THE EFFECTS OF MOTHER TONGUE INTERFERENCE IN THE STUDY OF CHEMISTRY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This study sought to find out the effects of mother tongue interference in the study of chemistry in secondary Schools. The study was carried out in Enugu North LGA. Simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used to sample 191 students and 8 teachers from selected schools in the area. he study used cross-sectional survey design. Questionnaires were used to collect data from students and teachers. Quantitative data was summarized using descriptive statistics and presented using tables and bar graphs while qualitative data was put under themes and presented in narratives. The study found out that use of mother tongue had a negative influence in learning chemistry in public secondary schools in Enugu North LGA. Among other recommendations, the study suggests that this research should be replicated in other states where students do not perform well in Chemistry to corroborate findings on how mother tongue influences learning chemistry.
1.1 Background of the Study
Chemistry as one of the branches of pure science, is most commonly regarded as the “ central science” or the mother of all science” (Ahiakwo 2000). Okeke and Ezekannagba (2000) defined chemistry as a branch of science that deals with composition, structure, properties and uses of matter. According to Ababio (2001) in his New school chemistry has contributed greatly towards providing our basic needs and improving the quality of our lives. As a matter of fact, many jobs opportunities are available for students with knowledge of chemist, such opportunities or careers are teaching services, food processes, petroleum and petrol-chemical industries, manufacturing industries, e.t.c. But all these job opportunities to the chemistry students depend on the student that perfumes creditably well.
Language is a creation which every human being is endowed with or blessed; a unique gift of language is used naturally as one tool of expression consisting of different sub skills.Mother tongue is one’s native language. A language besides being the major distinguishing phenomenon between man and other creatures is evidently the most enduring of every people’s cultural heritage. It reflects the culture of a people and it is in extricable bound up with it.Language is an important tool that enhances human communication and interaction. It is a vital instrument in cultural transmission and preservation of a social group. It is in a fundamental sense, a crucial tool in the preservation and propagation of the human species. An examination of the linguistic content of a particular speech community can provide information about the life style, occupation etc. of a given people. As a result, this paper intends to examine the effects of mother tongue interference in the study of chemistry in secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Before the advent of British traders, missionaries and colonialists, indigenous Nigerian language defined every aspect of the speech community from its religious, cultural, political, Economics, social to whatever else that can be through of the language functioned effectively to deal with every thing relating to the existence of the people. The arrival of the British, concomitant with the introduction of new sets of ideas, concepts and values. As a result, indigenous local language which had previously been self-sufficient, became inadequate to deal with the new concepts introduced by the British, particularly in the areas of formal education, Western law etc. the result was the initial subtle and later blatant intrusion & influence of Chemistry on domains that were the exclusive preserve of indigenous language.
1.3 Research Questions
What is the prevalence of the use of mother tongue in Enugu North LGA public Secondary Schools?
What is the perception of teachers and students on the influence of mother tongue on learning chemistry?
What are the measures taken to curb the use of mother tongue in schools?
1.4 Aims and Objectives
The general aim of this study is to examine the effects of mother tongue interference in the study of chemistry in secondary schools. The specific objectives include:
To determine the prevalence of the use of mother tongue in Enugu North LGA public Secondary Schools.
To determine the perception of teachers and students on the influence of mother tongue on learning chemistry.
What are the measures taken to curb the use of mother tongue in schools.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will help to expose the numerous factors that influence the interference of the study of Chemistry by the mother tongue or native languages. It will also identify the effects of this interference on other study area that are based on the use of the Chemistry as the basic communication. This study will also as additional literature for future studies.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research is the effect of mother tongue interference in study of Chemistry among secondary school students . This study covered students and teachers in Enugu North Local Government Area.
1.7 Organization Of the Study
The study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction of the study and it includes the background description, problem definition, objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope, limitations of the study and research methodology. Chapter two is the literature review of the study and the theoretical framework. This reviews relevant literatures of authors and other researchers relating to the research topic. Chapter three deals with the research methodology which looks at methods adopted in carrying out the study. Chapter four focuses on data presentation and analysis whiles chapter five presents a summary of the study, findings and conclusions drawn from the findings and recommendations of the study.
1.8 Definition of Terms
It is imperative to properly defined the terms that make the heading of the research topic under study. This will go along way at giving direction to the research work.
Mother Tongue: The native language one first learns to speak before other language. Mothertongue is a language which a person acquires in early years and which normally becomes their instrument of thought. In this paper, I am going to consider mother tongue as the language of the catchment area since in the context under study, the vernacular used is also the mother tongue.
Interference: In this context, interruption of a language by another especially in pronunciation and intonations.
Mother TongueInterference: The error native made by carrying over the speech habit of the native language or dialect into second language. The interference can be made noticed in features of pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary when a person is learning to master the pattern of second language.
Academic Achievement: This is regarded as the display of knowledge attained or skills, shown in the school subjects such achievements are indicated by test scores or by marks assigned by teachers. It is the school evaluation of students’ classroom work as quantified on the basis of marks or grades.
Teacher: An individual who teaches, instructs and facilitates the learning of students.
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