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EXTENT OF AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING (CALL) BY ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NSUKKA EDUCATION ZONE



CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 Background of the Study

             English language has become one of the most important Languages in the world. It is widely used in all areas of human endeavour, nationally and internationally. The global use of English Language is found in television programmes and in the internet. There are more websites made in English than in other language. Realizing the importance of English, many people have taken it as a second Language. Since English speaking countries are very important part of global economy and its advancement, other political and country leaders must either learn English or find someone who understands English to interpret for them. Therefore, politics is one arena where English is important. The English Language according to Obanya, (1982) fills a huge communication gap. It helps to facilitate contact between Nigerians of diverse Language groups. The English language is the first Language on the school curriculum; hence it is regarded as a core subject. A credit in the English Language is considered compulsory for the award of many of the country’s certificates. According to Ahmed (1999) the English Language is an indispensable Language of communication in Nigeria at both personal, national and international levels.

However, the teaching of English Language is associated with a lot of problems.

It takes a long time to learn a new grammar system and thousands of new words. It also   takes a lot of practice to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in a new Language. English Language is taught everyday in schools time table and students’ performances at the examinations are still not satisfactory, Ahmed (1999).

The National Policy on Education (NPE) (2004), in Nigeria emphasizes that children should be properly taught. The policy is also of the opinion that teaching and learning in Nigeria should lead to students’ acquisition of skills and competencies geared towards solving their problems and that of the society.

The situation of general poor performance in English Language spreads through all levels of Nigeria’s educational ladder including primary, secondary and post-primary institutions (Keston 1999). In the view of Osunde and Ogiegbaen in the West African Examination Council Chief Examiner’s Report (2005), student’s poor performance in English Language is a long standing one. Annual reports from the West African Examination Councils (WAEC) (2005) reveal woeful performances from students who have made enrolment for the English Language examination a yearly ritual. It is worrisome to note that the performance of these students have continued to deteriorate year after year in English Language despite all stake holder’s effort. The West African Examination Councils (WAEC) reports reveal that most candidates who take the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE)  lack  foundation in English grammar and usage. This implies that they are not well taught by their teachers.

The situation is pathetic, as a lot of factors may be responsible for the poor performance in the English Language examinations. One of these factors is the traditional content /knowledge oriented curriculum, which is still very much practised today. Teachers seem to have clung fast to the old fashioned ways and have refused to embrace the new trend of the total curriculum experience of the modern teacher. A modern teacher is a teacher who has seen the need to incorporate computer  assisted  language learning material  in teaching and learning process. Onwuka, (1988) had criticizes the content /knowledge –oriented curriculum like the one practiced by the teachers of the English Language. Such curriculum does not go beyond merely imparting knowledge to the students. Teachers have to go by the new technology, that is the use of computer in teaching and learning for a better performance.

A computer is an electronic device that accepts and stores input data and process the data and produces outputs as a result of step by step set instructions. Woherem,(2004) asserts that computers are marked by accuracy of results, speed in operation and versatility in operations; it has found application in all areas of life. However, the slow pace of both computer acquisition and literacy is having profound negative effect in secondary schools and other organizations. According to Anigbogu (2002), the word computer is a house hold name in modern technology in the developed countries in the world, but in Nigeria, the technology is still sounding strange to many people. According to Mccormick (1993) computers can be used   to diversify, develop and improve the pedagogical relation of teaching and learning. The computer is a technological innovation under the control of stored programme that can perform some of the intellectual role of man even beyond man capability, (Bada et al 2009). Reith (1993) defines computer as an electronic device which stores information on disc or magnetic tape;  analyses it and produces information as required from the data  on the tape. Adekomi (2001) defines computer as a combination of related devices capable of solving problems by accepting data, performing described   operations on a data, and supplying the results of these operations.

Computers, irrespective of type and size have five basic parts namely, input unit, memory units, Control Units (CU) Arithmetic and Logic Units (ALU)   and output units. Both ALU and CU are joined into one piece of hardware known as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) which is the brain of the computer. According to Adekomi (2001), the primary functions of computers are inputting and storing information, processing information and outputting information. Innovations appearing today indicate that the world is dependent on computer technology (Ajibade, 2006) computer is a great learning tool for both young and old. According to Baugher (1999). In Language, a computer can present words to be spelt, sound to be made, instructions to be followed.  

