AN EXAMINATION OF SENTENCES AND THEIR APPROPRIATENESS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN CHILDREN’S NOVELS


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page
Table of Contents
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.0       Background to the Study
1.1       Statement of the Research Problem
1.2       Research Questions
1.3       Aim and Objectives
1.4       Significance of the Study
1.5       Scope and Delimitation

CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.0       Introduction
2.1.      Language
2.2       Child Language Development Process
2.2.1    The Pre-linguistic Stage
2.2.2    The Linguistic Stage
2.3       Language Acquisition versus Language Learning
2.4       Grammar – Sentence Structure
2.4.1    The Sentence
2.4.2    Parts of a Sentence
2.4.3    Classification of Sentences
2.4.4    Sentence Types According to Form or Structure
2.4.5    Special Cases of Compound Sentences
2.4.6    Sentence Fragments
2.4.7    Sentence Types According to Function
2.5       Writing for Children
2.6       Children‟s Literature in Africa and Nigeria
2.7       Integrating Literature in English Language Learning Situations
2.8       Schools of Grammar
2.8.1    Traditional Grammar
2.8.2    Structural Grammar
2.8.3    Transformational Generative Grammar
2.8.4    Systemic Functional Grammar
2.9       Theoretical Framework



CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.0       Introduction
3.1       Target Texts
3.2       Research Design
3.3       Sampling Techniques
3.4       Methods of Data Analysis
3.5       Content Analysis
3.6       Limitations of the Methodology

CHAPTER FOUR
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.0       Introduction
4.1       Analysis
4.2       Types of Sentences used in the Selected Texts
4.2.1    Types Based on Function
4.2.2    Sentence Types (Based on structure)
4.3       Statistical Outcomes
4.4       Pedagogical Outcomes
4.5       Suitability of Sentences used for Children Literature

CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER STUDIES
5.0       Summary
5.1       Conclusion
5.2       Suggestion for Further Studies
            References
            Appendix



ABSTRACT

This thesis has examined sentences and their appropriateness in selected Nigerian children‟s novels. The novels include An African Night Entertainment by Cyprian Ekwensi, Tales out of School by Nkem Nwankwo, Akpan and the Smugglers by Rosemary Uwemedimo and Adventures of Souza by Kola Onadipe. Using the Traditional Grammar model, sentences from these texts were classified according to structure and according to function and then analysed. It was found that there is a preponderant use of simple, compound and complex sentences, while the use of the compound complex sentence is very minimal. It was also found that sentence fragments were only used in dialogue situations. Also in the course of the research, children between ages 9 to 11 selected from five public schools and five private schools in Kaduna metropolis were asked to read and interpret the various types of sentences elicited from the selected novels and it was found that while the simple, compound and complex sentences were easily read and understood, the longer compound complex sentences posed a problem to the children.




CHAPTER ONE


INTRODUCTION

1.0              Background to the Study

Western Education was introduced into Nigeria by Christian missionaries around the middle of the nineteenth century. These missionaries remained in charge of dictating the direction and pace of language education from that period to the dawn of independence. They believed that the African child (and by implication, the Nigerian child) was best taught in his native language (Hair, 1967: 6) and that the interests of Christianity would be best served by actually propagating the religion in indigenous languages. As a result, language education began to focus more on the teaching and learning of indigenous languages.

From the early eighties, the Nigerian government gradually began to intervene in education with the view of according English language a lot more prominence in its policy. In 1996, the National Policy on Education (NPE) stipulated that introduction to literacy in Nigeria begins with pre-primary education. The language of instruction at that level is the child‟s mother tongue or language of the immediate environment. Exposure to English language as a school subject begins at the primary level while the language of instruction remains the child‟s mother tongue or language of the immediate environment.

This remains the status quo for the first three years or the lower primary level. From the fourth year, English language assumes the role of medium of instruction and continues throughout the formal school years. Through primary education, it is anticipated that children would become literate in English and perhaps a Nigerian language. It is expected that the Nigerian child should be proficient in English language, since it is obvious that English is “the........


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