English Language Components Preference of Students in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria: Implications for Teaching English as a Second Language

By Dr Alexander Essien Timothy


Students’ performance in the English Language examinations in Nigeria has continued to be less than desirable. The examination syllabuses of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) contains six main components. Since students’ interest and performance in the different components vary, this study investigated the components of the English Language syllabus that secondary school students liked the most and the reasons for their preference. The research involved gathering mainly qualitative data by interviewing 45 final year senior secondary school students and secondary school graduands in Calabar, Nigeria, who attended a preparatory class for entrance into the university. The researcher formulated two research questions. Using simple percentages, the result revealed that whereas 42 percent of the participants liked essay writing, only 20 percent liked Oral English, and only 9 percent liked all the components. Thematic analysis revealed that the reasons for students’ preferences were mainly instrumental and perceived ease of learning the preferred component. The implication of the study on the teaching of English as a second language is highlighted. Keywords: components, attitude, essay writing, oral English, Ease of Learning, instrumental

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