Electronic Media and English Language

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Using electronic media to teach ESL learners in Nigeria

Submitted: July 12, 2013

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Submitted: July 12, 2013

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Chapter One

Introduction

 

  1. Background to the Study

Media has opened new dimensions in learning. Now education is no longer a constraint for anyone. Media has brought education to the doorstep of each and every individual. All forms of media- the newspaper, radio, television and the internet are equally important in imparting education. According to Ezekola (2001) the technology is progressing, the different educational modules are being channeled through certain community access centers like community radio system, televisions, internet, community multi-media centers etc. Media literacy or education does not only mean to be entertained by media but to learn something from it. As a major part of the learning process is concentrated on children, media plays a significant role to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.

Afolabi and Adeyanju (2005) opines that children often learn important things through the media, which change their perspective to life. Moreover, radio has now started to enter into the educational sector commonly known as Community Radio System, which indirectly forms the part of e-learning process.

Edafiogho (2007) posits that computer-based education has transformed the traditional offerings of distance learning. This medium of education converts the traditional static resources into interactive and interesting online modules for the learners. The primary motive of the Interactive Learning Modules is to create modular interactive learning materials for the development of education and to demonstrate their effectiveness in university curricula as well as industrial training programs. Interactive Learning Modules, which is another form of media, serves the purpose of both the technical and management corporate trainee people along with the people with learning disabilities. The main aim of this article is to focus on the positive effects of media on learning and how different forms of media have contributed to the development of mankind.

With the transformation of a new era, we have seen that the concept of E-learning, supported by the web-based learning environments. Ezekoka (2008) observed that till now, the society and the media have not thought about the impact of computers on the lives of the disabled in general and the visually-challenged in specific. Special schools were built for their education. But the government should make it mandatory for the schools to educate children with disabilities in general classrooms.

According to Yoloye (2005), the electronic media also influences and enhances the interactive learning guide for the disabled, coupled with the application of technology in education provides better understanding of theories, their applications and identification of alternate solutions for them. This advanced type of learning for the disabled has helped them to get over their weaknesses and start a new life afresh with better knowledge as their strength.

Okonkwo and Okpara (2008) submitted that media electronics and ICT has helped the concept of distance education with the help of media has gained wide popularity. The media boom with telecasts and broadcasts has to a large extent limited the dependence on the written word. Moreover, with the emergence of the Internet as a global media, the concept of distance learning has been revolutionized.

From the age old days, distance learning was mainly provided through correspondence. But the introduction of the internet has changed the concept of distance learning to a great extent. At present, distance learning programmes are increasingly being delivered through computer technologies but the traditional media is not totally obsolete as it helps in effective learning (Jegede, 2004).

There are numerous factors which have contributed to the increasing popularity of the distance education through media. With the introduction of online learning in universities, distance learning has gained immense importance. Online learning has assumed the role of an important media for imparting distance education. It also went to the extent of providing quality online courses which have become almost comparable to the traditional classroom learning (Edafiogho, 2009).

Adeyanju stated that students can get access to a broad spectrum of disciplines from any location. With the mingling of online learning and distance education, education is no longer a constraint for any class of the society.

Moreover, interactive telecommunications systems broadly mean that the instructors and the learners use a variety of technological resources while teaching and learning from a distance. Now-a-days, many universities have come up with the idea of transferring its on-campus learning into online learning

From the above inferences, we can rightly conclude that the effect of media is vast on the life of each and every individual. The media has given particular attention to the need of education and cultural diversity and promoted media consciousness among individuals. Media has entered in every sections of our daily life- be it in education, news, entertainment, culture, sports, etc. Last but not the least, media has opened a new dimension and gave a new meaning to education. Education has become more entertaining like never before.

 

1.2Statement of the Problem

The inability to exploit the capabilities of new technology has an enormous hidden cost to the society. The problems associated with software is that, there is a need for some standardization of hardware, unlike software, however, it is not essential that all members of a school have exactly identical machines on which to prepare their presentations. It is essential machine with which to develop view and present their presentations. The big issue here is mobility. Unless teaching areas are equipped with computers (though there are all sorts of problems associated with this) then staff must be provided with laptops because few will be willing or indeed able to drag desktop machines with them into lectures, problems can arise whenever presentations are copied, shared or presented using different projection media.

