This study was undertaken to assess the readability of On y va! (French textbook) for Junior Secondary School (JSS) in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. It also sought to determine the readability of the text by male and female students as well as by urban and rural students. The determination of the interaction effect of gender and location on students’ readability of the text was equally aimed at. Five research questions and three hypotheses guided the study. An evaluative survey design was used. The sample for the study consisted of 272 SS I students (because they have covered the content of the book) from three public schools in Nsukka Education Zone. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used due to the variables of gender and location. The instrument used for data collection was a 45 – item French Textbook Readability Questionnaire (FTRQ), validated by five experts in language Education and Measurement and Evaluation from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The instrument yielded an average reliability coefficient of 0.97 using Crobach’s Alpha method. It was administered to the students by the researcher and collected on the spot. The data was analyzed using mean scores and standard deviations for the research questions and t-test and univariate analysis of variance for the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The major findings of the study were that all the sections of On y va!  were not easy to understand, but they were interesting and had legible prints. Also, gender and location had significance difference on the readability of the text, but there was no interaction effect of gender and location. Based on the findings, it was recommended, among others, that the authors of the On y va! series should carry out a more detailed analysis of the students’ past experiences and background knowledge in French and incorporate them in their subsequent editions of the text. Limitations of the study were outlined, and suggestions for further study given.



Background of the Study

Nigeria is an English-speaking country surrounded by French-speaking nations such as Benin Republic, Cameroun, Niger and Chad. Given this geographical location, there is a great need for Nigerians to be knowledgeable in French language for better co-operation and understanding with these nations. Besides, French is a major international language of science, commerce, industry, diplomacy and technology, as well as a prerequisite for employment in international organizations such as the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), the International Police Commission (INTERPOL), the United Nations Organization (UNO), the African Union (AU), etc. It is against this background that the Federal Government of Nigeria, in 1998 adopted the new French/English bilingual policy of French as a second official language in Nigeria (FRN, 2001).

In pursuance of the above policy, the current National Policy on Education made French “compulsory in Primary and Junior Secondary Schools but non-vocational elective at the Senior Secondary School” (FRN, 2004:10). The Federal Government adopted a three-phase implementation schedule recommended by the Ministerial Task Force for the implementation of the policy (Opara, 2005). The first phase of the schedule which was supposed to last from September 1998 to October 2000 was aimed at making French compulsory from primary 4 to 6 and making a pass in French a criterion for acquiring Junior Secondary School (JSS) certificate. The second phase (September, 2000 to October 2004) was aimed at making French a compulsory subject from JSS I to SS I and making a credit in French a criterion for recruitment/admission in the University. The third and the final phase (September 2004 to October 2008) was aimed at making the basic knowledge of French a requirement for recruitment into jobs and promotion of civil servants.

However, the actual implementation of the policy has been bedeviled by a lot of constraints such as lack of teachers, textual resources, awareness, poor attitude of the students, etc. For instance, Opara (2004) reports that most of the teachers who are to implement the policy have neither heard about it nor the proposed phases of the implementation schedule. These prevailing situations do not show that the fortune of French teaching and learning has really broken loose from its past, characterized by uncertainty and hesitation. It was introduced in the secondary school curriculum in Nigeria at the wake of independence in 1960 (Offorma, 2002). Since then, it has been one of the two major foreign languages taught in the schools. However, the majority of the students do not see its usefulness since it is spoken only in the classroom. They do not show reasonable interest in it, and the teachers have to work very hard to motivate them. In spite of the teachers’ serous efforts, only very few students opt for French in the senior secondary school certificate (Offorma, 2002).

The above scenario has been the lot of the French language in Nigerian secondary schools since its introduction in the school curriculum, and efforts have always been made to address the problem and popularize French teaching and learning. One of such efforts has been in the area of production of textbooks by seasoned French teachers and researchers. Hence, at different places and time in Nigeria, such French textbooks as France Afrique, TransAfrique, Practical French, Contacts and Bonjour l’Afrique had been in use. All these are becoming more and more unpopular due to the fact that the teaching and learning of French is shifting from the existing methods such as the grammar-translation method, the direct method, the audio-lingual method and audio-visual method to communicative method, a method that is widely accepted as the most efficient and effective in the teaching and learning of French language (Kim, Eke, Obobairibbojie, Nwodo, Marcellin and Ayinde, 2007). The shift became necessary because of the obvious shortcomings of the preceding methods. The grammar-translation method, for instance, makes no distinction between formality and informality in language use (Anasiudu, 2002). The direct method has its own major flaw in its over reliance on the mechanical repetitive drills which could be engaged in without thought on the part of the learners. Similarly, the audio-lingual method has intensive pattern practice as its major technique. This technique serves the need of beginners, but is definitely not suitable for all second language learners. The audio-visual method has equally been criticized for being teacher-centred and for having problems with the validity of the visual elements. The communicative method takes care of all these shortfalls by emphasizing the linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as the practical use of the language in real-life situations.

