EVALUATION OF TEACHING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN GOMBE SOUTH EDUCATION ZONE, NIGERIA.
This study evaluated the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Gombe State. In doing so, the study adopted the evaluative survey research design. Evidence abounds of the low performance of Senior Secondary students in English language in Gombe State. The 2006 to 2011 report of the Chief examiner, West African Examinations Council reveals that candidates’ performance in the examinations between those periods was always poor. The report clearly shows that there was no improvement in the performance of candidates who sat for English language in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in some states of the country including Gombe State. Therefore, the inclusion of Gombe State in the list of states with candidates whose performances were woeful in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, (SSCE) by West African Examinations Council’s Report, paints a clear picture of lack of adequate knowledge of the language among Senior Secondary School students in Gombe State. Perhaps, myriads of factors may have combined to account for this ugly state of affairs, which possibly could include motivational and curricula issues, among others as they relate to the teachers in the study area. The general purpose of the study is to evaluate the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Gombe State. Specifically, the study sought to: Find out the demographic characteristics of English language teachers, determine the methods used by the teachers in teaching the English language, ascertain the instructional materials available for teaching English language, ascertain the extent of the utilization of the available instructional materials in teaching the English language, and to find out the adequacy of classroom environment for the teaching of the English language in the senior secondary schools in Gombe State. The area of the study covered Gombe South Education Zone comprising Balanga, Billiri, Kaltungo and Shongom Local Government Areas of Gombe State. Five research questions and two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study population of the study comprised 113 English language teachers in all the study area in the State. Random sampling technique was used to draw one education zone (Gombe South Education Zone) out of the three education zones in Gombe State. Data were collected using a researcher- made teachers of English language Questionnaire (TELEQ). The instrument was validated by three experts and both from the Department of Arts Education, Science Education and the Institute of Education of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability coefficient of obtained were 0.98, 0.99, 0.94, 0.88, and 0.92 for section B, C, D, E and F respectively with a reliability coefficient of 0.94. Data collected were analyzed using the t-test statistics in testing the two null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study indicated that 59% of the teachers possessed B.ED degree, while 50% of teachers specialized in English language; 58% of teachers had 6-10 years of teaching experience; The finding on method of teaching indicate that direct method was the method often used with 95% in teaching while cognate and silence way methods were the least used while Radio cassettes is the instructional materials mostly used by the teachers. Base on the results, It was recommended that there should be adequate supply of English teachers in various secondary schools in Gombe State, teaching facilities should be properly upgraded in various secondary schools in Gombe State, the government should ensure adequate funding of all the secondary schools in Gombe State, and English language teachers should be motivated to enable them teach efficiently.
Background of the Study
No society can exist without a language since it is a means of communication among human beings. As human beings develop their linguistic repertoires through series of reinforcement, examples, imitations and precepts. In a strict sense, therefore, language, according to Wilson (2009), is an artificial and consciously organized method of control by the use of symbols and conventions which involve the notion of meaning. Language, according to Tondo (2002) is a system of conventional, arbitrary symbols by which members of a community communicate with one another. other. Wardhau (1988) defined it as some unitary system of linguistic communication, which subsumes a number of mutually intelligible varieties. Language is an instrument through which members of a given community communicate. Language gives its users the opportunity to communicate with one another in terms of feelings and desires (Linfors, 2009).
Nigeria is one of the countries with myriads of languages. Each ethnic group has its own language with its dialectal varieties. Bamgbose (2007) has estimated about 400 local languages in Nigeria, yet no ethnic group is ready to abandon its language since all languages are taken as veritable instruments of communication among the users. The absence of linguistic unity in the country has therefore led to the emphasis placed on the English language as a major medium of instruction in educational institutions in the country. English language was introduced into Nigeria by the colonial masters to help them administer the colonized people, spread their religion, and carry on their commercial activities. With the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914, English language became the official language of Nigeria and has continued to perform this function until today. In Nigeria, English is the language of politics, religion, sports, trade, and commerce, education, science, and technology.