If they are able to take full advantage of electronic media for copying, distributing and accessing presentation material, then teachers and lecturers also need to know how to use electronic mail facilities and computer network servers. Thus, teachers and learners generally do not pay attention to the use of computer aids and facilities for effective and intensive mastering of English language as second language users. With the areas where computers are regularly used, few will be able to pick up an unfamiliar package and learn how to use it effectively. Though there are no figures to support these claims.

As a result of the above statement of difficulties, the researcher thus plunges head to the field of English language and the application of electronic media/ICT with a view of to identifying and highlighting inherent problems on the use of media/ICT in the instructional process of English language. Having identifies these problems, findings and observations from this study shall enable apt establishments of facts that will ameliorate the problems identified.

 

1.3Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is as follows;

i.to describe the depth and extent at which electronic media/ICT can affect users if English language

ii.to develop an adequate and critical understanding of a range of issues informing learners’ own professional practice in English through the means of electronic media/ICT

iii.to highlight learners’ expertise in evaluating and developing appropriate learning resources for English language teaching particular in the area of media use.

iv.to find out development in independent research skills and also to gain problems through applying those skills

 

1.4Research Questions

The following questions were generated for the purpose of this study:

i.What is the impact of electronic media and ICT on teaching and learning of English language?

ii.What is the level of English language teachers about media electronic/ICT?

iii.Do learners’ knowledge on the use of media/ICT have significant impact on their academic performance?

iv.What is the level of availability and accessibility of electronic media/ICT for teaching English langauge?

 

1.5Significance of the Study

The result of the study will enable teachers to know and appreciate the role of electronic media/ICT to achieve both personal and educational goals.

It is also believed that the result of these findings will be of interest to the policy makers, curriculum developers, corporate bodies and the general masses that are continuously searching for suitable and distinctive medium of communication to be adapted to achieve effective instructional process for learners’ development especially in English language. To this effect, for many teachers to be at a leadership position, the study shall bring to their awareness that they must effectively make use of media/ICT to improve the academic performance of learners in English language.

The study shall be of significance to the government as it will create in them the awareness of the teachers’ knowledge of media/ICT and its effect on the performance on learners especially in English language. Also the government shall be abreast of teachers’ teaching challenges and strategies of implementing its effective use in schools.

To the pupils, the study shall create in them the spirit to develop the right attitude towards learning of English language as this will further help their academic performance. And as for parents the study shall be of great importance to them as to enable them to cater for the needs of their children/ward especially in the provision of that which will foster their education.

Nevertheless, the result of this study will provide basis for effective teaching methods secondary school teachers to modify or reinforce pupils’ academic performance.

 

1.6Scope of the Study

This research focuses on the role of electronic media/ICT in the teaching and learning of English language. It must be noted that English language as a second language in Nigeria has passed through different metamorphoses. This, this research examines some old methods in achieving the educational aims of English language. Also, this research compares these methods to modern methods especially the use of electronic media/ICT in the instructional process of English language vis-à-vis learners’ academic performance.

With this, this research work makes use of some selected secondary school teachers and students in Oshodi/Isolo local government area, Lagos State. These schools include both private and public secondary schools.

 

1.7Definition of Terms

Educational Technology:This is a systematic way of designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of learning in terms of specific objectives based on research on human and non-human resources to bring about more effective instruction

Electronic Media:This refers to any instructional material, which requires electronic current or alternating current to function.

 

1.8Chapter Summary

This chapter gives a general background to this research work. Also, the problem(s) that necessitates this study is stated therein. Beyond this the chapter summarizes the essence and significance of this research work.

The next chapter presents the works of various authors on the underlining concept of this research work such as methods used in teaching language before now and the use of media in the instructional process of English language.

 

 

 


 

Chapter Two

Literature Review

 

2.0Introduction

This chapter is aimed at reviewing past, recent and related literature in the role of electronic media/ICT in teaching and learning of English language.

Researchers in English language teaching by Roland and Rivers (2000), Ariyo, Zimmerman and Kent (2001) indicated that English learning and teaching has undergone different metamorphoses in methods and techniques with this it becomes necessary to examine some methods used in teaching English from its inception then with modern methods of English learning and teaching as identified by Rivers (2000).

 

2.1EVALUATION OF SOME OLD METHODS OF TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE

In considering some of the old methods of teaching English language the Grammar-Translation Method featured.