The shift spurred a group of seasoned French teachers and reputable trainers of trainers to write a series of French textbooks that are in consonance with the new methodology. These books: On y va! for JSS I, On y va! for JSS II, On y va! for JSS III and On y va! for Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) written by Catherine Mazauric and Evelyne Siréjols with the collaboration of John Ilya Kim, Jummai Makpu and Mohamed Tijani were published by Spectrum Books limited Ibadan and CLE International Paris between 2002 and 2005. Earlier on, a new curriculum for teaching French in Nigeria had been developed in 2001 (Kim et al, 2007). So, the On y va! series were designed and a series of workshops organized by the Centres for French Teaching and Documentation (CFTDs) throughout the country to create awareness about them.

The books are the recommended textbooks for the teaching and learning of French in Enugu State. French teachers in Nsukka Education Zone, including the present researcher, participated in the series of seminars and workshops aimed at popularizing the books at Enugu and Jos in 2007. However, the area is witnessing increasing apathy towards the language among the students (Ngene and Njoku, 2007). The students perform poorly even in very simple French exercises (Eze and Meniru, 2006). The above scenario raises doubt about how readable they find the book.

The term readability refers to all the factors that affect success in reading and understanding a text. These factors, according to The World Book Encyclopedia (1977), include the average number of words in sentences, the number of commonly understood words, the average number of syllables in the words, the number of long complex sentences, the number of abstract ideas and the use of personal pronouns. In using these to estimate the readability of a given write-up, a number of formulas have been developed. Such formulas include Gunning “FOG” readability Test, Fry Readability Graph, Flesh-Kincaid formula, Power-Summer- Keerl Formula, Mclaughlin “SMOG” Formula, FORCAST Formula, etc. These measures guide the construction of textbook to conform to the intended grade level.

However, readability experts such as McNamara, Louwerse and Graesser (2005) argue that scores from such formulas are based on surface characteristics of the text, and as such, prevent valid predictions of text comprehension. According to them, measuring elements of a textbook that are primarily needed for surface processing does not adequately capture comprehension and learning, which are the major concern of educators. Hence, the present researcher is in agreement with Johnson and Johnson (1987) who see readability as a concept which has as its major components the notions of ease of understanding, legibility and interest/motivation.

The present study therefore aims at investigating the readability of On y va! in the light of all these factors by examining its ease of understanding, legibility and interest/motivation in relation to the reading ability of the students in the public schools in Nsukka Education Zone. The aspect of ease of understanding has to do, among other things, with whether the assumptions about students’ prior knowledge are appropriate and whether the content information from the text can be supported by being directed to the examples in the text. Interest/motivation, on the other, deals with how pleasant and attractive the students find the book while legibility of print deals with the type such as the use of lower case and capital letters, the bold type, italics, the size of the type, the length of the line, the spacing between the lines, curvature of the page, the type of paper and the colour of paper.

Therefore, bearing in mind the prevailing condition of the teaching and learning of French in Nigeria generally and in Nsukka Zone in particular, especially as it appertains to the dismal performance of secondary school students in reading, determining the readability of the recommended textbook, On y va! in line with the above readability indices may be a plausible remedy. For instance, ease of understanding is a major determining factor in whether a student is going to benefit from a given text or not. Assessing the easy of understanding of On y va! would address any readability problem associated with faulty assumptions about students’ vocabulary knowledge, prior knowledge and experiential background. On the other hand, assessing how the books interest the learners would help in motivating them and sustaining their interest in the books. Also, determining the legibility of print of the texts would help to address the readability problems associated with type faces, size of type, the length of lines, the space between the lines, weight of print, quality of paper the texts are made of as well as the relationship between the colour of the paper and the colour of the type. If all these readability related difficulties are taken care of, the students would definitely enjoy the reading of On y va!, and benefit from its rich communicative and linguistic content. This would invariably enhance the students’ performance in external examinations.