Ufomata (2014) argued that the domains of English in an ESL context like Nigeria tend to be formal. It is the official language which in essence means it serves the language of government, education, commerce, and to a limited extent, social integration, especially among the educated elite. Within Nigeria alone, it is estimated that nearly 400 languages are spoken (Agheiyisi, 2004 Bamgbose, 2007). According to Ufomata (2014) in the context of such multilingualism it is important for the government to stick to neutral language such as English, as the official language. English has the additional advantage of long association, being the language of the colonial rulers. It is also a world language with all the advantages accruing to an individual who speaks such a language both nationally and internationally. Kachru (1986:1) argued that, "Competence in English and the use of this language signify a transmutation; an added potential for material and social gains and advantages. One sees this attitude in what the symbols stand for. English is considered a symbol of modernism, and an extra area for success and mobility in culturally and linguistically complex and pluralistic societies. English, Ufomata (2014). writes, enjoys a wider geographical spread than any of the indigenous languages within Nigeria. Whatever the language of discussion, a serious business transaction is sealed up in writing in English. In education, English is introduced as a subject from the first year in primary schools and used as a medium and subject of instruction from the third year through secondary and tertiary education. In recent years, oral English has become an integral part of senior secondary syllabus and examination in English language, Ufomata (2014). The official attitude of the regional examining body the (West African Examinations Council), which conducts these examinations, is that test of continuous writing, comprehension and objective test of lexis and structure should be assessed based on the mastery of standard of English language as currently used by educated African writers and speakers of English in the commonwealth.
Ufomata (2014) is of the view that as far as oral English language is concerned, no explicit policy statements have been issued. She goes further to argue that the mode of testing is still evolving, constituting additional burdens on schools since they are ill prepared for teaching the subject. She wrote that students generally are required to perceive and produce vowel/consonant contrasts and to recognize attitudinal functions of intonation. Ufomata observed that it is not clearly stated which accent is being tested. She wrote that the entire oral English examination has been known to be concludes in objective tests, with no perception on performance tests given. The author concludes that what seems to be the case is that whereas the educational authorities realize the importance of teaching English language (Oral English), in schools, they find themselves unable and or unwilling to provide the necessary funds and support for the effective teaching and testing of the subject. Ufomata stated that the results of a pilot study they conducted show that oral English is not taught in most public schools in Nigeria, and where it is taught at all, it is done inadequately and ineffectively. The importance of English is very much noticed in the field of education in Nigeria. English language is the tool for the effective teaching and learning of other school subjects. A credit level pass in English language in the senior secondary certificate examination or its equivalent is an essential requirement for admission into any higher institution of learning in Nigeria, no matter the course of study. As a result of the important role of the English language in the Nigerian educational system, the Federal Government, through her National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) made English language a compulsory subject in her school system from the primary, secondary to the tertiary levels. Tiffen (2009) accurately captures all the pervading roles of English in Nigeria when he asserts that:
English can now be regarded as one of the major African languages, so widespread is its use and, so essential as a tool in everyday life. In many countries, it is the official language, the national language of administration, law, the national press, commerce and political unity, (p.56).
It is true that English still occupies a pride of place in our national life. The language still serves as the language of communication and interaction amongst the different ethnic groups in Nigeria whose languages are usually unintelligible. In spite of all the efforts to make Nigerians learn any one of the three dominant languages - Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba as the national language, the English language has remained the common tongue of all tribes and the language of unity of the nation as a sovereign entity.
The need to have a single language as a means of communication in order to cement the relationship among people has always spurred the government to promote and vigorously campaign for the idea of every Nigerian mastering one of the three major ethic languages. This can be seen from the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004: 9) document which states that,
In addition to appreciating the importance of language in the educational process, and as a means of preserving the people’s culture, Government considers it to be in the interest of national unity that each child should be encouraged to learn one of the three major languages.
Since this goal has not been fully attained, the desire of the Federal Government of Nigeria has centered on what to do to enable students attain some level of proficiency in English language and to also enable them to fully participate in the educational, social, economic, and political aspects of the Nigerian society which appear to be substantially driven by the English language.