Grammar Translation Method) is a cross lingual technique. It is used in language learning. Grammar is given more importance in this method. Learners understand the grammar rules better (Kyle, 2000). The exercises in this method put the learner into an active problem-solving situation. In the schools, the teachers often follow the traditional method of translation technique. It is an easy way to explain things. Reading and writing are the major focus.

Despite the extent which it had effect on students, this method failed to create interest in learners and did not create any link between the text and the real life situation.

Another method is the direct method. The salient features of the Direct Method are the use of everyday vocabulary and structures is the object of language teaching. The learner is expected to use the language to the outside situations (Kyle, 2000). Oral skills are developed in this method. (Question-answer session, Interaction exercises and intensive drills). Speech habits are developed by initiation drill.

Grammar is taught inductively It focuses on the second language learning in a natural way. Concrete meanings are taught through situational approach. The meaning of a word is not given in L1 & L2. Abstract meanings are taught through association of ideas.

Both oral and listening skills are taught.

In this method, a short text is presented and difficult words are explained in L2 to the learners. The understanding is tested by questioning and the students learn grammar rules on their own. Question-answer sessions, interaction exercises, intensive classroom drills, dictation, free composition, pronunciation are done in the classroom to develop and strengthen L2. This method had shortcoming where its procedures and techniques were difficult (Okebukola, 2000). Teachers had difficulty in explaining the difficult words. It was a success in private language schools but not in public secondary schools.

Another method identified by Okebukola (2000). Dr.C.J.Dadson developed the Bilingual method. This method needs L1 and L2. The approach begins from Bilingual and becomes monolingual at the end. The teacher uses both mother tongue (L1) and the target language (L2) in the classroom. This may be considered as a combination of the Direct Method and the Grammar Translation Method.

The shortcoming of this method begins with the focus is on the grammatical structures not on the day-to-day conversation. The teacher must be proficient (fluent) in L1 and L2. It does not follow any set theory Students become dependent on their mother tongue.

Beyond this, Communicative Language Teaching was identified by Rolls (2000) is a functional approach to language learning. In 1972, this language course was proposed in Europe. The main aim is to develop the communicative competency of the learner. His need of understanding and expressing in the L2 is the main focus of this method. The main objective was to produce effective communicative competency in learners. The focus is on meanings and functions of the language. The shortcoming of this method includes no single uniform method is prescribed. Different techniques are followed in the process of learning. Several roles are assigned to the teachers.

 

2.2What is Media?

Media (singular medium) are the storage and transmission channels or tools used to store and deliver information or data. It is often referred to as synonymous with mass media or news media, but may refer to a single medium used to communicate any data for any purpose.

The word medium comes from the Latin word medius (middle). The beginning of human communication through designed channels, i.e. not vocalization or gestures, dates back to ancient cave paintings, drawn maps, and writing (Roy, 2000:12)

The adoption of a dominant communication medium is important enough that historians have folded civilization into "ages" according to the medium most widely used. A book titled "Five Epochs of Civilization" by William McGaughey (Thistlerose, 2000) divides history into the following stages: Ideographic writing produced the first civilization; alphabetic writing, the second; printing, the third; electronic recording and broadcasting, the fourth; and computer communication, the fifth. The media affect what people think about themselves and how they perceive people as well. What we think about self image and what others should look like comes from the media.

While it could be argued that these "Epochs" are just a historian's construction, digital and computer communication shows concrete evidence of changing the way humans organize. The latest trend in communication, termed smartmobbing, involves ad-hoc organization through mobile devices, allowing for effective many-to-many communication and social networking.

 

2.3What is Electronic Media?

Electronic media  as defined by Williams (1999) are media that use electronics or electromechanical energy for the end-user (audience) to access the content. This is in contrast to static media (mainly print media), which today are most often created electronically, but don't require electronics to be accessed by the end-user in the printed form. The primary electronic media sources familiar to the general public are better known as video recordings, audio recordings, multimedia presentations, slide presentations, CD-ROM and online content. Most new media are in the form of digital media. However, electronic media may be in either analog or digital format (Sloane, 2001).

Although the term is usually associated with content recorded on a storage medium, recordings are not required for live broadcasting and online networking.

Any equipment used in the electronic communication process (e.g. television, radio, telephone, desktop computer, game console, handheld device) may also be considered electronic media.

