EFFECT OF CROSSWORD PUZZLE GAME ON SENIOR SECONDARY I STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR IN NSUKKA EDUCATION ZONE OF ENUGU STATE

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ABSTRACT
The study was designed to investigate the effect of crossword puzzle game on Senior Secondary 1 Students’ achievement in English grammar in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu state. Seven research questions and seven null hypotheses guided the study. The study employed a pre-test posttest quasi-experimental design. A sample of 153 SSI students drawn by simple random sampling techniques from four co-educational schools in Nsukka Education zone was used for the study. The four schools were assigned to treatment and control groups respectively. Four intact classes in each school (two as experimental and the other two as control groups) were randomly selected. The experimental groups were taught the topics-nouns, types of nouns, pronouns and types of pronouns using crossword puzzle game while the control groups were taught the same topics using teaching method of grammar instruction. One instrument pre-GAT and post GAT was developed, dully validated and the reliability established as –O-.98.

The research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation while the hypotheses were tested at (P < 0.05) using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) The result of the analysis showed that the students taught with crossword puzzle game performed better than those taught with the lecture method. On gender, male students performed slightly better than their female counterparts in English grammar. Also, Students of high ability performed better than students of low ability level. On method and gender, the result did not suggest ordinal interaction effect between method/ gender on students’ achievement in English grammar. The result did not suggest ordinal interaction effect between method locations and there is ordinal interaction effect between crossword method and ability level of students in English grammar. Consequently; it was recommended that the use of games as an instructional method should be included in the curriculum of English language in teacher training institutions, workshops and seminars should be organized to train teachers in the use of crossword puzzle game in teaching English grammar. Also, curriculum planners and text book writers are encouraged to give games a strategic place in the planning and design of the curriculum and textbooks.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
List of tables
Table of Contents
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
Research Questions
Research Hypothesis

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Conceptual Framework
Concept of grammar
Concept of game
Concept of Achievement
Concept of gender
Concept of Students’ ability
Concept of School location
Teaching and learning of English language in Nigeria
Theoretical framework
Piagets theory of cognitive Development
Stephen Kranshen’s Input Hypothesis and Affective Filter Hypothesis
Long’s Interaction Hypothesis
Empirical Studies
Studies on Games and Teaching
Studies on Gender
Study on location
Study on Ability
Summary of literature review

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD
Design of the Study
Area of the study
Population of the Study
Sample and Sampling Techniques
Instrument for Data Collection
Validation of the instrument
Reliability of the instruments
Experimental Procedure/Administration of Instrument
Control of Extraneous Variables
Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS
Research question one
Research question two
Research question three
Research question four
Research question five
Research question six
Research question seven
Hypotheses testing
Summary of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Discussion of Findings
Educational implications of the Findings
Conclusions
Recommendations
Limitations of the study
Suggestions for Further Research
Summary of the Study
REFERENCES

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study
Language is a means of communication. It is also necessary for all aspects of development and civilization. Different societies have different languages or means of verbal communication. Language in any society serves diverse functions such as a tool for socialization, a means of cultural identity, a means of preservation of culture and a whole lot of other functions. But the most important of these functions is the role of language as a medium of communication (Pelt, 2005), and this role is given such a central place as a result of the natural inclination of humans to pass information. This natural desire to share feelings, ideas and thoughts in a highly multilingual nation like Nigeria creates a dire need for a language of inter ethnic and cross cultural communication, a language of unification and a language of national and inter ethnic communication.

As a result of the role of English as a language of international communication and the multilingual nature of the Nigerian society, English language was voluntarily adopted for official and inter-ethnic communication in the country (Akabogu, 2006). English Language since then has come to serve various vital functions in the life of the nation. For instance, it is the language of education, commerce and industry, government, international communication, the media, law and legal drafting, science and technology and the language of social interaction. Of all these functions however, its role as the language of education is paramount since education gives life and essence to all other spheres of human endeavour (Obanya, 2002). This function is given greater vigour as a result of the position given to it by the National Policy on Education (2004) which makes English Language mandatory in secondary and tertiary education in Nigeria. It is also the language of evaluation in schools as it is used for assessing students after primary school for the First School Leaving Certificates, Junior Secondary School Certificate Examinations, Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and other professional examinations. The importance of English as a school subject can further be illustrated by the fact that a candidate must obtain a credit pass in it to gain admission into any Nigerian University to study any course (JAMB, 2005).

English Language is a school subject and like every other school subject requires formal instruction. Instruction in English language involves instruction on the four basic language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. This is because acquiring a new language necessarily involves developing these four modalities in varying degrees and combinations (Tankersly, 2003). Tankersly further explains that these four skills include associated skills, such as knowledge of grammar, spelling, pronunciation, syntax, meaning and usage. Of all these sub skills however, grammar occupies a central position in any language learning endeavour.

Grammar is prominent in language teaching, particularly in English as a Second Language (ESL). Grammar can be defined as the structural foundation of one to study and use language meaningfully. Practically, in the teaching of grammar learners are taught rules of languages. According to Ur (2000), in the case of the learners, grammatical rules enable them to know and apply how such sentence patterns should be put together. The teaching of grammar should also ultimately centre attention on the way grammatical items or sentence patterns are correctly used. In other words, teaching grammar should encompass language structure or sentence patterns, meaning and use.

Grammar is taught to furnish the basis for a set of language skills: listening, speaking reading and writing. In listening and speaking, grammar plays a crucial part in grasping and expressing spoken language (e.g. expressions) since learning the grammar of a language is considered necessary to acquire the capability of producing grammatically acceptable utterances in the language (Widodo, 2004).
In reading, grammar enables learners to comprehend sentence interrelationship in a paragraph, a passage and a text. In the context of writing, grammar allows the learners to put their ideas into intelligible sentences so that they can successfully communicate in a written form. In the case of vocabulary, grammar provides a path way to learners on how some lexical items should be combined into a good sentence so that meaningful and communicative statements or expressions can be formed. In other words, Doff (2000) states that by learning grammar, students can express meanings in the form of phrases, clauses and sentences. Long and Richards (2000) add that it cannot be ignored that grammar plays a central role in the four language skills and vocabulary to establish communicative tasks.

In the context of ESL, teaching grammar has traditionally been dominated by a grammar translation method where the use of mother tongue is clearly important to elicit the meaning of target language by translating the target language into native languages. According to Larson-Freeman (2000) and Richards and Rodgers (2002), in such a method, learners are required to learn about grammar rules and vocabulary of the target language. In the case of grammar, it is deductively taught; that is, learners are provided with the grammar rules and examples are given to memorize them. For example, in the teaching of nouns or pronouns, students are encouraged to memorize the definitions of nouns and pronouns without encouraging them to make meaningful sentences with nouns and pronouns.


According to modern linguists, grammar is a device that specifies the infinite set of well-formed sentences and assigns to each of them one or more structural descriptions. In other words, grammar tells one what the possible sentence of a language is and provides a description of them. The central concern of grammar in this sense is syntax –the principles and methods by which words are arranged in a language to bring about meaning....

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