THE ENGLISH IRREGULAR VERBS: IMPLICATIONS FOR SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS

ABSTRACT
This work highlights the nature of the English irregular verbs by identifying what makes them irregular in nature, how this affects or causes problems to second language learners in Nigeria and proffering solutions on how to alleviate the problems. Both library and field researches are used to get the facts needed for the analysis. Descriptive design requiring respondents to supply answers to objective and subjective tests is used. A total of two hundred undergraduates from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe serve as respondents. The students are randomly selected from the institutions mentioned above. Six research questions guided the research which aimed at discovering the extent to which the English irregular verbs cause problems to second language learners. Fifty questions were administered to the respondents to test the research questions. In analyzing the result the researcher observed that majority of the undergraduate students do not have the required knowledge of the use of English irregular verbs. Based on the findings, some recommendations which aimed at improving the learning of English in an ESL situation were made.


Chapter One
Introduction
1.0 Preamble
Language is a complex and a dynamic human possession. Its role as a veritable instrument of social cohesion has been recognized through ages and in all cultures. The possession of this concrete medium of communication among human beings distinguishes man from other animals. Many languages exist in the world. These languages are either spoken or written or both. Language is a treasure, a mark of identity, a human trait manifesting strengths and weaknesses of thought. It is therefore a social phenomenon capable of bringing people from different locale together. This unifying force is exemplified by the English Language in Nigeria.

It was introduced in Nigeria by the early Europeans for business transactions and subsequent colonization. Through the agency of the church, some Nigerians learned the language, which qualified them for positions as clerks, interpreters and messengers to the whites. They constituted what one may call the first elite class whose existence spurred other people to compete for learning and speaking the English Language.

The acceptance of the English Language in Nigeria as a medium of instruction makes it a second language and its importance in the Nigerian situation is overwhelming, and according to Baldeh, (1) "it is the most important legacy of the British colonial masters in Nigeria", as our political, social, economic and cultural engagements are suffused with English.

1.1 Background to the Study
English is a second language in Nigeria. A second language is a language which is not indigenous to a country but is used in official settings. Scholars aver that learning English or any other language as a second or foreign language implies several difficulties. Not only would the L2 learner master the sounds of the target language (the phonemes) and understand the arrangement of words to make meaningful utterances (syntax), he should also strive to master the vocabulary of the target language and its orthography (the way words are written). Although some languages most nearly are written in the same way as they are pronounced, English has minimal written and spoken relationship.

Learners of English in Nigeria encounter two major problems: the problem of language interference where L1 of the learner  interferes  with  his  L2  and  the  developmental  problem arising from the structure of the particular language they being learned. Interference problems occur because no two languages posses the same rules. The situation always results in transferring the rules of the first language to that of the learner’s second language, thus creating misnomer and confusion in         usage.

Throwing light on this Guttegno asserts:

The experience we all have in using our language for the possession of our thoughts, feelings, emotions and perceptions is that words come by themselves. As soon as we leave our own language and concentrate on acquiring a new one, however, we find that we are engaged in struggles that our memory becomes so important (1).

However, students learning a second language face not only the problem of language interference, but also the problems emanating solely from their target language. These intra-lingual problems have been widely researched and listed. According to Richards, “a number of errors occur in English as a result of such problems from the following expressions: Did he cried? He coming from Israel. Make him to do it. I can to speak French”. He further explains:

Errors of this nature are frequent regardless of the learner's language background. They may be called intra-lingual and developmental errors and reflect the learners competence at a particular stage. Their origin is found within the structure of the English itself (173).

From the above explanation, one can see that the problems facing second language learners are two folds: one emanating from interference of their L1 with L2, and another from the target language itself.

The complex nature of the English language makes its second language learners face the above problems in mastering its grammar and vocabulary. Grammar implies patterns, patterns of word endings, function words and word/morpheme order. Kies (2) asserts: "patterns are crucial  in         helping us discover the constituents of language, recognizing patterns in distribution and meaning becomes the process through which  human beings discover  the  grammatical  structures  of  their  languages”.  The English language is sentence structured or patterned and can be easily analyzed on the basis of sentence constituents known as parts of speech or word classes.....

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 66 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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