The study investigated the effect of two modes of concept mapping on secondary school students’ achievement and retention in English grammar in Nsukka education zone of Enugu State. The influence of gender as well as interaction effects of two modes of concept mapping and gender were also investigated.. Six research questions and six null hypotheses guided the study. Quasi experimental design of pre-test non-equivalent control group was used for the study. The sample size of 352 JSS 2 English language students using purposive sampling technique constituted the target population. The instrument for data collection was English Grammar Achievement Test (EGAT) which was used to collect the data in this study. The data obtained for the study were analyzed using means and standard deviations to answer the research questions while analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) were used to test the formulated hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study revealed that: collaborative method of concept mapping significantly enhanced students’ academic achievement in English grammar when compared with individualistic method; gender was a significant factor on students’ interest in English grammar; there is an interaction effect of two modes of concept mapping and gender on students’ achievement in English grammar; collaborative method of concept mapping was also found to significantly enhance students’ retention in English grammar; there is no significant difference between the mean retention scores of male and female students in English grammar; interaction effect of two modes of concept mapping and gender on students’ retention in English grammar is significant. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that English teachers should adopt the use of collaborative method in their lessons in order to enhance the students’ academic achievement and retention in English grammar.


Title Page
Table of Contents

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 Grammar
Concept Map
Achievement in English Grammar
Concept of Retention
Concept of Gender
Theoretical Framework
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Cognitive Constructivism
Gagne’s Hierarchical Theory (1962)
Review of Empirical Studies
Studies on Concept Mapping and Achievement
Studies on Grammar in English Language
Studies on Retention
Studies on Gender in English Language
Studies on Interaction Effect of Gender and Method
Summary of Literature Review

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
Experimental Procedure
Control of Extraneous Variables
Method of Data Analysis


Discussion of Findings
Implication of the study
Limitations of the study
Suggestion for further studies
Summary of the study



Background of the Study
Grammar is a basic tool of English language since it unites all the skills of the language. Hence, no skill could function effectively without it. However, grammar is an aspect of language where scholars have different opinions. Describing the parts of speech, traditional grammarian such as Curme (2010) is very interested in finding out or learning grammatical rules and doing lots of grammar exercises. Contrary to this view, structural grammarians like Curme (2010) dislike grammar and feel it is the most boring part of learning a new language. Whatever opinion one has, therefore, one cannot escape from grammar; it is in every sentence one reads or writes, speaks or hears. What then is grammar? Grammar is simply the word for the rules that people follow when they use a language (Nordsquit, 2014). Similarly, Vappingo (2011) defines grammar as a linguistic tool that determines the rules for presenting sentences correctly. It involves a number of related subfields including syntax, phonology, morphology, and semantics. According to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA 2003:4),

Phonology is the sound system of a language and the rules that govern the sound combinations. Morphology is the system that governs the structure of words and the construction of word forms. Syntax is the system governing the order and combination of words to form sentences and the relationship among the elements within a sentence. Semantics is the system that governs the meaning of words and sentences.

There is no aspect of English language that is as important as grammar (Chowdhurymoin, 2010). Its usefulness can be extolled on its place on both written and spoken communications since all of them are grammatically oriented. Good grammar is determined on the correct use of connections based on certain rules (grammar). So, one cannot escape from grammar. As well, the teaching and learning of other subjects are done through communication in correct grammatical sentences before meaning could be realized. This led to grammar technology (effectiveness in application of grammar rules) as stated by Mulroy (2003). As a result, good knowledge of grammar grants effectiveness in the skills of language especially, writing and speaking. This shows that there is need for teaching and learning of grammar especially the English grammar since it will pave way for increase of students’ achievement in English language in general. Some researchers like Ene (2004) and Agada (2007) attributed the poor achievement of students to lack of interest among the students in learning English language as well as non-usage of varied methods and techniques in teaching the subject.

The aspects of grammar studied in secondary schools include the seven parts of speech namely: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions and prepositions. Their definitions, types, characteristics and grammatical functions are taught in the secondary schools. Other concepts such as phrases, clauses, sentences, concord, direct and reported speeches, tenses, etc are equally learned at this level. In teaching and learning of adjectives and adverbs in junior secondary schools, the focus is usually on definitions, types and comparisons of adjectives and adverbs while in senior secondary school, the grammatical functions and order of adjectives and adverbs are usually emphasized. These are the building blocks for further studies in adjectives and adverbs in the junior secondary schools.

Hence, the teaching and learning of grammar at the junior level is the building block or a foundation for the learning of grammar at the senior level. When students do not understand or learn grammar well, at the junior level (i.e. learning the basics, such as adjective and adverbs). It becomes problematic, tedious and challenging when the students encounter it at the senior secondary level. It can be said that grammar learned and used well at the Junior level, is grammar that is successful and stress free at the senior secondary level.

In spite of all the benefits of grammar to the learner, it seems that learners find it as a boring and uninteresting aspect of English language, therefore, marring the performance of the students in examinations. Some researchers such as Ene (2004) and Agada (2007) attributed the poor achievement of students to lack of interest among the students in learning English language as well as non-usage of varied methods and techniques in teaching the subject.

Irrespective of these, the desired result in the use of English grammar has not been found. Some researchers like Torty (2010) who investigated the effect of collaborative learning method on students’ achievement and interest in English language tense and Agada (2007) who researched on the effect of close procedure on students’ achievement in English grammar discovered that students’ poor performances in internal and external examinations in English language are based on use of ungrammatical written discourse. This is based on the fact that students effectiveness in any examination is based on what they could present in writing.

In Nigerian schools, grammar is one of the most problematic subjects. One reason for this may be that most schools place an artificial burden on students by an early introduction of grammatical definitions and rules in mother tongue education (Anita, 2011). The objective is not mainly for meaningful learning to be created but to ensure that the intended scheme is covered. This is basically carried out by the use of traditional method of teaching. The traditional teaching method adopted in most Nigerian secondary schools is lecture method. This is a method of instruction that adopts a unidirectional mode of imparting knowledge....

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