Computer can be used to evaluate students’ performance and direct students backward, forward, and sideways for appropriate learning activities, (Bada, 2009). Other potentials of computer in instruction identified by Abimbade (1997) are as follow:

·         Computer helps students to learn at their own pace.

·         It produces significant time saving over conventional classroom instruction.

·         It allows  student’s control over the rate and sequence of their learning.

·         It gives appropriate feedback.

·         It promotes individualized instructions.

·         It provides a more positive affective climate especially for slower learners.

·         It provides appropriate record-keeping and thereby monitors student’s progress.

·         It gives more information to teachers.

·         It motivates students.

The success of the integration of computer into the teaching and learning of English Language depends mostly   on the level of awareness by the teachers and the actual utilization of computer in the classroom. The use of computer in teaching and learning is important. Therefore, the awareness and usage of computer by teachers of English Language right from secondary school become necessary, (Fakeye 2010).

Most researches by experts reveal lack of computers for use in schools. English Language being a  core subject, will need adequate availability of computers for all teachers and students, hence the awareness of computer usage to teachers and its availability is very important. Several strategies have been proposed and adopted over the years which have helped in one way or the other but have not led to improved performances of students  in English Language. (Fakeye, 2010) went further to report that the availability of computer and its connectivity to the internet tend to non-existence in virtually all the schools. The level of use of computer for teaching depends on the availability of computer. Anigbogu (2003 opines that not being aware of what  computer can do limits teacher’s ability to desire the use of computers even when they have serious problems beyond the competence of conventional technologies. Bluhim (1987) opines that educational administrators were scarcely aware of  the use of the technology as a tool for decision-making. Training is needed if the potential impact of ICT in educational organizations is to be realized.

Therefore, the benefits of computer can only be enjoyed by a computer literate population, that is, teachers, students and the public. In a bid to achieve this, the federal government made computer education one of the subjects to be offered in both junior and senior secondary schools (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1998). Moreover, in May 2000, the minister of science and technology introduced Fit it -yourself (FIY) computer assembly kits to be used in both secondary schools and tertiary institutions (Ayeoyenikan, 2000). Since its introduction,  there have been relatively few  studies  on the level of teacher awareness and extent of utilization of  teachers and computer use.

Computer awareness refers to the ways in which computers may have an impact on education. Computer awareness programmes familiarizes the students/ teachers with computer technology and the basic principles on which computer works including some elementary basic programming (Yusuf, 1998a).

There is need to examine teachers’ awareness of the extent of utilization of computer such as in instructional delivery process (e.g the use of computer –assistant language learning).  In modernized world, almost every aspect of people’s life is affected in some ways by computer. The development of Information Technology (IT) has spread through the application of computers in learning process, which is generally known as Computer Assisted Learning   (CAL). A computer is used for the sake of facilitating people in learning, such as learning language. Computer is only a tool and a medium. Hence, its ability to perform is dependent on the users. In this case, the computer is an intermediary, it is merely a part of the entire learning process, (Hartoyo, 2008). Presently, many articles have been written about the role of computer in English  learning. Yet not many schools make use of computers for some reasons, it is obvious that Nigeria / Nsukka Education Zone have entered a new information age and there should be a link between computer and English  language learning.

Computer – Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is an approach to   Language teaching and learning in which computer technology is used as an aid for presentation, reinforcement and assessment of material to be learned, usually including substantial interactive elements.

Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) studies the role and the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in second language learning and teaching. Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) programme presents a stimulus to which the learner must respond. The stimulus may be presented in any combination of text, still lineages, sound and motion video. The learner responds by   typing at the keyboard, pointing and clicking with the mouse, or speaking into a microphone. The computer offers a feedback, indicating whether the learner’s response is right or wrong, and in the more sophisticated call programme, attempting to analyze the learner’s response and to pinpoint  errors.

