English Education Project Topics

The Effects of Mother Tongue Interference in the Study of English Language in Secondary Schools (Case Study of Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State)

The Effects of Mother Tongue Interference in the Study of English Language in Secondary Schools (Case Study of Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State)

The Effects of Mother Tongue Interference in the Study of English Language in Secondary Schools (Case Study of Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State)

Chapter One

Purpose of the Study:

  1. To find out the level at which mother tongue can interfere in the learning of English language in secondary school.
  2. To investigate the qualifications of English teachers in secondary school in Enugu North.
  3. To know how teachers makes use of correct methods in teaching of English language in secondary school in Enugu North.



The literature review in this study is organized as follows:-

  1. Brief history of the development of teaching and learning of English language in Nigeria.
  2. The medium of communication
  3. Interference of second language.
  4. Language uses in Nigeria.

Brief History of Development of Teaching and Learning of  English Language in Nigeria.

The term English is often in its most sense referred to the language of England and of southern Scotland from a historical view point. it is commonly known that during the 5th century AD, the entomic tribes invaded Britain whose tribes comprised the Jutes, Anglos and the Saxons.

Later, Anglo-saxon civilization came into existence from the word Anglos, two other words, English and English were derived. This English originally meant the language of the Anglos and their kindred tribe (Baugh 2005.52).

English became the official language of Nigeria on October 1st 1960, when Nigeria gained its independence from British. How ever, English began was spoken in Nigeria as far back as the early 1800, due to the large British naral presence who had been sent in an attempt to halt the  slave trade.

A detailed study of the history of the English language shows three main stages, old English, middle English and modern English.

A rough guide, one may see the historical sketch as follow: AD 430-450, the earliest period of the cuts and the Romans; AD 450-800; the old English of saxon, Vikings/davies, AD 1100-1500, the middle English of the Nornman; As 1500-1828, modern English. This greatly enhance by Dr. Johnsons Dictionary (1755) and Noah Webster’s American Dictionary (1828) Tempte (2006).

A point Worthy of note is old English and middle English were characterized with understandable, Homogeneity, Amstrang (2006) put it, middle English period for instance, was the time when English men spoke English and English was the language of them. Numbers of speakers were min and although the population grew during the period from 3 (three) million to approximately 4.5 million, it was of the same order of size throughout. The English speaking population extended from North of Aberdeen to the Aeron-Corwall boarder with a few groups of outhiers, but not enough to after the character of an essentially single and lomogenous community in a fairly uniform environment.

Clark (200) states, how speakers of two languages seem to divide the world up conceptually in the same way, they stick the linguistic label on the different places.

The term English naturally follows from the process of notarization. At first it may sound unusual since no matter the changes, the languages has gone through from its ancient period to the present, it remains essentially English.








This chapter, deals with the design of the study, Area of study, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques, validation of the instrument and reliability of instrument. Method of data Collection and method of data analysis.

The purpose of this study was to find out how mother tongue interference in the learning of English language in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Research Design.

The research was descriptive survey designed to obtained relevant information of data. This survey designed is use because it helps in garding information without difficulty.

Area of Study

The area of study covered in this research work was in Enugu North Local Government Area Enugu State.

Population of the Study:

The population of this study consists of all the students and all the teachers in Secondary School in  Enugu  North Local Government Area.



The results are presented according to the research questions and hypothesis.

Table I



This chapter deals with discussion of findings, summary and conclusion drawn from the study, the implication of the findings, and recommendation for further study are also highlighted.

This study attempted to investigate the effect of mother tongue interference in the study of English language in secondary school in Enugu North L.G.A. it was revealed that teacher of English language in enugu north do not make use of teaching aids. While on the part of students, they are hardly fluent in the language. To the consternation of the researcher, student spoke mother tongue in English language classes, especially student senior secondary.

While it seems the schools have enough English language teachers some of the teacher interviewed actually real literature in English some even Igbo Language are made to teach the subject; due to lack of English specialized teachers. In some schools the English language teachers are parent Teachers Association (PTA) employed who are in most situation did not read NCE let alone BED (Bachelor in Education) and thus lack the educational knowledge of imparting the subject on the students.

