Gender Analysis Favours Women In Phonology, Semantics Of English Language – Survey | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Gender Analysis Favours Women In Phonology, Semantics Of English Language – Survey

Posted: Sep 7, 2016 at 11:41 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

To ascertain the proficiency of Nigerians on written and spoken English language in Nigeria based on gender, a survey has shown that females in their formative ages tend to be more language active in terms of communicating with the English language.

The polls’ results conducted by NOIPolls in partnership with Language and Skills Development Consulting Limited also revealed that women tend to understand the phonology and semantics of the English language better than men.

Respondents in the survey who were asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent) in the aspects of spoken and written English rated themselves 7.1 and 6.6 in the aspects of written and spoken expressions respectively.

Further analysis revealed that the female respondents rated themselves higher than the males at 7.3 compared to 6.9 in written expressions and 6.8 compared with 6.5 in spoken expression.

Furthermore the polls measured the opinion of Nigerians about the decline in the proficiency of written and spoken English language within the period of ten years in Nigeria with results revealing that 68 per cent said ‘Yes’ it has declined and this further supports a World Bank report, which revealed that Nigerian graduates have low performance in the area of mastery of the English Language and that the weaknesses were predominantly detected in oral and written communication.

“The respondents from the South East zone had the highest proportion (85 per cent) of Nigerians who believe that there is a decline in grammar.

In an assessment of a general decline in the spoken and written form of the language considered as the country’s lingua franca, the survey attributed the decline to the poor educational system particularly in education administration and the state of infrastructure in institutions over the last decade.

The polls’ also revealed that almost seven out of 10 Nigerians constituting about 68 per cent of the sampled populace traced the decline to other factors such as dearth of qualified English Language teachers, cultural and environmental influence, influence of mother tongue and the influence of Pidgin English.

Furthermore, the results also revealed that the reading culture in Nigeria is relatively poor, as only 4 per cent of Nigerians read a book or a piece of literary material daily.

Recommending that proficiency in English Language should be a prerequisite when recruiting candidates for a job in the country, the polls showed that only 65 per cent of Nigerian citizens understand or communicate effectively in English.

It added, “That their opinions were that this would help improve the quality of English Language in Nigeria by putting pressure on prospective candidates to learn the basics of the language.”

However, in support of poor attitude to learning, the results added that 89 per cent of Nigerians are willing to pay a fee to help improve their written and spoken English.

However to achieve a general improvement in spoken and written English Language, the results recommend that, “Only competent teachers should be employed to teach English Language’, ‘good reading culture across the Nigerian landscape should be promoted’,’ continuous training of English Language teachers’ and ‘Improvement  of the standard of education in public schools’ among other suggestions.

The results showed that the poor grammar rating is evidenced by the recent poor performance of Nigerian students in the study of English Language as published by the National Examinations Council (NEC) that Nigerian students performed poorly both in English Language and General Mathematics, but performed well in Islamic, Igbo and Arabic studies during the WAEC examinations.

On the contrary, 32 per cent that disagreed maintained that the quality of the spoken and written English language in Nigeria has remained intact over the last decade.

The largest number of respondents that differed about this decline is seen in the North West zone (44 percent).

“To gain more insights, those who claimed that there was deterioration in the proficiency of English language were further asked to mention factors responsible for the drop in its quality.

“The largest proportion, 23 percent, mentioned poor educational systems as one of the factors responsible citing that majority of schools, both elementary to tertiary, face the more urgent problem of basic infrastructure, lack of habitable classrooms and amenities students needed to study effectively.

According to the survey; “Another 21 per cent blamed the teachers for the woes saying it was due to lack of qualified teachers.

In order to study English language and master it, the survey suggested that the student must be assisted by the teacher to acquire skills in the language which are speaking, reading and writing.

Though the survey revealed that teachers are not as devoted and dedicated to the cause of education as their predecessors, it added that the variation in the academic attainments of students could be related directly to differences in the home and its influence while 11 per cent blamed it on cultural and environmental influence.

The influence of modern technology was also mentioned by 9 percent which could be further supported by the study conducted by the Pew Research Center which found out that most students now rely mainly on search engines for assignments.

In the area of a child’s educational experience that is centre around the home, 8 per cent said poor parental upbringing is responsible for the decline.

Other factors mentioned were Lack of interest to learn (7 percent), poverty (6 percent), laziness in learning (5 percent), among others.

Nigeria has up to 250 ethnic groups, and 521 recognised indigenous languages just as English Language was introduced in the early 19th century by the British colonial administration.

English Language, which has been rated as the world’s most popular language, is a foreign language that has played a major role as the language of political unity in the country for many decades.