Besides, as the question of gender and school location has remained an unresolved issue in students reading competence, this study intends to include them as its variables. Gender is seen by Offorma (2004) as a learned, socially constructed conditions ascribed to individuals on the basis of being born either male or female. It is enforced through cultural practices. Hence, the type of training and exposures given to male and female children in a given society depend on the people’s understanding and belief. Gender, therefore, is a very important variable because a person’s personal orientation and outlook play a crucial role in performance. However, there are conflicting reports on whether gender has a significant influence in language performance (Offorma, 2004). Similarly, there has been a raging controversy on whether the school location has an impact on students’ achievement. As schools play an important role in the intellectual development of children, adequate provision of learning facilities or lack of them may facilitate or hinder learning. The location of schools comes into play here because it may determine some vital learning ingredients such as learning facilities, infrastructure, number of teachers and the class size.  The present researcher intends to assess how readable male and female students as well as urban and rural students find the different components of the language such as speech, reading comprehension, grammar and writing as they are contained in On y va! This is aimed at contributing to research in the direction of whether gender and location are related to competence in the named components.

Since the Junior Secondary School (JSS) III marks the end of the first half of the secondary school system, and is also the level when students have been exposed to the On y va! so much that they can give a reasonable assessment of how readable they find it, this exercise will focus on On y va! for JSS 3. With the reading age of eleven (11) using the Gunning “FOG” Readability Test (See Appendix F), and most of the students of JSS 3 in Nsukka Zone being above that age, it is supposed that the students will be able to read and comprehend it with ease. With its rich content as a whole, students at this level are expected to understand, speak, read and even write fairly good French. Unfortunately, most of the students of JSS 3 in Nsukka Zone are completely incapable of identifying or recognizing the simplest French words and expressions (Eze and Meniru, 2006). It is against this background that the researcher embarks on this study to examine the readability of the text in use in the Education Zone, the On y va!, with a view to contributing to the improvement of teaching and learning of French in the area.

Statement of the Problem

It is presumed that after being exposed to the teaching and learning of a language for two years one would be able to make oneself intelligible in the language, both in speech and in writing. Hence, it is disheartening to observe that the majority of the students in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) 3 in Nsukka Education Zone cannot read or understand some of the commonest French words and expressions. This is more worrisome in the light of the fact that some of these students come from the former French language pilot schools in the area. These are schools that are reasonably equipped for French teaching and learning, where it is presumed that all the students have the recommended textbook, the On y va! and its workbook.

Besides, French teachers in the area are constantly complaining that their students find it very difficult to read the relevant textbooks and materials, and as a result are not learning. In fact, inability to read efficiently has always been an endemic educational problem. The problem needs solution, but it cannot be solved until one finds out why students perform poorly in reading even their textbooks. Given that there are teachers to guide the students, it is disheartening to observe that only 6 out of 53 public secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone registered students for French language for the 2009/2010 Junior School Certificate Examination (JSCE). It can be assumed that the students’ poor performance in reading may not be primarily because they lack interest and capability. The problem may, therefore, lie in the readability of the recommended French textbooks themselves. Therefore, the problem of the study, posed as a question, is: to what extent do the students of Junior Secondary School (JSS) in Nsukka Education Zone find the different sections of  (On y va! ) readable?





This study set out to analyse grammatical errors in written French composition committed by Senior Secondary School Students in Nsukka Zone, Enugu State, Nigeria. This was with a view to determining the degree of grammatical errors of Senior Secondary School Students and also to find out which sex commits more of these errors than the other.

The study adopted the descriptive research design. To carry out the study a review of literature was done in order to determine the extent of work already done in this area and properly situate it. Two research questions and one null hypothesis were formulated. The hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance. A total sample of three hundred thirty (330) Senior Secondary School Students were randomly drawn from eight secondary schools where French is done in Nsukka Zone. An essay type question was developed by the researcher and was validated by research experts in Education. The same essay type question also validated by research experts in education/French was administered   on twenty secondary students in Obollo Education Zone to test their performance in French grammar. Mean and percentage scores were used to analyse the data collated. The major findings of the study were.