In chapter four 0.7% of teacher are English language based, which is low for a student offered by every student that also needed strong impart to conquer natural phenomenon. Fluent English language confuses most students and that most of them are very poor in the understanding of most of the English language vocabularies. This is from the fact that students in the public schools hardly buy and read textbook; English language inclusive. It astonished that student learns the language more outside the classroom. The two majors places are the use of mobile hand phone and the viewing of Nigerian home more entertainment (though a recent development). It have redirected youth from letter writing and the reading of novels, which before now were better ways of learning the acts of reading, writing and speaking of the language.


Among the aims of the national policy in education 4th edition is to teach all subjects that are basic, which will enable students, acquire further knowledge and develop skills in subjects relevant for further studies and to make education more relevant and functional. To achieve these goals, the English language has come as one of the ultimate foundation body and totality in education, in the Nigerian policy. Hence, the subject exists in every field of study today and has significant effects on education. If should not be allowed to be overtaken by the mother tongue phenomenon which seems to be in most of our public schools.


Based on the data analysis and findings of this study, the following conclusions were drawn;

  • The relevant teaching aids for English languages should be made available to schools.
  • Teacher and students should be encouraged to put in their best in the teaching and learning of the subject.
  • Students should be taught and made to speak the English language always.
  • The mother tongue should be restricted; especially when the need and class to use the language is involved; as stipulated by the national policy on education 4th

Implication of the Findings

Present below are the implication arising from the study:

  1. With exception of the mother tongue, and few other international languages like French, Dutch etc, the English language is the basis of formal education that is western education in Nigeria. The inability to impart it on our students will be catastrophic; hence every other subject is written in the language.
  2. Often times, an educational assessment is measured by the ability to speak, read and write the English language, especially in Nigeria, in which the inability is otherwise.
  3. Since education is the basis for development the English language is invaluable and a must for growth and development especially in Nigeria.
  4. Our international repute will be at stake if the English language cannot be indicated; rather the mother tongue.
  5. In business transaction, politics and other related English transaction could have been married and impaired if English language are not indicated into the student.


Based on the finding of this research work the researcher has the following recommendation to make.

  • Teaching aids should be made available in our schools hence these makes for the concretization of facts on students. On the other hand, teachers should be made to use these materials while teaching.
  • The policy from the “National Policy on Education” on the English language that the medium of instruction in primary school shall be the language of the environment for the first three years. During this period, English shall be taught as a subject from the fourth year, English shall progressively be used as a medium of instruction and the language of immediate environment and French shall be taught as subject should be strictly applied.
  • Teachers of the English language should be made to ensure that at least student is carried along in the classroom lessons and that every student should be made to express him/her self in the language, in order to master it.
  • The school board should mount a programme on debate and quiz for schools. This will go a long way at making the students perform well in the language; considering the fact that, English language is a major determinant for gaining admission into higher institution.
  • Government should employ and post to schools adequate and specialist in important areas of the subject. This will enhance difficult areas as spoken, phonetics, fluency and reading (writing of the language), considering its regard as the national language.

Suggestion for Further Studies

The researchers do hereby recommend that further research work be carried on the following areas.

  1. Teacher should be made to use these materials while teaching.
  2. English shall progressively be used as a medium of instruction and the language of immediate environment and French shall be taught as subject should be strictly applied.
  3. Teacher motivation in achieving educational goal problems and prosper.



  • Adewumi  J.B. (2005): Introduction to Education Research Techniques, Gbenle Press Ltd Ilorin.
  • Allen J. (2003): Assessing Recent Development in the English language.     Department of Education Management University of Ibadan.
  • Anumihe N.C and Kalu N.J.C (2000): Basic students in use of English. Ihem Daris Press Owerri
  • Asun (2001): Trend in English Language in Nigeria, Issues and problems; John Jacob Classic Publication Ltd Enugu.
  • Ayodele S.O. (2002): Teaching Strategies   for Nigerian Secondary School Power House Press Ibadan



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