Oluikpe (1979) in Otagburaugu (1996) cites the Daily Times editorial lamentation about the poor performance of students in English language. In his words: “This June all the Universities will produce as usual, thousands of graduates who assume that the nation is theirs merely by the fact of obtaining University education.”
University lecturers all over the country have had a litany of complaints, namely, the poor quality of the writing of their graduates. It seems insufferable that the nation should tolerate people who not only cannot write well but also are not humble enough to want to learn …One University is even suggesting remedial courses in English and writing for graduates. The same cry and complaint has continued nearly thirty six years after the Daily Times expressed this dismay on the poor English language performance of Nigerian students. Recently, the World Bank published a similar view: The recent study conducted by the World Bank (The Guardian 19, Feb, 2001) indicates an abysmally low level performance in English of Nigerian graduates. One of the two major areas where this extremely low level of performance is glaring is in the graduate’s poor mastery of the English language. The Guardian newspaper quotes the world Banks’ critical Report thus.
The shortcomings are particularly severe in oral and written communication … Most employers of fresh graduates observed that the quality of University graduates has worsened … Poor abilities in oral and written expressions of English were mentioned almost like chorus inadequate preparation in the English language was especially noted by Newspapers… where regular reporting and writing is required. As a illustration of the depth of poor English proficiency, one Banker told us that he cannot get five correct drafted sentences in one paragraph from recent University graduates … Some graduates who were recruited as senior managers cannot write a memo of three paragraphs …(1-2).
In spite of the pervasive role of the English language in Nigeria, it appears that the schools have been doing less than a good job in imparting the knowledge of the subject to the students. Teachers, educators, examiners, and even parents have often decried the mass failure of candidates in the English language examination in the SSCE and other similar examination bodies. Many teachers have no training in the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Nigeria. How well English language is in taught senior secondary schools in Nigeria is determined by a number of variables among which are: the personality of the teacher; the teaching experience; the method of teaching employed by the teacher; the teaching resources available to the instructor and his/her qualifications. The availability or lack of the above mentioned variables will go a long way in determining the student’s perception of the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools. This necessitates the introduction of language education.
Language education impacts the practical learning skills: listening; speaking, reading and writing to enable the students use the language effectively, competently and intelligently. According to Maurine (2008), the goals of language teaching are to improve the knowledge of language learners so that they can function better in their studies, in their work, and in their interaction with people from other cultures.
To re-engineer English language teaching and learning in order to make the products of Nigerian educational institutions contribute to sustainable development, the teacher will take into cognizance the important role the English language plays in the life of Nigerian users and tailor instructions to meet these goals. The target would be to make the learners master all aspects of the English sound system (phonology), its grammar and lexis the writing system, and the semantics for effective communication in that medium.
English language teaching and learning as a second language in Nigeria’s educational system is in the hands of English language teachers. The objective of second language teaching, according to Tiffen (2009: 14) is to make learners have a complete grasp of the subject matter of the language. He goes further to state that:
English language teaching in Africa is not simply a question of refining a language already known or of acquiring a certain amount of the language for cultural or limited purposes. It is a question of ensuring that pupils have a complete mastery of the language, and ability to use it, which is almost second nature.
Second nature in this context implies that pupils will be so familiar with the English language that they can speak it easily without the need to think very much about it. In other words, speaking English language will become part of them. Obi (1996: 5-6) is of the view that English language is indeed a tool for shaping a better Nigeria when he opines that:
The study of English language should be made effective in Nigeria educational system because it will aid in the achievement of high level scientific, political, socio - economic and technological developments, which are the hallmarks of social change and national development.
These assertions are true because an effective and well defined course of instruction in English language enables the learner to have a better grasp of the English language as a subject, as well as other subjects in the school curriculum, since English is normally the medium of instruction for other subjects in the curricula in Nigerian Schools. Banjo (2009:4), firmly subscribes to this viewpoint of a functional language education influence on other school subjects. According to him, “other school subjects have to be taught and learnt in the medium of English. Thus, success at each level of the educational system depends largely on competence in English.” What this means is that to be regarded as an educated Nigerian, some level of proficiency in English language is required. English language is a second language in Nigeria not because it is the second language, the average Nigerian child acquires or learns after his/her mother tongue, but it is so because of the various roles it plays in other subjects taught in the schools. There is the need for the learners to acquire a form of the language generally accepted as the standard form, if such learners are to function effectively in the present day world.
