LITERATURE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE SKILLS AMONG USERS OF ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IHIALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE

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ABSTRACT


The study of a second language aims at a good command of the language for the purpose of communication and does not therefore rule out a reading of the literature in the language. To achieve communicative competence in English language, Nigerian educational planners have joined the two subjects to be one in the Nigerian junior secondary schools. But the problem is lack of effective implementation in the Nigerian schools. The aim of this study is to investigate the attitude of teachers towards the use of this method in Ihiala Local Government Area, demonstrate how a literary text could be used in the language classroom and then recommend ways for effective implementation. Using a qualitative interview method and document analysis, the researcher elicited the teachers’ perceptions about the method and demonstrated using a novel to show how a literary text could be used in the language classroom. The results of the data collected in phase 1 showed that the literary text is a good and useful tool for learning a second language because it leads the learner into developing the language skills, exposes the learner to real language and active participation in the class. Preference is given to reading and listening to other language skills. Phase 2 data analysis has shown that so many activities could be used to expose students to language skills and communicative competence by using literature.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Abstract
Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Aim &Objectives of the Studies
1.3       Statement of the Problem
1.4       Significance of the Study
1.5       Research Questions

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE
2.1       Provisions of the National Policy on Education and the National Curriculum for
            English Language on Language and Literature in the Nigerian classrooms
2.2       Aims of Teaching Literature
2.3       Arguments for the Use of Literature in ESL Classroom
2.4       Arguments against the Use of Literature in ESL Classroom
2.5       Selection of literary texts
2.6       Stages Involved in Teaching and Learning of Language Using Literary Texts
2.7       Teaching and Learning L2 Vocabulary Using Literature
2.8       Advantages of Using Literature in English Language Classroom
2.9       Models of ESL Teaching and Learning Using Literature
2.10     Empirical Framework

CHAPTER THREE: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY
3.1       Theoretical Framework
3.1.1    The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
3.1.2    The Monitor Hypothesis
3.1.3    The Natural Order Hypothesis
3.1.4    The Input Hypothesis
3.1.5    The Affective Filter Hypothesis
3.2       Research Procedure
3.2.1    Research Design
3.2.2    Method of Data Collection
3.2.3    Method of Data Analysis
3.2.4    Organization of the Study
3.2.5    Areas of Study
3.2.6    Population of the Study
3.2.7    Sample and Sampling Technique
3.2.8    Instrument for Data Collection

CHAPTER  FOUR: ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.1       Phase 1:Analysis of Data on the Interview Conducted to Find Out the
            Attitude of Teachers to the Use of Literature in the Language Classroom
4.2       Phase 2: Analysis of Data with a Prose Narrative
            (African Chima by Ernest Simple Okoli)
4.2.1    Brief Account of Ernest Simple Okoli’sAfrican Chima
4.2.2    Developing Listening Skills Using Literature (African Chima)
4.2.2.1The Use of Question and Answer Method (using the first chapter of
            Ernest Simple Okoli’sAfrican Chima)
4.2.2.2 Story Telling Method
4.2.2.3 The Use of Minimal Pair
4.2.2.4 Role Playing
4.2.3    Developing the Speaking Skills Using Literature (African Chima)
4.2.3.1 Group Discussions
4.2.3.2 Use of Dialogue
4.2.3.3 Whole- Class Activities
4.2.3.4 Role Playing
4.2.4    Developing Reading Skills Using African Chima
4.2.4.1 Scanning, Skimming, and Detailed Reading
4.2.4.2 Cumming’s Method
4.2.4.3 Pooles’ Method
4.2.4.4 The Literal Level
4.2.4.5 The Inferential Level
4.2.4.6 The Personal Evaluative Level
4.2.4.7 Mechanics of Reading
4.2.5    Developing Writing Skill Using African Chima
4.2.5.1 Using Letter Writing
4.2.5.2 Changing the Work
4.2.5.3 Adding to the Work
4.2.5.4 Controlled Writing
4.2.5.5 Guided Writing
4.2.5.6 Reproducing the Model

CHAPTER FIVE:  SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations
            Works Cited


CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION


1.1         Background of the Study


The study of a second language aims at a good command of the language for the purpose of communication. English is a second language in Nigeria and very important in the nation’s educational system. English appears indispensable in all aspects of Nigerian’s national development. It is the language of government and administration; the language of trade, and the language of the law. The English language in Nigeria has remained the official language, a prestigious and elitist code, and every citizen yearns to acquire it. Whether this acquisition will be successful or otherwise is to a large extent dependent upon the effectiveness and efficiency of its teaching and study. Regrettably, however, effective teaching and study of English in Nigerian schools are seriously handicapped as a result of numerous complex problems, including the methods of teaching and studying the language. From the records, the failure of this particular subject in Nigeria’s educational institutions and examinations like WASC and JAMB has shown that the methods both teachers and students have been using have not really solved the problem. There is need to find a better method or procedure which should be employed by teachers and students of the English language so as to achieve greater impact in the knowledge of English as a second language. At present, English textbooks written by renowned authors are being used and integrated into the curriculum. These texts are mostly used for exercises on reading comprehension. Using them compels the reader to concentrate on the given texts at the surface level of the texts and vocabulary and leads students to look into a dictionary each and every new word they come across and it is expected that referring to the dictionary is a habit students should cultivate (Denka cited by Neelakshi, Chandrasenahttp://www.novitasroyal.org/Neelakshe.pdf). However, the use of literature tends to emphasize its role in improving communicative competence and providing “a springboard for the development of critical thinking and aesthetic appreciation” (Bretz cited by Neelakshi). It also creates awareness in students of the culture and society of the relevant country. This is why the use of literature in the teaching and study of English is being recommended by different linguists.

In the words of Fries, “A thorough mastery of a language for practical communication with real understanding demands a systematic observation and recording of many features of the precise situations in which the varied sentences are used”(Verghese: 113). Also Marckwardt points out that “For many years, foreign language study has been justified on the ground that proficiency in the language constitutes a key to the understanding of the culture of a country and the psychology and personality traits of its people”(Verghese: 113). Therefore, the learning of the second language should involve, among other things, learning the forms of the language and knowledge of the culture of those who speak the language. The above two items are important because effective communication in a second language depends on how things are said as well as what is said. These can be achieved to a large extent through the use of literature in language teaching and study.

The study of English as a second language is strengthened as a result of satisfactory cultural orientation on the part of the student. Such an orientation becomes easier througha reading ofthe literature in the language; for the language in which the literature is written reflects and reinforces the cultural patterns and value system of those who speak the language. Apart from the cultural orientation, literature helps students to come to grips with the idiom of the....


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