 

2.4Electronic Media and English

Sloane (2001) postulated that with the spread and development of English around the world, English is used as a second language in a country like India and for some people the 1st language. It enjoys a high prestige in the country. At present the role and status of English in India is higher than ever as evidenced by its position as a key subject of medium of instruction, curriculum. As the number of English learners is increasing different teaching methods have been implemented to test the effectiveness of the teaching process. Use of authentic materials in the form of films, radio, TV has been there for a long time. It is true that these technologies have proved successful in replacing the traditional teaching (Nnoli, 2001).

The new era assigns new challenges and duties on the modern teacher. The tradition of English teaching has been drastically changed with the remarkable entry of technology. Technology provides so many options as making teaching interesting and also making teaching more productive in terms of improvements.

Technology is one of the most significant drivers of both social and linguistic change. Graddol: (1997:16) states that” technology lies at the heart of the globalization process; affecting education work and culture.

Graddol (2000) opined that the use of English language has increased rapidly after 1960. At present the role and status of English is that it is the language of social context, political, socio-cultural, business, education, industries, media, library, communication across borders, and key subject in curriculum and language of imparting education”. It is also a crucial determinant for university entrance and processing well paid jobs in the commercial sector.

Since there are more and more English learners in India, different teaching methods have been implemented to test the effectiveness of the teaching process. One method involves multimedia in ELT in order to create English contexts. This helps students to get involved and learn according to their interests, It has been tested effectively and is widely accepted for teaching English in modern world.

Technology is utilized for the upliftment of modern styles; it satisfies both visual and auditory senses of the students. With the spread and development of English around the world, English has been learned and used by more and more speakers. According to David Graddol ‘it is the language at the leading edge of scientific and technological development, new thinking in economies and management, new literatures and entertainment genre.

As the use of English has increased in popularity so has the need for qualified teachers to instruct students in the language. It is true that there are teachers who use ‘cutting edge’ technology, but the majority of teachers still teach in the traditional manner. None of these traditional manners are bad or damaging the students (Kent, 2000). In fact, till date they are proving to be useful also. However, there are many more opportunities for students to gain confidence practice and extend themselves, especially for ESL students who learn the language for more than just fun. For them to keep pace with ELT and gain more confidence they have to stride into the world of multimedia technology.

 

2.53. The Growth of ELT Through Technology

Twenty-first century is the age of globalization and is important to grasp on various foreign languages and English language comes first. English Language Teaching has been with us for many years and its significance continues to grow, fuelled, partially by the Internet. Graddol’s study (2000) suggests that in the year 2000 there were about a billion English learners- but a decade later the numbers doubled. The forecast points to a surge in English learning, which has peaked in 2010. The same study indicates that over 80% of information stored on the internet is in English. For the first time there are more Non-Native than Native users of the language and diversity of context in terms of learners, age, nationality, learning background etcetera has become a defining characteristic of ELT today.

Akinyetun (2005) noted that with the rapid development of science and technology, the emerging and developing of multimedia technology and its application to teaching, featuring audio, visual, animation effects comes into full play in English class teaching and sets a favorable platform for reform and exploration on English teaching model in the new era. It’s proved that multimedia technology plays a positive role in promoting activities and initiatives of student and teaching effect in English class. Technological innovations have gone hand-in-hand with the growth of English and are changing the way in which we communicate (Rae, 2007). It is fair to assert that the growth of the internet has facilitated the growth of the English language and that this has occurred at a time when computers are no longer the exclusive domains of the dedicated few, but rather available to many.

With this there has been a very significant proliferation of literature regarding the use of technology in teaching English language. Mostly these writings unequivocally accept technology as the most essential part in teaching. In a sense, a tendency to emphasize on inevitable role of technology in pedagogy to the extent of obliterating human part of teacher by technology part has been very dominant (Zimmerman, 2000). And as a result if we neglect or ignore technological developments they will continue and perhaps we will never be able to catch up, irrespective of our discipline or branch. For this reason it is important for language teachers to be aware of the latest and best equipment and to have a full knowledge of what is available in any given situation.

Teachers can use Multimedia Technology to give more colorful, stimulating lectures (new Horizons). There are many techniques applicable in various degrees to language learning situation. Some are useful for testing and distance education, and some for teaching business English, spoken English, reading, listening or interpreting. The teaching principle should be to appreciate new technologies in the areas and functions where they provide something decisively new useful and never let machines takeover the role of the teacher or limit functions where more traditional ways are superior (Zimmerman, 2000). There are various reasons why all language learners and teachers must know how to make use of the new technology. Here we also need to emphasize that the new technologies develop and disseminate so quickly that we cannot avoid their attraction and influence in any form.