Researchers such as Oyetunde, and Mowudumogu (2007) have further shown that there is a close relationship between English language competence and educational attainment. One of the basic challenges that is facing education in Nigeria is that of helping learners to acquire proficiency in English. Oyetunde and Muwudumogu (2007) further posit that the decline in educational standards in Nigeria has to do with the quality of English teaching and learning in Nigerian schools. Also, Majasan (2008) asserts that the success of any student in school lies heavily on his mastery of English because educational failure is basically a linguistic failure. This is because communication is at the center of the entire process of teaching and learning. Since language is the ultimate vehicle of communication, educational failure is therefore seen as linguistic failure.
In Nigerian secondary schools, there has been mass failure of students in English language examinations conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) (2009). WAEC Chief Examiner’s Reports, particularly, in Gombe State show that the situation seems glaringly very poor. For instance, the analysis of SSCE English examination results from 2006 to 2011 showed a continuous trend of dwindling poor performance of students for the period. The growing concern on the poor performance and the WAEC Chief Examiner’s Report further explain that the situation is deteriorating.
Since the goals of nation building is to produce students who pass their examinations in order to contribute their quota towards the business of building the nation, the status of teaching and learning an important subject such as the English language in secondary schools should be given priority attention. It therefore, becomes necessary that the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Gombe State should be evaluated. Evaluation can help to reveal the critical elements in the quality of teaching of the language in the selected area. Majasan (2008:256) also sees evaluation as an educational strategy that helps to determine the quality or performance of a group or a system.
Evaluation is a systematic determination of a subject's merit, worth and significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards. It can assist an organization to assess any aim, realizable concept/proposal, or any alternative, to help in decision-making; or to ascertain the degree of achievement or value in regard to the aim and objectives and results of any such action that has been completed, (Staff, 2012). The primary purpose of evaluation, in addition to gaining insight into prior or existing initiatives, is to enable reflection and assist in the identification of future change (Simon, 2009). Evaluation is often used to characterize and appraise subjects of interest in a wide range of human enterprises, including the arts, criminal justice, foundations, non-profit organizations, government, health care, and other human services. Different strategies and or models are applied in evaluation.
In the context of evaluating the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Gombe State, a good starting point is the evaluation model devised by Phi Delta Kappa Committee on Evaluation in 1971. This approach, known as the Context, Input, Process, and Product (CIPP) Evaluation Model, has been used in a number of different ways by various organizations either in an adapted or original form. CIPP is an acronym for the four types of phenomena that are typically evaluated by users of this evaluation model: context, input, process, and product. Each type of the phenomena according to Stufflebeam (1991) involves a different set of decisions that are made in the planning and operation of evaluation.
These evaluation models can be applied in the evaluation of the teaching of English language in secondary schools in Gombe State. The purpose of teaching lies in getting students to truly understand the concepts being examined, (Ominde, 2006). A teacher must know what to teach in her classroom. It is vital that a teacher most have a solid understanding of the subject matter being taught. A good teacher cannot rely solely on textbooks, but rather must seek out other sources of information to aid in her teaching. A teacher needs to be aware of how to effectively teach her course content. Some important demographic characteristics of teachers should be considered before giving them the job of teaching the English language in secondary schools. Such vital demographic features include: teaching qualification, area of specialization, and teaching experience of the teachers.