There is no objection that computer Assisted Language Learning   (CALL) has come of age because computers have been a feature of teaching and learning of English Language as a second Language (ESL) since the 1960’s in a higher education and since the early 1980’s in secondary education. The rapid growth in the use of ICT in ESL in the 1980s led to the foundation of the two leading professional associations; CALICO (USA) in 1982 and EUROCALL (Europe) in 1986, both of which continue to thrive and now forms part of the world CALL umbrella association. Early CALL favoured an approach that drew heavily on practices associated with programmed instruction. This was reflected in the term computer Assisted language Instruction (CALI), which originated in the USA and was in common use until the early 1980s when CALL became the dominant term. Throughout the 1980s CALL widened its scope, embracing the communicative approach and a range of a new technologies, especially multimedia and communication technology. Source: htpp://wwwi.atefl/.org.p1/call/j soft27.htm. Retrieved January 10th, 2011). For many years, foreign language teachers have used the computer to provide supplementary exercise. In recent years, advances in computer technology have motivated teachers to reassess the computer and consider it a valuable part of daily foreign language learning. Interactivity is a crucial strength of the new technology. The computer is interactive by virtue of the fact that the user can gain control over learning and therefore becomes an active participant in learning process. Interactivity also allows the instant feedback from the computer. The interactivity of computer makes it especially suited for implementing learner- centred teaching method. Warschauer (1998) asserts that computer makes any information needed widely and easily available irrespective of distance, computer is indeed a motivator to teaching and learning. However, this current study is interested in finding out the extent of availability and utilization of computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) by English teachers in secondary  schools in Nsukka Education Zone.

The use of computer is predicted to the motive intentions to use them. These motive intentions will be influence by the beliefs of the users about the usefulness and ease of use. (Ajzen, 1988). According to (Davis, 1989) asserts that teachers behaviour use or reject computer is determined by his intention to perform such behaviour i.e negative or positive subjective norms. This implies perceived social pressures from parents, educational reforms, and students. The presence of motivated teachers having a positive attitude towards the consequences or outcomes of computer use, results in a higher rate of usage.

To improve professionally does not only motivate but helps teachers to keep up to date  with new and effective   practice in teaching and learning process. Spark (1990) is of the opinion that the conventional teaching techniques often conflict with the new instructional strategies introduced in   any educational system. Ajzen (1988) opines that those with positive attitude towards the use of computer in education behave differently from colleagues with a less positive attitude. The information   age is advancing rapidly and teachers will have to prepare and equip themselves with relevant knowledge and skills in the information technology related area i.e the use of computer in the teaching and learning of the English  language.

However, there are teachers who are still using the traditional method of teaching which is basically teacher centered. Students are passive listeners while the teachers actively do the talking alone in traditional method. The learners are undoubtedly cheated because they are expected to be involved in the teaching and learning process which is lacking in the traditional teaching method.  

The student, who actually wants to learn English language, needs to take charge of his/her own language learning instead of just passively listening to the teacher. The student must be able to carry out a plan for developing the language skills whether the teacher is there or not. This can be done more effectively through the   use of computer which assists learning with ease. In the digital era, the development in   various aspects of computer technology has gone beyond imagination and expectation. Computer has a lot of application in the field of education; it is useful in the teaching and learning processes. Computer literacy is very much needed for teachers as well as learners. Computer improves both teaching and  students’ valuable connections with teachers, other schools and a wide network  of professionals around the  globe . Creating computer awareness for teachers is essential. The availability and utilization of computers in schools is another important factor to consider if there must be any  meaningful benefit in the use of computer to teach.

Gender influence is also of importance in research on computer assisted language learning (CALL). This is because gender differences, with lower female participation, are widely documented for both science and technology and computer assisted language learning (Markert, nd., Haynie 1999, Davis, Ng., Nyhus, & Sullivan, nd, Rajagopal, 2003) in Mudasiru (2005). Computers are usually linked with English and thus vast majority of teachers using computer are likely to be male teachers. Teachers of other subjects who use the computer as a learning tool are more likely to be men than women (Culley, 1988). Even as early as age six or seven boys are likely to dominate over girls when mixed sexes are working on computer, (Mudasiru, 2005). This is also reflected in secondary schools and on computer degree courses (Kikpatrick & Cuban, 1998, Siann & Durndell,1988).

