The Effect Of Instructional Materials On The Learning And Teaching Of Students In Senior Secondary Schools In Cameroon
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The influence of instructional materials in promoting students’ academic performance and teaching and learning in educational development is indisputable. The teaching of English language in Nigerian secondary schools needs to be properly handled. The materials used by teachers to teach and drive home their subject points at the primary and secondary school levels of our education system is incontrovertibly a paramount issue in practical classroom interaction and successful transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the learners. Instructional materials are materials which assist teachers to make their lessons explicit to learners. They are also used to transmit information, ideas and notes to learners (Ijaduola 1997). Instructional materials include both visuals and audiovisuals such as pictures, flashcards, posters, charts, tape recorder, radio, video, television, computers among others. These materials serve as supplement to the normal processes of instruction.
English Language is an important and fundamental subject that must be credited by students before gaining admission into any tertiary institution. The importance and technicality of this subject makes it necessary that relevant instructional materials should be used to teach it to the learners.
This fact is supported by Macaulay (1989) who asserts that visual aids make lesson come alive and help students to learn better. It is against this background that this study attempts to examine the extent to which the utilization of instructional materials could advance junior secondary school students performance in English language.
Poor academic achievement in English Language could be attributed to many factors among which teacher’s strategy itself was considered as an important factor. This implies that the mastery of English Language concepts might not be fully achieved without the use of instructional materials. The teaching of English language without instructional materials may certainly result in poor academic achievement. Franzer , Okebukola and Jegede (1992) stressed that a professionally qualified English teacher no matter how well trained, would unable to put his ideas into practice if the school setting lacks the equipment and materials necessary for him or her to translate his competence into reality.
Bassey (2002) opined that art of teaching is resource intensive, and in a period of economic recession, it may be very difficult to find some of the electronic gadgets and equipment for the teaching of English language in schools adequately. A situation that is further compounded by the galloping inflation in the country and many at times, some of the imported sophisticated materials and equipment are found expensive and irrelevant; hence the need to produce materials locally.
Obioha (2006) and Ogunleye (2002) reported that there were inadequate resources (Teaching aids inclusive) for teaching in most secondary schools in Nigeria. They further stated that the available ones are not usually in good conditions. There is the need therefore, for improvisation. Adebimpe (1997) and Daramola, (2008) however noted that improvisation demands adventure, creativity, curiosity and perseverance on the part of the teacher, such skills are only realizable through well-planned training programme on improvisation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The art of teaching is fundamentally concerned with passing ideas, skills and attitude from the teacher to the learner. In Nigeria, for example experience has shown that spoken words alone in the communication of ideas are grossly ineffective and inefficient in producing desired learning outcomes. Every year, when the results of public examination are released, there has always been mass failure in English language. The reason for this could be ascribed to the fact that teaching English language as a second language (ESL) in Nigeria pose serious problem of comprehension to students.
The effects of mother tongue interference also poses challenges to learners, this subject cannot be taught effectively without the use of relevant instructional materials to make the learning practical rather than purely theoretical.
On the foregoing, Mutebi and Matora (1994) have emphasized the effect of instructional materials utilization on teaching and learning. According to them, we learn and remember 10% of what we hear 40% of what we discuss with others and as high as 80% of what we experience directly or practice. However, the questions here are: does the use of instructional materials really influence students’ academic performance? Is teaching effectiveness enhanced by the use of instructional materials? Could students’ learning be advanced by the use of instructional materials? Finding answers to these questions and more summarizes the entire problem of this study.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY/OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of instructional materials on the teaching and learning of English language in junior secondary school students in Nigeria.
The objectives of this study are:
- To find out what instructional materials are used by English teachers in Junior Secondary Schools.
- To identify what areas of language do teachers use instructional materials
- To ascertain what stage of the lesson do teachers introduce these instructional materials
- To assess the constraints to using instructional materials in schools
- To Suggest ways to improve the effective use of instructional materials
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In order to achieve the objectives of this study, the following research questions were raised to guide the investigation:
- What are The Instructional materials used by English teachers in junior secondary schools?
- What areas of language teaching do teachers use instructional materials?
- When do Teachers make Use the instructional materials during the English lesson?
- What are the constraints to using instructional materials in schools?
- What suggestions can be made to improve the use of instructional materials?