The purpose of the study was to investigate the status of oral English instruction in secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone. It was conducted in Nsukka Education Zone in Enugu State. The population of the study was all the senior secondary school English language teachers in the Education zone. There was no sampling as all the English language teaches (300) consisting of 200 and 100 from rural and urban schools were used in the study. The oral English teaching status (OETSI) was the instrument fro data collection. The instrument was a 4-point likert type scale whose value ranged from 4 to 1 point for strongly agree and strongly disagree options respectively. Both the validation and reliability of the instrument were done and reliability coefficient of 0.68 was established. After administering and obtaining data from the respondents, mean, standard deviation and t-test were used in analysis of data. Some of the major findings were that the use of game activities, poems and songs, pronunciation exercises, taped cassettes are employed by oral English teachers; that oral English is mostly taught when WAEC/NECO examinations were at hand; and that mother tongue interference and lack of oral English teaching materials was a problem encountered by teachers in oral English instruction. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that a unified in-service training for oral English teachers in secondary schools in area of methods for oral English instruction be provided for serving teachers and that teacher education institutions should intensity training for students-teachers in oral English instruction.


Title page
Table of content

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

Conceptual Framework
The Concept of Instruction and Oral English
Basic Language Skills
Approaches to Language Teaching
Theoretical framework
Theories of Language Learning and Acquisition
Empirical Studies
Studies on Teacher Related Factors
Studies on Location Related Factors
Studies on Material Related Factors
Summary of Literature Review

Research Design
Area of the Study
Sample and Sampling Techniques
Instrument for Data Collection
Validation of Instruments
Reliability of the Instruments
Administration of the Instruments
Method of Data Analysis

Presentation and Analysis of Data
Summary of Findings of the Study

Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendation
The Characteristics of oral English Teachers in secondary schools
The oral English instructional method
The teaching period as a variable in oral English Instruction
Availability of Materials for the oral English Instruction
The problems of oral English Instruction
The strategies for enhancing oral English Instruction
Implications of the Findings
Limitation of the Study
Suggestion for further research


Background to the Study
Language is a human activity and the development of the individual depends on its usage. Ajikobi (1997) explained that one notable function of language is the record of observations, incidents and processes. Language, he continued, has also been considered as production and integral part of culture. It reflects the culture of people concerned and their world view.

Language serves as a means through which people living together structure and organise their experiences. It makes the human society what it is as it plays a leading role in the cultural orientation of a person in the socio-cultural group he belongs (Anasiudu, 2002). As an important communication symbol, language permeates all aspects of man’s interrelationships. This could be in the aspect of verbalization or gesticulations. Thus for man to communicate effectively within the mechanics of human enterprise, he has to learn those rubrics of the language of communication within his environment.

In Nigeria today, it is estimated that there are about 400 languages (Agheyesi and Bamgbose in Ufomata, 1995). In spite of those languages in Nigeria, the colonization of Nigeria by the British brought an added language, the English Language. Achebe as noted in Ogbuehi (2001) observes that the English Language gave the multi-ethnic and the multilingual groups in Nigeria, a language with which to talk to one another.

Today, the English language though a foreign language, has been domesticated in the midst of so many languages in Nigeria and assumes the position of a second language (Anyanwu and Otagburuagu, 2005). It is indispensable in so many fields.

Newspapers are produced in it. Parliamentary debates are held in it. Scientific thoughts

and historical investigations are carried out through the instrumentality of the language.

Poetry, drama and prose find their expressions in English. For all these reasons and

more, one can refer to it as one of the linguistic properties of Nigerians, not a foreign


In Nigeria, anybody who speaks English fluently and correctly is referred to as

learned, well bred and modest. And Kachru in Ufomata (1990) claims that,

Competence in English and the use of this language signify a transmutation: an added potential for material and social gain and advantages. One sees this attitude in what the symbol stands for; English is considered a symbol of modernisation, and an extra arm for success and mobility in culturally and linguistically complex and pluralistic society.pp2

The use of English in national functions has made it spread more than any of the

indigenous languages in the country; hence, its place in the national policy on

education. The social and integrative roles it plays in Nigeria have made it assume an

undisputable position in Nigeria educational system. Baldeh (1990:3) re-affirms this

when he says that,

The English language was thus institutionalized as the language of the government, education, commerce, industry, law and administration. Thus to obtain a lucrative job in the public sector, a pass in English Language Examination was a necessary pre-requisite, to be educated in the eyes of many is to be versed in English language.

It is because of these roles that are being played by the subject that made the Nigerian educational system adopt it as a school subject. The aim is to help students acquire the basic elements and skills in the language and also to educate them on the easy, coherent and fully articulate method of communication in the language.

Recently, in the beginning of 80’s oral English was made a part of the secondary school English syllabus. The oral English is designed among other things to facilitate the standard of literacy and improve language development. It is expected to equip the student with the rudiments of the proper usage of English speech. This important part of the English language is taught at all levels of secondary school system, particularly at senior secondary school level, the aim being to teach students how to use the various aspects of the oral English in communication both in written and spoken form. In secondary schools oral English topics are organised in modules and each module specifies the variety of instructional materials, including instructional techniques for the teaching. It is an activity based and practical oriented aspect of the English language that is better taught using a variety of instructional materials.

Since the teaching of oral English requires appropriate materials, competent teachers, appropriate teaching methods, schools may not have all that are required for effective teaching of oral English. There is the tendency that the students sitting for oral English examination may not be adequately prepared for such exercise. Given the seemingly poor performance of students in English language examinations, and the poor language expressions or communications by secondary school leavers the examination of the status of oral English instructions in secondary school becomes imperative. When oral English is properly and adequately taught, the students acquire....

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