The study is therefore designed to find out the extent of availability and utilization of computer assisted language learning (CALL) by English language teachers in secondary schools in Nsukka  Education Zone.

Statement of the Problem     

 In this contemporary age where the society has gone digital and computerized, it is surprising that teachers still use the traditional method of teaching the English language in most secondary schools. This method is the type that the teacher actively do the talking alone with the chalkboard and the students passively listen whether learning is talking place or not. There has been consistent decline in students’ performance in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and West African Examination Councils (WAEC) probably because of the methods teachers use in the teaching of the English language.

In this information age, computer has made a triumphant entry into education in the past decade, it has brought significant benefits to teachers and students alike. The search for an appropriate teaching of the English language has been on for many years and computer has been proven very useful in this regard.

The use of computer for better teaching remains impeccable. The English language teachers are teaching everyday as stipulated on the school time- table. At –times students are being engaged in Extra –Mural Classes, yet the performance of students in the English language remains poor. The situation in Nsukka which is a university town seems the same. There has been a world –wide demand for a re-orientation of teaching and learning towards greater use of ICT facilities. The successes of such demand, however, depends largely on the level of awareness of computer use by  English language teachers, computer availability and  its actual use in classroom  instructions.

The problem of this study, therefore, is to find out how the inclusion of computer assisted language learning materials could influence positively the teaching and learning of English language in secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone.   

Purpose of the study           

The purpose of this study is to find out the extent of availability and utilization of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) by English language teachers in Nsukka Education Zone. The study specifically seeks to examine teacher’s awareness of the use of computer   in teaching   the English language, the availability of computer for use in teaching the English language, availability of teachers who are computer literate, teachers’ competence in computer software.

Significance of the study

The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized as many researchers in the fields have made useful observations towards its impacts on the fields of education and other human endeavour. Hung, (2007) asserts that the use of computer has improved students’ writing skills, Shams (2006) examined the use of computerized pronunciation practice  as a tool in the reduction of foreign   language anxiety. The result showed that the students who practised with computer did experience significant improvement in the quality of their pronunciation. The diffusion and use of computer in education is very important because it will lead to  improvement  in teaching and  learning process. In developing nations, ICTs have brought a   technological reduction whose utilizations and production have been somewhat  limited but  whose  potentials diffusion  hold a great promise in accelerating the performances of both the teachers and students in our educational system. The internet and the rise of computer –mediated communications in particular have reshaped the uses of computers for language learning. With CALL, teachers are not the source of information any more, but act as facilitators so that students can actively interpret and organize information they are given, fitting it into prior knowledge (Dole, et al 1991).

Besides the above theoretical significance of CALL provided by experts, there is practical significance that this study will proffer. The study seeks to spur the government to make effort in providing computers for use in schools for teaching and learning. The government will also see the need to training teachers to be computer literate.  Moreover, the outcome of this study will sensitize both teachers and students to make  use of computers for better academic performance. 

Scope of the study      

The study is concerned with the extent of availability and utilization of computer assisted language learning (CALL) by English language teachers. The study is limited in terms of geographical scope to state secondary schools in Nsukka Education zone. The content scope focuses on the extent of teachers awareness of use of computers in teaching the English language, the availability of computer for use, availability of teachers who are computer literate, teachers competence in computer software.

Research Questions

The following research questions directed this study

1.  What is the extent of awareness of teachers on the use of computer in teaching English as a second languages?

2.  To what extent are computers available for use in the teaching of the English language?

3.  To what extent are teachers who are computer literate available?

4.  How competent are English language teachers in computer software for teaching?

Hypotheses:

1.  There will be no significant  gender difference in the mean responses of teachers in their awareness of the use of computers in teaching the English language

2.  There will be no significant difference in the mean responses of teachers who use computer in teaching the English language and those who do not use computer on the level of computer literacy skills.  

 


EXTENT OF AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING (CALL) BY ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NSUKKA EDUCATION ZONE


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All Project Materials Inc. (2020). EXTENT OF AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING (CALL) BY ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NSUKKA EDUCATION ZONE. Available at: https://allprojectmaterials.com/department/paper-8828.html. [Accessed: ].

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