  • The Senior Secondary School Students committed the five grammatical error types studied namely spelling, concord, Adjective, Verb–Conjugation and Article errors.
  • These five error–types were committed by the SS Students at varying degrees
  • There is no significant difference between percentage scores of SS male and female students in this zone.
  • The SS female students had the highest percentage of 66% in spelling error
  • The SS male students on the other hand had the highest error percentage of 66% in Verb–conjugation
  • Article error had the least percentage of 7% because students avoided using articles in sentences.
  • Based on the results, the null hypothesis was upheld. Concord errors were also proved to present the greatest difficulty to the students, next were spelling errors, verb-conjugation Adjective errors and lastly Article errors.

The educational implications of the findings were discussed; recommendations as well as suggestions for further research were also made.



Background of the Study

It appears that French is the only world-wide known language spoken by the French people.  The original inhabitants of France as passed down to us by history were the ‘Gaulois’. David WWW. WWW.Originofriations Origin of France and the Peoples Eventually the western Franks in France lost the use of their own native Frankish tongue and spoke the Celtic Gallic tongue and absorbed many Gallic customs. The Western Reubenite Franks intermingled and intermarried with the Reubenite Gauls”.   Much later in the second century before Christ the Romans invaded France.  With successions of invasion in the third century, many kingdoms were built of which the French gradually conquered all other countries around. David WWW.Originofriations Origin of France and the Peoples. The name France is derived from the Frank.” In the 5th century ‘Gaule’ metamorphosed into the present-day ‘France’ with ‘French’ as the only language in use.  However, practical experiences show that though French is the only language spoken in France by the French, there are different versions of the same French as one goes from one geographical area to another in terms of dialects. For instance, there are such dialects as ‘oc’ which is the dialect of the south and “oil” which is the northern dialect and of saying ‘yes’ in the Middle Ages.  This implies that there are variations in dialect depending on the area or part of France one may find himself or herself.  For instance, in spite of all other dialects in France, the one spoken in Paris is that which is internationally accepted as the standard French.  This does not however preclude other dialects from being in use elsewhere.  Furthermore, history also has it that what is now known as the ‘French language’ is a combination of ‘Latin’ and ‘English’ which, having undergone considerable changes, has given rise to what is now regarded as ‘modern French’. On account of these changes, French has become very highly standardized and consequently attained a high international acceptance such that it is being rated as the second international language the world over. David WWW.Originofriations “Many Reubenite French would love to see the French language displace English from its world dominance”.

In the dim past, many European countries were inspired by varied reasons to scramble for African countries.  Some people attribute this need for such scramble to social, cultural, political and economic reasons while others link it with religion.  Whatever be the case, what interests us at this point in time is the fact that France took active part in colonizing African countries hence the introduction of French as the ‘lingua-franca’ in her African Colonies.

Consequent upon this incident of colonization of some African countries by France, French is the only official language spoken and used by such countries as Senegal, Upper Volta, Zaire, Ivory Coast, Niger, Togo, Republic of Benin and a part of Cameroon etc.

An international language though French is, its compulsory inclusion in Nigeria’s curriculum could be traced to the unavoidable diplomatic, economic as well as socio-cultural constraints its non-inclusion or absence might impose on Nigeria. Apparently, Nigeria appears to be the only West African country that is almost completely surrounded by fellow West African countries whose official language of communication as well as that of commerce is French.  On this, Ojoade (1999:8) says:

Nigeria offers a very strong attraction and pull to another language group, the French speaking people of the world.  This is particularly so because of the geographical position of our country as well as the friendship that is gradually developing between France and our country.

There is no doubt that apart from Cameroon a part of which adopts English, all others mentioned above use the French language as their Lingua- Franca. Nigeria is almost completely surrounded by such sister-French speaking West African –countries as the republic of Benin, Niger Republic Cameroun Republic etc. Moreover, the world is at its jet age and in order to keep pace with the fast- moving world, she (Nigeria) is but naturally constrained to make the teaching and learning of the French language compulsory at the primary and junior secondary school levels of her education.

On the great need for the teaching and learning of the French language in Nigeria, Ikeme and Offorma have this to say:

Une deuxieme langue europeene doit être considerée nonseulement comme un moyen de communication entre des Anglophones d’Afrique mais aussi comme une langue internationale ayant un but étendu, qui cojointement avec la première langue europeene devrait permettre aux africains de pouvior communiquer avec d’autres pays du monde (Ikeme and Offorma, 1984).

The above stresses the great necessity there is for Nigerians not only to teach and learn French in schools, but also to be able to use French in communicating effectively with her African sister countries already mentioned earlier on as well as other countries of the world.

