This study investigated the effect of peer review technique on the achievement of students in English essay writing in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State. Five research questions and five null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study engaged quasi-experimental research design. The sample for the study consisted of 160 SSS2 students from two co-educational schools in Odigbo Local Government Area. The experimental group comprised 78 male and female students from schools located in rural and urban areas. The control group comprised 82 male and female students from schools located in rural and urban areas. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used. First to draw the two co -educational schools and two intact classes from each of the schools, and to assign schools to experimental and control groups. Both the experimental group and control group were given the same essay writing but the difference is that while those in the experimental group were taught essay writing with PRT, those in the control group were taught essay writing in using the lecture method. The instrument used for data collection was Essay Writing Achievement Test (EWAT) which was marked over fifty. The EWAT was validated by three experts. The instrument was trial tested on twenty students from Methodist secondary school, Okitipupa, Ondo state. The data obtained from the trial tests were used to calculate the reliability of the instrument using Kendall’s formula. It yielded an index of 0.71. Mean was used to answer the research questions while ANCOVA was used to test the hypotheses at P< 0.05. From the results obtained, it was found out that students in the experimental group had significant higher achievement score in essay writing than their counterparts who are in the control group. Also, gender had a significant effect on the achievement of students in essay writing but school location did not. In addition, the interaction effect between treatment and gender was not significant as well as the treatment and school location was not significant. Based on the findings, it was recommended that English language teachers should adopt peer review technique in teaching essay writing. Different tasks which can aid extensive writing activities should be employed from junior secondary schools to senior secondary school being the foundational classes. The curriculum planners should also include the use of peer review technique in the next review of curriculum.


Title page
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Appendices

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

Conceptual Framework
Concept of Writing
Concept of Teaching Method
Concept of School Location
Concept of Gender
Theoretical Framework
Vygotsky’s Theory of Language Learning
Interactionist Theory of Language Learning
Cognitive Theory of Language Learning
Review of Empirical Studies
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
Experimental Procedure
Control of Extraneous Variables
Method of Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis


Discussion of Results
Educational Implications
Limitations of the Study
Suggestions for Further Research
Summary of the study



Background of the Study
Language is an arbitrary system of symbols which enables man to communicate an infinite number and variety of messages, meanings, intentions, thoughts, requests and items of information. It is involved in thinking, memory and reasoning, problem-solving and planning. Indeed, language is involved in higher order mental processes. It is also a means of cultural and value transmission from one generation to the next and from country to the other (Uzoegwu, 2010). Language is a human activity and the development of the individual depends on its usage. Obi (2005) explains that one notable function of language is the record of observations, incidents and processes. Language, he continues, has also been considered as an integral part of culture. It reflects the culture of the people concerned and their world view. Language serves as a means through which people living together structure and organize their experiences. It makes the human society what it is as it plays a leading role in the cultural orientation of the person in the socio-cultural group he belongs (Anasiudu, 2002).

English language has played a major role in Nigeria which could be seen in the areas of education, government, business, commerce, mass media and most of internal and external communication. Following Nigeria’s independence from British colonization in 1960, English was retained as the medium of instruction through the implementation of a transitional bilingual education policy. The policy as embedded in the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004) states that throughout early childhood, pre-primary and the first three years of primary education, pupils must be taught in the “Mother tongue or language of the immediate community” (Sections 14 (b), 19 (e). The language of immediate community refers to the 521 local languages (Euron Monitor International, 2010) of which three, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, are spoken by over 70% of the population and serve largely regional functions (Ibekwe, 2006, P.45). From the fourth year of primary school

onward, English is to be employed as the medium of instruction while the language of the

immediate community (LIC) and French are to be taught as subjects(Sections 19 (f). By

S.S.3, students are expected to be proficient in English and are assessed for English language

‘competence’, judged as the degree of closeness to standard British English (Akeredolu,

2007). The assessment is conducted nationally by the West African Examinations Council

(WAEC), in a test of written comprehension and verbal skills for the award of the West

African  Senior School Certificate in English.

However, in spite of the vital roles of the English language, most Nigerian students are unable to acquire proficiency in the skills of the language, especially writing. Akinwamide (2012) observes that the poor performance of students in English could be connected to their inability to write effectively. This translates to low performance of students in other subjects in both external and internal examinations.

From the foregoing, it is evident that achieving student proficiency in the English language has been difficult. However, it is even more difficult to ensure social mobility and economic development in the face of this problem. Individual’s prospects for further education, and higher skilled jobs are consequently foregone, as a credit pass in English is required for admission to all Universities in Nigeria and for appointment to such positions (World Education Services, 2011). In addition, as all subjects are taught in English, this incompetence leads to limitation in student understanding and ability to grasp curriculum content which impacts on them overall academic achievement (Obameata, 1999), as cited in Jekayinta, 2010). From the perspective of the labour market, English remains a critical skill for employability, compensation and career success (EuroMonitor International, 2010), implying that the average student is unqualified for positions in key sectors of the economy. Finally, incompetence in the English language has severe implications for the realization of the nation’s goals. This is especially so for national unity, where the language is to foster inter-tribal communication, as well as economic growth through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), 58% of which received from English speaking countries (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004; Euromonitor International, 2010). As a result of the innumerable and numberless roles being played by the English language in Nigeria, this makes the Nigerian educational system adopt it as a school subject. The singular aim is to help students acquire the basic elements and skills in the language and also to educate them on the easy, coherent and articulate method of communication in the language.

Conversely, students’ performance at (both junior and senior secondary schools) levels in English language is deteriorating every year. This statement is re-iterated by WAEC Chief Examiners’ Report (2011) “The questions are generally within the scope of the students, although the performance of the students bellied the quality and simplicity of the questions.

They generally organized their essays badly and they made no conscious efforts at grammatical corrections”. From the above comment by WAEC Chief Examiners’ Report, it is observed that even though the questions were very cheap, the students failed to organize their essays well and they committed grammatical errors which also contributed to their poor performance. The report further stated that the poor knowledge of students in the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) contributed to their poor performance. For these reasons, proper attention should be given to the teaching and learning of essay writing in the English Language.

Essay writing is a common linguistic activity. Writing an essay provides a natural outlet for the writer’s reflections on a given topic. It is a form of composition whose content and organization are guided by the topic and purpose of writing (Ezema, 2010). Onyekwere, (2012) sees essay as short piece of writing on a particular or given subject. He continues by....

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