Secondary School Students’ Performance in English Language: The Case of Holiday Classes at St Therese Bilingual Secondary School, Buea
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This research project entitled “Secondary School Students Performance in the English Language: [The Case of Holiday Classes at Therese Bilingual Secondary School, Buea]” seeks to investigate the factors responsible for student’s poor oral performances in Spoken English. It also explains the various research methods that will be used in the collection of Data that is observation and questionnaire.
Background to the Study
The English Language occupies a dominant place in the world today (Crystal, 17). In Cameroon, the Pre-eminence of English is felt both within and outside the country.
Constitutionally, it is a medium of official communication alongside French;
it is used among educated Anglophones and it is also a medium of instruction in the English- speaking part of the country. It is used at international conferences, in diplomatic circles, and on the internet. Of recent, there has been an increase in the number of Francophones seeking admission every year in English Speaking Universities where instruction is exclusively in English (Yuka, 20).
Many students who study the English Language as a specialty in the University of Buea should be more proficient in the Language than students in other departments.
But this is not the case with secondary school students at the holiday classes, because despite the fact that they have just a year and some months to write the G.C.E Ordinary Level they will still encounter problems in Spoken English.
Note that the standard of English has fallen to a lamentable state when it comes to speaking. Hence it will be very important to know what kind of problem these students face in their oral performances.
In order to communicate with others, one has to be eloquent in spoken English. This is because it is through speaking that ideas and thoughts are communicated. Therefore, a good speech is very important if one has to communicate fluently.
Students can be good communicators if they take part in oral presentations in classrooms because they speak to others to listen to them and correct their mistakes and it is often said that “practice makes perfect”.
Therefore, if a student does not have a good mastery of the language he or she will perform poorly. It is obvious that since English is a minority language in Cameroon, it will certainly face problems of Linguistic and educational kind.
English is a second language (ESL) to most Anglophones in Cameroon and it is in contact with many languages so it is certain that the kind of spoken here will be different from the kind of English spoken in countries where it is a mother tongue (Bobda 95).
In order for students to express themselves very well in English, they will be expected to use the language in accordance with the grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation of the language.
Despite this, they will still have to be able to express themselves in the language for academic or career purposes.
But most importantly, in academics, proper usage of language is considered because it determines one’s failure or success, and career-wise, it may help a person like a teacher who has it as a career to be proficient and has a good mastery.
Statement of Problem
Many students who study the English Language are unable to express themselves fluently in the English Language.
There is consensus as to what is actually responsible for poor performance in spoken English.
It is therefore important to investigate Secondary School students’ performance in Spoken English.
The case of Holiday classes at St Therese Secondary School to carry out this investigation
Scope of the study
This research is limited to the analysis of only Spoken English and investigates only holiday classes students.
Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study include the following:
To examine the factors responsible for the students’ poor performance in Spoken English.
To investigate areas of spoken English in which these students face difficulties, To propose possible solutions to these problems that lead to poor performance in Spoken English
The following questions shall guide this work ;
Why are English Language students unable to express themselves properly in Spoken English?
In what areas of Spoken English do the students face these problems?
Which possible solutions could be used to avoid the problem of poor performance in Spoken English?