For instance, Nigeria engages in commercial relationship with many of those countries mentioned above from which she makes a lot of economic fortunes. She also relates diplomatically, politically as well as socio-culturally with these countries. In order to foster such relationships between her and these neighbouring nations therefore, she has a great need to introduce and make the teaching and learning of the French language compulsory at the primary and junior secondary school levels. This is in consonance with the declaration of the French language the second official language in Nigeria in 1998 by the late military head of state-General. Sani Abacha.

Thus French was introduced in t o the nation’s curriculum for teaching and learning.  This, as contained in the 2004 National policy on Education (NPE), is in addition to the compulsory teaching and learning of the three Nigerian major languages Viz- Housa, Igbo and Yoruba.

In recognition of the relevance of the French language to Nigeria as a nation, the ‘National Policy on Education’ (2004:10) says that:

For smooth interaction with our neighbours, it is desirable for every Nigerian to Speak French Accordingly, French shall be the second official language in Nigeria and it shall be compulsory in primary and junior secondary Schools but Non- vocational Elective at the senior secondary school.

From the above discussion and subsequent quotation from the 4th edition of the National Policy on Education, it is glaring that the teaching and learning of the French language is but a necessity in Nigeria. This, it is hoped, if actualized, will enhance close cooperation between Nigeria and such countries as Benin Republic, Cameroun, Ivory Coast etc in general and with French in particular.

Moreover and more importantly too, Nigeria is currently keeping very strong diplomatic relations with France – the mother country of such  sister countries as Republic of Benin , Republic of Niger, Cameroun Togo etc from which she makes a lot of economic fortunes.  This, therefore, informs the current  introduction of French into many polytechnics and colleges of Education such as Institute of Management and  Technology, Enugu, Benue Polytechnics Ogbokolo, Federal Polytechnics, Ida, Federal College of Education, Eha-Amufu, Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, College of Education, Nsugbe, College of Education, Akwanga Collge of Education, Katsina Ala. e t c For instance, in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, apart from the department  of foreign languages and literatures, French is optionally compulsory as an elective course for the department of fine and applied arts etc.  The University of Jos also offers French as an elective course in the department of English etc in addition to the department of French. So many vital books in different subject areas such as philosophy, psychology, architecture, medicine, law, languages and language learning theories etc are written by great French authors in the French language.  Such authors as Albert Camus, Rousseau, Jean Paul Sartre, Moliere, Victor Hugo, Balzalc, Baudelaire, Chateaubriant etc wrote in different areas using the French language.  The compulsory teaching and learning of the French language, if achieved, will go a long way, no doubt, in bridging the gap posed by lack of knowledge of the French language.  This is because Nigerian scholars, who currently have no sound knowledge of this language have no choice and are constrained to look for paid translators who may end up betraying the translation of such texts originally written in French.

In view of the above fact therefore, it becomes very exigent that Nigeria should address this issue of French Language learning with the seriousness and sense of commitment it deserves as a matter of urgency. This is a situation where the Nigerian learner has already learnt his mother-tongue first, English language-second as the nation’s official language before beginning to learn French as the third language and second official language. This matter is even aggravated by the fact that the structures of the first two languages already learnt have become deep-rooted in the Nigerian French language learner. Very unfortunately, most early language theorists base their argument on monolingual language learner, losing sight of either bilingual or multilingual learning. On this, Elliot (1981:73) has this to say, “It is a serious shortcoming of current theories of language acquisition that they are generally formulated with the monolingual (normally English speaking) child in mind”. This goes to butress the fact that most of the theories formulated on language learning are solely based on one/first language learning which may not go to any meaningful length in helping to comprehend the processes involved in second language acquisition into which group the French language falls as far as     Igbo learners of language(s) are concerned.

As a result of the difficulties encountered in the course of the teaching and learning of the French language in Nigeria as a whole and the Igbo people in particular, one can hardly ever find students at Senior Secondary levels offering French in the senior secondary school certificate examination. Such grammatical errors as agreement between nouns /subjects and adjectives in gender and number, errors in verb- conjugation including pronominal verbs like se laver, se peigner, se promener, concord errors, spelling  errors  etc appear to be more frequently committed by students in senior secondary school classes.  There is also doubt as to which sex commits more of these grammatical errors than the other.  The researcher therefore, tried to find out if these errors are peculiar to a particular sex or not.  There is the glaring lack of interest on the part of students which could be blamed on some obvious factors as lack of competent/qualified teachers, poor teaching methods, lack of instructional materials or inadequate teaching materials, the possession or presence of mother tongue and English language and a host of other enabling teaching conditions.  Consequently, most of the schools where French is taught are unable to produce students that offer French at external examination levels. This informs why there is only one WAEC French marking center in the whole country and that is Ibadan.

