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The research was designed to investigate the effect of content-based instructional method on secondary school students’ achievement in English language composition writing in Kogi State. Gender and school location were important variables considered in the study. Three research questions and three null hypotheses guided the study. A quasi-experimental research design (pretest, posttest and control group) was adopted by the researcher for the study. The sample of the study was intact classes made up of 299 SS2 students. Extraneous variables were controlled in the study. An essay topic was given to the students. The co-efficient of reliability was 0.88 using Kendall’s Coefficient of concordance (w). The data collected from the study were analysed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The major findings of the study were that content-based instructional method improved students’ academic achievement unlike the conventional method; female students achieved higher, than male students in English language composition; students in urban area achieved higher than their counterparts in rural areas in English language composition writing. Based on the findings, it was recommended, among others, that content-based instructional method of teaching should be included in all the teacher education programmes This will create awareness on the rest of the teachers of English language and help to enhance the academic achievement of the students in English language composition writing which impacts positively on the teaching and learning of English language in general.


Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Tables

Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
Research Questions

Conceptual Framework
•           Concept of Language
•           Concept of Instruction
•           Methods of Instruction
•           Content-Based Instructional method
•           Concept of Writing
•           Concept of Achievement
•           Concept of Gender
•           Concept of Location
Theoretical Framework
•  Theories of essay writing
•           George Hulocks’ Theory on Writing
•           Cognitive Learning Theory
Empirical Studies
•           Studies on Content-Based Instruction
•           Studies on Composition Writing
•           Studies on Gender and Achievement
•  Studies on Location and student achievement in english language
Summary of Literature Review

Design of the Study
Area of the Study
Population of the Study
Sample and Sampling Technique
Instrument for Data Collection
Validation of the Instrument
Reliability of the Instrument
Method of Data Analysis

Summary of the Findings

Discussion of results
Educational Implications
Limitations of the study
Suggestions for Further Studies
Summary of the Study



Background of the Study
Language is a unique property of human beings which distinguishes them from the rest of the animal world. Human beings are said to be Homo sapiens by reasons of language, as man alone has the power to articulate speech by virtue of his sense of reasoning. Language has been defined in various ways by linguists and scholars as below. Language can also be defined as “the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication to pass information from one person to the other” (Arnold, 2012; Littlewood, 2008). Language also refers to the cognitive faculty that enables humans to learn about systems of complex communities (Louis, 2010). Humans acquire language through social interaction in early childhood, and children generally speak fluently when they are around three years of age (Eric, 2010). The use of language has become deeply entrenched in human culture, and apart from being used to communicate and share information, it also has social and cultural uses such as signifying group identity, social stratification, social grooming and entertainment.

According to Hicks (2009), language is used to describe the set of rules that make communication among people possible based on the set of utterances that enabled human beings to understand each other in a specific circumstance. Language, therefore, is a complex communication system that is based on rules, relating symbols to their meanings which eventually results in innovative utterances. English language as a complex communication system therefore is used in school for instructional purposes.
English language as a second language in Nigeria plays a central role in the

unification of Nigeria in areas like the judiciary, media, commerce, education as well as

language for interaction with the outside world. It is against this enviable role which

English language plays in Nigeria that the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004:16)

in her National Policy on Education, asserts that; “The medium of instruction in the

primary school shall be the language of the immediate environment for the first three

years. During this period, English shall be taught as a subject. From the fourth year,

English shall progressively be used as a medium of instruction”.

The above assertion made by the Federal government was to enable the students to be proficient in speaking and writing of English language in schools. This will enable them participate in the educational, socio-cultural, economic and political aspects of the Nigerian society. The implication of the above is that English language is to be used as an instrument for national development, as a medium of communication in the classroom, interactions among people, diplomatic relations as well as in governance. The attainment of proficiency among the students in the use of English language is dependent on the methods and the skills possessed by the teachers who teach the language.

Teachers of English language should possess adequate mastery of the subject, the skills as well as varieties of methods and techniques for teaching the subject. It is based on the above background that the FRN (2004) in her National Policy on Education asserts that the basic objective of teaching English in secondary schools is to ensure permanent literacy and the ability of the students to speak the language, hence, the instructors have to be competent in teaching the subject. The teacher is therefore fundamental in the improvement of the literacy level of the students in English language based on the skills, method of instruction, techniques and mastery of the subject matter.
Problems of English Language Teaching/Learning in Nigeria and Students’ Poor Performance in English in Pubic Examinations in Nigeria

The problems or factors affecting English language teaching and learning in Nigeria according to Williams (1981) are the multi-lingual nature of the Nigerian society, the role of English in relation to the mother-tongue, the role of text-books, the role of the teacher, objectives of English language teaching in Nigeria, the need for remedial English teaching and result from empirical studies.
The problem of multilingualism places serious constraints on actual language teaching practice. Oluikpe ((1974) was convinced that the performance of Nigerian students of English was adversely affected by the limitations of the contrastive analysis technique since Nigerian classrooms often had students with different mother tongues. Similarly, Williams (1981) observed that multi-lingualism posed problem in the preparation of text-books, particularly in states in Nigeria which recognized more than one or two language for official purposes. Oluikpe (1974) asserted that it was not correct to assume that any one scheme of contrastive analysis was adequate learning in all states of Nigeria. In situation where it is not possible to predict learning problems of all students in the use of English, the teacher has to rely on an error analysis approach to specific difficulties in given linguistic contexts.
The problem of distinguishing the roles of the mother tongue and English in relation to English language teaching and learning in Nigeria is an important one. On that, Ubahakwe (1974) believed that the varied and conflicting functions which the.....

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