 

2.6Summary of Chapter

This chapter reviews some old methods used in teaching English language and media electronics in teaching English language. Some of the old methods include grammar translation method, audio lingual method, direct method and communicative language teaching. These methods had shortcomings and as a result the chapter buttresses the use of media electronics and ICT in the instructional process of English language.

The next chapter presents the methodology employed by the researcher to accomplish this research work. The methodology comprises the research design, the population of the study, the instrument and the method of data analysis among others.

 


 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1RESEARCH DESIGN

Descriptive survey research is adopted for the study. The reason behind this choice is based on the fact that the design is mostly used to collect factual detailed information that describes the existing phenomena of identified problems or justify current conditions and practices to determine what others are doing with similar problems or situations and benefit from the experience and to make future plans and decisions (Ayoade, 2003).

This design therefore, ensures that the impact of media/ICT on the senior secondary school students’ performance in English language is properly investigated.

 

3.2 POPULATION OF THE STUDY

The target population for this study includes all English language teachers and students in all secondary schools in Oshodi/Isolo local government area of Lagos State. These categories of respondents are chosen since the research tends to examine the impact of media/ICT on the senior secondary school students’ performance in English language among other subjects in secondary schools.

 
3.3 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE

A sample of one hundred and ten (110) persons are randomly selected in the study area where two (2) teachers of English language and twenty (20) students are selected in five (5) randomly selected secondary schools. The sampling is done are there were no more than two (2) English language teachers in some of the schools in Oshodi/Isolo local government area. The selected schools did not only involve government secondary schools but private secondary schools in order to deduce a correlation between the activities in both tyoe of school. With this, the study thus makes use of simple random sampling technique.

 

s/n

School Name

Population

 

 

Teacher

School Head

1.

Okota Grammar School, Okota

2

20

2.

Eko Grammar School, Isolo

2

20

3.

Matori High School, Oshodi

2

20

4.

Prestige College, Oshodi

2

20

5.

Knowledge Divine College, Isolo

2

20

 

Total

10

100

 

Grand Total

110

 

3.4 RESEARCH INSTRUMENT

The major instrument used in collecting data from respondents was a questionnaire. The four (4) Likert scale questionnaire comprised two sections where section ‘A’ consists of demographic data of respondents such as age, sex, marital status etc. and section ‘B’ consists of items based on the hypotheses stated for this study.

Here, respondents are expected to choose their candid opinion either by choosing out of stated options: Agreed (A) Strongly Agreed (SA) Disagreed (D) Strongly Disagreed (SD)

 

3.5 VALIDITY OF THE INSTRUMENT

In order to ensure the validity of the instrument - to ensure the purpose for which it was designed, a copy of the instrument was given to the project supervisor of this research work who made necessary corrections, amendment and suggestion which were used to improve on the instrument. This was done to ascertain suitability, effectiveness and appropriateness.

 

3.6 RELIABILITY OF THE INSTRUMENT

An instrument is reliable when it measures what it is supposed to measure. The instrument used in this research is reliable as the researcher divided the test into two comparable halves using the split half reliability technique.

 

3.7 ADMINISTRATION OF INSTRUMENT

The copies of the questionnaires were given to respondents in each of the five (5) randomly selected schools in Oshodi/Isolo local government area of Lagos state.

The questionnaires were administered to different teachers of each school after the permission of the school head. The respondents showed their candid opinion after a brief explanation by the researcher on the need for the administration before the collection on the same day the questionnaires were administered.

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3.8 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS

All data received through the research instrument were subjected to statistical tools such as frequency counts and simple percentage. These statistical tests allowed the researcher to analyse the demographic data of respondents so as to indentify the actual status of each respondents which may have effect on the study. Also, the opinions expressed by respondents were analysed through the use of statistical test - simple percentage. With this, the study was able to establish inherent facts from the findings of the study.

 

3.9Summary of chapter

This chapter provides a breakdown of the methodology used by the researcher to carry out the study. This research employs a descriptive design with the use of a valid questionnaire to elicit information from ten (10) teachers and one hundred (100) students in Oshodi/Isolo local government area of Lagos and thus analysed all data and information through statistical tests – frequency counts and simple percentage.

The next chapter presents the detailed analysis of data and information elicited from respondents and the findings from the study which aligns with previous studies




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