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.