it as their second language because of its global use and there is a high demand to learn it internationally. Apart from its global use, English is important in that it is the language spoken in the world’s most powerful countries like America and Britain. Therefore, it is important for students to learn and master the language.
In Cameroon, it is one of the official languages (1996 Constitution) that is why it is taught as a major course in schools from nursery schools to the University level. The language has four major skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
In linguistics, grammar is a set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases and words in any given natural language. It also refers to the study of rules which include subject-verb agreement, pluralisation, capitalization and punctuation. English grammar at this level is studied so as to be acquainted with the rules and terminology which will enable one to identify faults or embarrassing mistakes in speech and writing.
The first systematic grammar originated in Iron Age, India that is the 6th century A.D. In the West, it emerged as a discipline in Hellenism from the third century. Belonging to the trivium of Seven Liberal Arts, it was taught as a core discipline throughout the middle ages, following the influence of authors from the Late Antiquity such as Priscian. Also, treatment of vernaculars began gradually dining the high middle ages with isolated works such as the First Grammatical Treatise but became influential only in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Furthermore, the grammar of non-European languages began to be compiled for the purposes of evangelization and Bible translations from the 6th century onward. From the later part of the 18th century, grammar came to be understood as the subfield of the emerging discipline of modern linguistics.
Finally, there are ten types of grammar which are comparative, generative, mental, pedagogical, performance, reference, theoretical, traditional, transformational and universal grammar.
Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this study, some terms are worth defining. These terms include usage and grammar.
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, usage is defined as a way that words are used in a language or the way in which something used or the amount of it that is used. Grammar on it part as defined as the rules by which words change their forms and are combined into sentences or the study or use of these rules. It is also defined as a particular description of grammar or a book that describes grammar rales.
Also, according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, usage is defined as the way in which words are used in a language or the fact of
something being used or how something is used. Grammar is defined as the rules in a language for changing the forms of words and joining them into sentences.
Grammar is also defined as the whole set of rules and regulations that govern a language. It is a set of structural rules that govern the composition of words in a language.
General Presentation of the Area.
The Faculty of Education is a faculty at the University of Buea. The faculty offers undergraduate and post-degree programmes and it also trains professional teachers to teach in schools. Most students of this faculty are seen as the weakest in English grammar as seen in their performance.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of this study is to project the fact that level 400 CST English students make a lot of mistakes in English grammar which affects their academic performance. Writing is a representation of speech, making speech important. Therefore, the spoken and written skills should be taken into consideration on the education of students. This study has the following objectives:
- To identify the faults or embarrassing mistakes made by the level 400 CST English students.
- To view some grammatical rules which users of English grammar need to know.
- To propose possible solutions to curb or reduce the problem.
The study is significant in that it will rekindle the need for users of the language to be keen on its mastery which will help improve their writing and speaking skills.
Level 400 CST English students face a lot of problems in speaking and writing.
Statement of the Problem
Without any problem, there is no research to be carried out. The problem of this study is that there is poor usage of English grammar because of poor mastery of rules in grammar like punctuations and pluralisation especially in speech and writing and this affects their academic performance.
- Why do students make mistakes or errors concerning grammar?
- Is there a way by which these errors could be curbed?
- Have students grasped or master their grammar and vocabulary?
How do these errors impact on their performance?