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SOME PHONOLOGICAL PROBEMS ENCOUNTERED BY SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THE STUDY OF ENGLISH IN ENUGU EAST LOCAL GEVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE

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Topic Description

CHAPTER ONE

Background of the Study

Any means of meaningful communication among humans is known as language. It is a very important means of communication which is key in every society. One cannot think of a society without language because it is a very important means of communication.  Language sharpens people’s thoughts, guides and controls their entire activity. “It is a carrier of civilization and culture” (Bolinger, 2011). In the case of the mother tongue, the child learns it easily due to a favorable linguistic environment and high level of exposure to the language. According to Bose (2010), “learning a second language requires conscious efforts to learn it and the exposure to the second language in most cases is limited.”  It is argued that, “A Majority of the students have favored classroom instruction for the second language acquisition” (James, 2012).

There are so many factors that affect the process of learning a second language: “attitude, self-confidence, motivation, duration of exposure to the language, classroom conditions, environment, mother tongue interference, family background, and availability of competent teachers”(Verghese, 2011).

“The successful acquisition of a second language seems to some extent, contingent upon learners’ views of the language learning environment, the learning situation, and how they view the target language and its speakers” (Narayanan et al., 2013). Like the environment and attitude, teacher’s competence is also a variable factor that affects the second language learning. In other words, what affects the second language is the environment where the learners finds himself, the knowledge the teacher has in the language and the attitude of the people who speak the English language. “He should be proficient in the language; his knowledge of, and expertise in methods and techniques of language teaching should be of a reasonably high standard” (Verghese, 2011).

Statement of the Problem

To learn English requires constant practice and patience. The kind of feeling that prevails among students is that it is not possible to achieve fluency or mastery in the English language. This kind of predetermined limited success approach prevents students from learning English effectively. Despite the importance of learning English, the following problems prevent students from learning English Language effectively: Environment, home background, mother tongue, and duration of exposure, attitude, classroom conditions, and availability of competence of teachers.

It is based on this background that the researcher intends to look at some phonological problems in learning English as a second language.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine some phonological problems encountered by secondary school students in the study of English as a secondary language. The specific objectives are:

  1. to identify if mother tongue impinges on pronunciation in English
  2. to identify if incompetence teachers influence students’ pronunciation in English
  3. to identify if home background influence learners’ pronunciation in the study of English.

Research Questions

  1. How does mother tongue impinge on pronunciation in English as a second language?
  2. How does incompetence teacher influence students’ pronunciation in English?
  3. How does home background influence learners’ pronunciation in the study of

English?

Significance of the study

The study will be significant to students, teachers, presenters and public speakers. In the light of this study, the study is relevant because it made attempt to reveal the problems and challenges faced in learning English.

The study will be helpful to presenters and public speakers because of the nature of their job. It will also help them to know their flaws in phonetic and how to work on it.

The findings of this study will also be useful to students and teachers because it will serve as tutelage on how teachers can work on the problems that affect the pronunciation of students.

The conclusion can be used both in the current issues concerning phonological problems as well as the formation of new strategies in enhancing students’ performance in phonological problems in schools. The study is also relevant for future studies and can be used as a reference point for other studies.

 Scope of the Study

This study is targeted at refocusing phonological problems encountered by secondary school in English. The study will also examine how mother tongue impinges on pronunciation in English, how incompetence of teachers influence students’ pronunciation in English, how family background influence learners’ pronunciation in the study of English language.

The study covered all the 10 secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.

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