Teachers’ educational qualification should serve as a yard stick in appointing them in any of the secondary schools in Gombe State. Educational qualification is simply the level of education attained by an individual in an academic institution. Examples of educational qualification include: NCE, B.ED, M.ED, and PhD among others. Area of specialization is vital in the appointment of an English language teacher. Area of specialization is the act of specializing, or pursuing a particular line of study or work; a particular area of knowledge or the process of becoming an expert in a particular area (Simon, 2009). It is the act or process of focusing upon one particular area of activity or field of research. Teachers who specialize in English language studies tend to perform better than their counterparts in other areas of specialization when they are given the job of teaching the English language as a subject in secondary schools. Omotola (2009) suggested that teachers should be appointed to teach in the area of their specializations in order to bring out the best in them. Teaching experience is another demographic factor to be considered before appointing teachers to teach in secondary schools in Gombe State. Teaching experience is an active involvement in teaching or exposure to teaching activities over a period of time which leads to an increase in knowledge or skill in teaching vocation (Oyedeji, 2009). It can be said to be a knowledge or skill gained through being involved in, or exposed to teaching career over a period of time. The experienced teachers give the schools stability and serve as mentors to the new teachers. The new teachers bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Experience is certainly important but Ndubuisi (2003) asserted that the benefits of experience become evident after just a few years of teaching and seem to be at the to peak at four or five years.
Teaching method is another aspect that needs to be evaluated in English language. Abdu (2006) is of the view that teaching methods such as the audio-lingual method, the communicative method, the cognitive method, and the story telling method should be incorporated in teaching English language. Apart from teaching methods, instructional materials seem to make a monumental impact on the teaching of the English language in secondary schools. Instructional materials are educational resources used to improve students’ knowledge, abilities, and skills, to monitor their assimilation of information, and to contribute to their overall development and upbringing, (Mambula, 2005). Instructional materials can be used to aid in the transference of knowledge of the English language from an English language teacher to her students in the classroom. Instructional materials suitable for teaching the English language in secondary schools include charts, flash cards, television sets, radio cassettes, tape recorders, pictures, documentary films, tapes, film projectors, smart board, video recorder, computers, language laboratory, flannel board, textbooks, and blackboards, among others. Instructional materials need to be utilized in other to get the best out of the students in the English language classroom.
The utilization of instructional materials is a practical or ineffective way for teaching the English language in secondary schools by English language teachers. It is not enough to simply provide instructional materials such as textbooks, pictures, documentary films, tapes, film projectors, smart board, video recorder, computers among others. Some efforts must be made to ensure that they are adequately used. In addition to utilization of instructional materials, adequacy of the classroom environment seems to be another important determining factor for the successful teaching of the English language in secondary schools. Adequacy of classroom environment is the sufficiency in the quality of the instructional materials for language teaching and learning in the classroom environment which makes it suitable for teaching and learning. According to Manu (2007) the classroom is the most important area of a school because it is where students and teachers spend most of their time and where the learning process takes place. Adequate classroom environment should be established in the teaching of the English language in secondary schools.
As far as teaching is concerned as a profession, the issue of “gender” is very crucial because a teacher could either be a male or female. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women (Fanaz, 2007:23). To put it in another way: "Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories. Gender is a range of physical, mental, and behavioral characteristics distinguishing between masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, the term may refer to biological sex i.e. the state of being male or female. Some times may be identified along gender categories or gender identity. (Fanaz, 2007:34).
Odejide(2009:8), is of the view that, “ …Women (females) have a better charisma as far as teaching is concerned.” On the other hand scholars such as Obioma (2005:24) assert that men have innate attributes for proficient teaching and therefore should be considered a better gender for teaching than females Another set of criticize refuted their idea and came up with an assertion that men (male) have teaching proficiency in them naturally and therefore should be considered a better gender for teaching profession than women. (Obioma, 2005:24), totally disagree with that proposition and opined that, “Everyone is capable of teaching; both men and women (male and female) provided they are qualified and have acquired teaching experience”. Since the goals of nation building is to produce students who pass their examination in order to contribute their quota towards the business of building the nation, the status of teaching and learning an important subject such as the English language in secondary schools should be given priority attention. It therefore, becomes necessary that the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Gombe State should be evaluated. Evaluation can help to reveal the critical elements in the quality of teaching of the language in the selected area.
