TEACHERS’ UTILIZATION OF OUTDOOR EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES IN THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE VOCABULARY IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU EDUCATION ZONE, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

The study investigated the extent of teachers’ utilization of outdoor educational activities in the teaching of English language vocabulary in primary schools in Enugu Education Zone, Enugu State. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The population of this study consisted of two thousand ninety two (2092) teachers from two hundred public primary schools in the zone. The sample size of this study consisted of six hundred (600) teachers from 107 schools in the rural area and 103 schools in the urban area drawn using non-proportionate stratified random sampling technique. The instrument for data collection was structured questionnaire drafted from primary 4-6 English language curriculum. The data collected were analyzed with mean and standard deviation while the null hypotheses developed for the study were tested using t-test of independent sample at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study revealed that teachers’ utilization of outdoor educational activities in teaching of English language vocabulary enhances the vocabulary development of pupils in learning in primary schools but teachers used them to a low extent. Qualification of teachers did not influence the utilization of outdoor educational activities in teaching of English language vocabulary in primary schools; Female teachers utilized outdoor educational activities in teaching of English language vocabulary more than male teachers in primary schools. The study also revealed that teachers’ experience did not affect the utilization of outdoor educational activities in teaching of English language vocabulary in primary schools, and that location of schools influences the utilization of outdoor educational activities in teaching of English language vocabulary in primary schools as urban teachers tend to use the activities more than the rural teachers. The null hypotheses tested revealed that qualification and experiences of teachers did not significantly influence the utilization of outdoor educational activities in the teaching of English language vocabulary in primary schools. However, gender and location of schools were proved to have significant influence on the utilization of outdoor educational activities in teaching of English language vocabulary in primary schools. Based on these findings, the study recommended among other things that primary school teachers should endeavour to use diverse activities that appeal to all the pupils’ senses in teaching English language vocabulary.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Tables
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
Hypotheses

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Conceptual Framework
Concept of Outdoor Educational Activities
Concept of English Language
Concept of Vocabulary
Method of Teaching English Language Vocabulary
Goals and Objectives of Primary School Education in Nigeria
Theoretical Framework
Theory of Constructivism
Social Learning Theory
Review of Empirical Studies
Summary of Literature Reviewed

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 Instrument
Method of Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS
Research Questions
Test of Hypotheses
Results of Focus Group Discussion
Summary of Major Findings

CHAPTER FIVE:  DISCUSSION OF RESULT CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUMMARY
Discussion of the Findings
Conclusions
Implications of the Findings
Recommendations
Limitations of the Study
Suggestions for Further Studies
Summary of the Study
REFERENCES
APPENDICES


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study
The importance of language in the development of human beings cannot be underestimated. Language is at the heart of every human activity as it touches virtually everything done by mankind such as communication, learning, share feelings and thoughts, among other things. Nwala (2005) defined language as the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so. Nwala added that language is the method of human communication either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured way, used by a particular country or community. Ngonebu (2008) defined language as purely human and non-intimating method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbol of unity, medium of instruction, style of speech and writing among other things (Nwala, 2005). The need to share feelings, ideas and thoughts in a highly multilingual nation like Nigeria makes the English language imperative as a language of inter-ethnic and cross cultural communication.


The English language is a language of intra-national communication. The multilingual nature of the Nigerian society makes the government of Nigeria to adopt the English language for learning in schools and inter-ethnic communication (Akabogu, 2006). The English language since then has become a medium of instruction in Nigerian primary schools. The role of the English language in education is important since education gives life and essence to all other spheres of human endeavour (Obanya, 2002). This vital role of the English language is given greater emphasis as a result of the position given to the language as a medium of instruction by the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004). The English language is also used in assessing students on graduation in primary school for First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC), Junior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSSC) and Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSC), it is also a compulsory subject in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations and other professional Examinations.

The English language is a subject taught and learnt in Nigerian schools, particularly in primary, and like any other school subjects, it requires formal instruction. Obiezu (2013) maintained that English language involves instruction in 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 combination (Tankersly, 2013). Tankersly equally explained that these four skills include associated skills such as knowledge of vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, syntax, meaning and usage. However, of these skills, vocabulary occupies a central position in any language learning endeavour. Maduabuchi (2009) affirmed that for one to read, write and speak effectively and efficiently, one needs to develop ones’ vocabulary, because inadequate vocabulary affects reading and writing not only in English language but in other school subjects.

There is no single acceptable definition of vocabulary, but Nathaniel (2000) defined vocabulary as the sum of words used by, understood by, or within the command of a particular person or group. Osborn and Hiester (2006) defined vocabulary as the knowledge of words and word meanings. Vocabulary consists of words that the pupils can attach appropriate meaning to, or define. In the teaching and learning of a language, vocabulary plays a vital role. In the area of reading and the language acts, vocabulary instruction is central to the improvement of comprehension and written expression. Obiezu (2013) maintained that vocabulary is the element that links the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Without good English vocabulary, one cannot communicate effectively in school and outside the school. This idea was captured by Hunt and Beglar (2005), who noted that a vital step in learning English is learning its vocabulary. This is because of the close relationship between vocabulary development and the other aspects of language. In subject areas like basic sciences and technology, mathematics, agricultural sciences, vocabulary instruction is central to the development of new concepts and understating of increasing difficult ideas.

The need for vocabulary development in English language has however long been acknowledged. For instance, Aliyu (2006:7) argue that “meaning is the perception of the message or content a particular word is expected to register”. Aliyu further explained that language users may approach the meaning of a word through its origin, sound, root, source of loaned word, word class/category, word form, history of word, dictionary definition, context and intuition. Aliyu also emphasized the importance of practise the use of words in different situations because the meaning of a word cannot be usefully talk about in isolation. In a similar argument, Williams (2004) pointed to the centrality of vocabulary to reading comprehension especially in second language situation. In addition to reading performance of pupils, vocabulary knowledge affects pupils’ ability to participate truly in both social and academic classroom routine and most importantly in the world outside the classroom. Vocabulary is defined as the sum of words which pupils can develop, understand and use correctly within and outside the classroom. Vocabulary instruction therefore refers in this study to the teaching aimed at developing pupils’ understanding of word meanings.

In the teaching and learning of vocabulary in the classroom today, the main method is direct/explicit method. Explicit vocabulary instruction is usually characterized by the teacher’s identification of their meaning and making few sentences with the words and these are copied on the board and pupils are expected to copy and memorize them. This method according to Nation (2001) is saddled with many limitations such as its being teacher– centred. It is also constrained by time and schools syllabus. The continuous use of this method over the years has shown no improvement in pupils’ performance in English....

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