Grammar obviously, appears to be the most important aspect of any living language.  It is no doubt, the vehicle by means of which any meaning is conveyed to its destination.  If for instance, any grammatical structures are misplaced or distorted, the consequence shall be that the message supposed to be transmitted by means of such structures are either misconstrued or totally misunderstood.  A good example in French is the wrong conjugation of ‘verbs involving the first person singular ‘je’. If it is erroneously used thus:  (a) J!ai faim – “I have hungry” (b) Elle a dix ans – “she has  ten years”  (c) vous avez soif – “you have thirsty” etc    The tendency is that one gets the message in a disjointed form. Learners may wrongly interpret them thus: I have hunger instead of I am hungry or I have thirsty instead of I am thirsty.  The ambiguity so created might have been caused by the different usages and meanings of the verbs involved in English and French. The only incontestable fact is the use and meanings of the verb ‘avoir’-“to have” and ‘faim-hunger and soif’  thirst. Confusion arises as to the nature and form of verb used in expressing such meanings in French .The confusion so posed here is vividly traceable to the user’s inability to identify the appropriate grammatical structures to be used at any given time( appropriate verbs).

Experientially, another example could be taken from that of the plural formation using names (nouns, verbs and, or adjectives). The confusion in this case, more often than not, emanates from interference from either the mother- tongue (Igbo) or the English language which even tends to take upper hand in Igbo children’s communicative processes. A glaring example is that when an Igbo child wishes to say that he/she is going to the market, the thought process first begins in Igbo then translated into English before finally being translated to French. These longish thought-processes are normally accomplished consecutively due to the fact that the three languages may have been learnt consecutively.

Reports of some researchers in the past have adduced certain reasons for lack of interest or poor performance of students in French especially in written French grammar. For instance Obanya (1985:15) rightly says that: “the shift in emphasis from literacy to oracy in secondary school syllabus has necessitated the need for the production of books for both teachers and students” As an experienced professional teacher of French for about thirty years at different levels and more importantly too, having been in continuous close contact with Igbo learners of French and their peculiar grammatical problems, the researcher has decided to undertake the analysis of written grammatical errors in French language by secondary school students.  This is with a view to identifying, analyzing, suggesting and recommending possible measures to be adopted in order to ensure improved performance in French grammar by Igbo learners of the language. The study aims at analyzing grammatical errors of students in secondary schools the outcome of which shall no doubt, help in redirecting both teachers and students toward improved performance in written French grammar. It is also hoped that   the result shall help future researchers in this or other related fields.

Statement of Problem

The teaching and learning of the French language in Nigeria has always been impeded by a myriad of inhibiting factors in spite of its long period of implementation   in Nigeria. However its acquisition is sort of incumbent on Nigerians in view of Nigeria’s geographical location. It is quite unfortunate that the French language has not found any solid base in Nigeria. Even though it was declared the nation’s second official language by the late Head of State – General Sani Abacha in 1987, its functionality in practical terms is yet to be anything to write home about. Though the French language is included in the nation’s curriculum for teaching and learning, students only show great interest and enthusiasm at the very beginning which wanes no sooner than they have started learning it.

Having taught French for quite some years to Igbo students within Nsukka Education Zone, the researcher has observed that most Igbo learners of French, having learnt Igbo first as their mother tongue before learning English language second as “Nigeria’s official language,” tend to transfer the grammatical rules of the first two languages already learnt to their learning and writing of French. Such erroneous and negative transfer of grammatical rules from Igbo or English to the French language without due reference to their background would always culminate in a betrayal of translation and wrong communication of meaning leading to the subsequent misunderstanding of the desired message. There is an evidence of grammatical problems encountered by secondary school students in written French in Nigeria in general and Nsukka Education zone in particular.Eze and Meniru (2002:4) say that:

L’ observation mantra que l’ écriture des apprennantes du  franÇais au niveau secondaire, meme ceux qui viennent des  écoles pilotes, est toujours de de fautes grammaticale

          On the basis of the forgoing therefore, this study was designed to analyse grammatical errors in written French exercises in senior secondary Schools in Nsukka Zone,  Enugu State.