Statement of the Problem
Evidence abounds of the low performance of Senior Secondary students in English language in Gombe State. The 2006-2011 report of the Chief examiner, West African Examinations Council reveals that candidates’ performance in the examinations between those periods was always poor. The report clearly shows that there was no improvement in the performance of candidates who sat for English language in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in some states of the country including Gombe State. The report further indicates that students, who registered for English language, judging by their performance, were not well prepared for the examinations. Their performance fell below standard. These failures, according to the report, were more pronounced among candidates in Gombe State. Therefore, the inclusion of Gombe State in the list of states with candidates whose performances were woeful in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, (SSCE) by West African Examinations Council’s Report, paints a clear picture of lack of adequate knowledge of the language among Senior Secondary School students in Gombe State. Perhaps, myriads of factors may have combined to account for this ugly state of affairs, which possibly could include motivational and curricula issues, among others as they relate to the teachers in the study area. Again, it is not certain whether the teachers employ proper methods in the teaching of the English language in Senior Secondary Schools in the State. Modern approaches for the improvement of the teaching of English language as a second language call for language audit or systematic evaluation of the teacher factor and the learning environment as major variables in the language teaching process. To maintain the quality of education, the Federal Ministry of Education (FRN:2008) has suggested that program evaluation should be conducted at least once in five years. The essence of this evaluation is to look at the demographic characteristics of English language teachers, the quality of English language teachers, the methods of English language teaching, the use of instructional materials and the adequacy of the classroom environment for the teaching of the English language. At the moment, no study known to the present researcher has shown the status of teachers of English and the state of English language teaching in terms of the prevailing teacher- classroom practices, learning environment, etc in the Senior Secondary Schools in Gombe State. This study has therefore positioned itself to evaluate the teaching of English language in Senior Secondary Schools in Gombe State in order to fill a knowledge gap in ELT pedagogy in the State.
Purpose of the study
The general purpose of the study is to evaluate the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Gombe State. Specifically, the study sought to:
1. Find out the demographic characteristics of English language teachers (qualification, teaching experience, and area of specialization) in the senior secondary schools in Gombe State.
2. Determine the methods used by the teachers in teaching the English language in the senior secondary schools in Gombe State.
3. Ascertain the instructional materials available for teaching English language in the secondary schools in Gombe State.
4. Ascertain the extent of the utilization of the available instructional materials in teaching the English language in Gombe State.
5. Find out the adequacy of classroom environment for the teaching of the English language in the senior secondary schools in Gombe State.
6 Ascertain the significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female teachers on the extent of utilization of the available instructional materials in teaching English language in Gombe State.
7. Know the significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female teachers on the adequacy of classroom environment for the teaching of English language in Senior Secondary Schools in Gombe State.
Significance of the study
This study is significant in both theoretical and practical perspectives. Theoretically, the study will help in judging the worth, usefulness, effectiveness or value of educational programme, curriculum development and students performance in Gombe state. The study will equally ensure that educational personnel, especially those teaching English language, are well trained and are carrying out the functions that they are best suited to carry. Programme improvement is the most important function or purpose of programme evaluation. Vast sums of money are being spent by government on education. This money should produce good educational programme (Okoro,1999: 8) Therefore, the study will guide government on how to produce good educational programme for students; programmes that would serve the needs of the country and bring about whatever changes are expected in overall life of the students. The study will aid the planning of a new English language teaching and learning programmes and in making decision as to whether to expand, modify or discontinue with existing method of teaching English language in schools in Gombe state. In decision making, the study will be necessary. Decision must be made with regard to all aspects of education at all stages in provision of education. While decisions according to Okoro (1991:9) can be made without reliable data, it is necessary for the effective operation of educational institutions that decisions can be made on the basis of authentic data collected as a result of evaluation process. This study will serve as a basis on which best decision on teaching and learning of English language in Gombe state can be taken. Finally, this study will theoretically help government in choosing between alternative lines of action and in doing so they will do so on the basis of an evaluation of the information provided in this research.
Practically, the findings of the study will be significant to policy makers, school administrators, English language teachers, students and general public, other subject teachers, future researchers and the Gombe State Government.
This empirical information, when provided to such major stakeholders as Ministries of Education, Education Boards etc, will be useful to the commissions at national, state and local levels, especially when updating general educational document that touches on different levels of education right from primary to tertiary institutions. Instructors and educationists can benefit by the effort made in this work. One way of making this a reality is by government organizing seminars, workshops and conferences for teachers of English language basing such conferences and workshops on the findings of this research. The qualification of teaching personnel is an important issue in achieving the needed success in the teaching of English language. This research work, having been made a basis for improving the quality of teachers of English language, can be of immense value in selection of personnel for the programme.
Also, the study generated data on the course content of the English language, methods of teaching, teaching experience, and availability of instructional materials and how the variables are used for the teaching of English language. This information revealed the amount of instructional facilities available and how these facilities can be used for the teaching of English language.
Policy makers will benefit from the findings of the study in the following ways: It will guide them on how to formulate concrete educational policies to fill the gap occasioned by the inadequacies of English language teachers, teaching materials, and physical facilities necessary to teach English language in schools. This way the teaching of the subjects in the state will be enhanced. The finding could also help the policy makers in making necessary adjustments and provision about the programme to ensure its effective implementation and consequently, attainment of goals. It could also provide information for better planning and rational decision-making.
The school administrators will also benefit from the findings of the study as it will showcase the situations of available infrastructural and human resources and the extent of their utilization in teaching English language. This will also guide school administrators to produce the needed resources to enhance English language teaching in Gombe state senior secondary schools, as what the senior secondary schools in the state are lacking in terms of teaching and learning of English language will now be obvious.
English language teachers will also benefit from the findings of the study by improving on their method of teaching English language, as the study will present areas of weaknesses and strengths of teaching of English language in schools. By so doing the standard of education will be raised.
Utility values of English language to students and the general public needs not be over emphasized. Every citizen of Nigeria needs to be proficient in the use of the language for effective communication within and outside Nigeria. Mastery of English language is mastery of every other sector of the socioeconomic formation. This is because almost all the courses in Nigerian tertiary institutions are taught in English language. The students will also benefit from the findings of this study. If students at the Senior Secondary School level have a good command of English language, it will help them to excel at the tertiary level in their chosen course of study. Moreover, Senior Secondary schools and Universities produce students who will eventual fit in, in every sector of the economy. Other subject teachers can also find the results of the study useful and thus, apply the recommendations in teaching related subjects. It will help teachers of other subjects in communicating skill. Teachers will also be guided by the findings of the study on their roles and choices of instructional technique(s), which will best assist in the achievement of educational goals. The obvious implication is that our educational system and society will benefit from well-trained students in our schools, as there is direct relationship between the quality of teachers and students achievement.
The research finding of the study will be important reference materials for future researchers in a similar field of study who will also find the results of this study very interesting and useful. The study will provide data on some aspects of English language teaching as well as problems that hinder efficient implementation of the English language curriculum at the secondary schools. The data will guide future researchers in evaluating other subjects or the same subject at different levels and locations.
Very importantly, government will realize that they have a major role to play in the inspectoral service. The government will not expect school inspectors to perform miracles when they are not provided with facilities and equipment, finance and personnel with which to carry out their duties. It will also be of immense value to government who must make time to visit schools regularly to watch teachers teach and the students. They should encourage harmony among staff and treat staff problems promptly. Also, government will be in a better position to have access to data useful for being aware of the lapses including how to maximize their use.
Finally, the data generated in this study will serve as reference materials and basis for further studies in the English language.
The study was guided by the following research questions:
1. What are the demographic characteristics (qualification, teaching experience and area of specialization) of the English language teachers in the secondary schools in Gombe state?
2. What methods are used by the English language teachers in Gombe State secondary schools for the teaching English language?
3. What are the instructional materials available for the teaching of the English language in the secondary schools in the state?
4. To what extent are the available instructional materials utilized for the teaching English language in the Gombe state?
5. How adequate are the classroom physical facilities for the teaching of English language in the secondary schools in the Gombe state?
The following null hypotheses were formulated for the study and were tested at 2.50 limit. 0.05 level of significance.
1 There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female teachers on the extent of utilization of the available instructional materials in teaching English language in Gombe State.
2 There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female teachers on the adequacy of classroom environment for the teaching of English language in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.
Scope of the study
Stuffllebeam, (1977) stressed that there are four constructs that need to be looked into the evaluation of an education.