EFFECTS OF CERTAIN COMMUNICATIVE TACTICS ON LISTENING COMPREHENSION PERFORMANCE AMONG JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL LEARNERS IN LAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF NASARAWA STATE

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EFFECTS OF CERTAIN COMMUNICATIVE TACTICS ON LISTENING COMPREHENSION PERFORMANCE AMONG JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL LEARNERS IN LAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF NASARAWA STATE  

ABSTRACT

This study titled „Effects of Selected Communicative Strategies on Listening Comprehension performance among Junior Secondary School Students in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State‟is aimed at enhancing learner‟s performance in listening comprehension using achievement and reduction communicative strategies. The population of the study was 5491 involving pupils of JSS III of GSS BukanSidi, GSS Lukumanu and GSS Lafia/East.  The sample size of the study is made up of 120 research participants grouped into two experimental group and one control group with each group having 40 participants. The research design for the study is the quasi-experimental research design, the reliability index for test instrument is .9. Hypothesis one, two and four were tested with the use of t-test independent statistic, while hypothesis three was tested using ANOVA. Hypotheses one, two and three were rejected while hypothesis four was accepted and retained. The findings of the study revealed that: achievement communicative strategies have significant effects on listening comprehension performance of pupils, reduction communicative strategies have significant effects on listening comprehension performance amongthe pupils. Both the achievement communicative and the reduction communicative strategies were found more effective than conventional teaching approaches (control group). Finally, the study found out that there were no statistical mean differences between the two experimental groups in their mean performance scores. However, achievement strategy was slightly higher than reduction strategy. The study made recommendations that: teachers of English language should be encouraged and motivated to adopt the use of the Achievement and reduction communicative strategies in order to realize pupils high performance in Listening comprehension, that Inspectors and supervisors of education should encourage all English teachers to use both the Achievement communicative and Reduction communicative strategies in order to realize students high performance in listening comprehension among pupils. The study recommends that qualified teachers of English should be sponsored to attend workshops, seminars and talk shows on the effective use of the achievement communicative strategy and the reduction communicative strategy for students‟ high performance in listening comprehension.  

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

        1.1.       Background to the Study

In the modern world, everybody accepts that listening is one of the most important skills in second language acquisition. When listening to a second language, many language students face listening difficulties such as trying to construct meaning from what is said by the speaker. It may also connotes decoding what is said. Second language learners have significant problems in listening comprehension because schools pay more attention to structure, writing, reading and vocabulary than listening. According to Mohseny and Raeisi (2009), Bozorgian (2012), AlAlwan, Asassfeh, and Al-Shboul, (2013) Lochland, (2013), Renukadevi (2014) listening is not an important part of many course books or syllabus. Most teachers do not attach importance to listening while preparing their lesson plan. A great number of teachers believe that it will develop naturally within the language learning process and learners will learn it learn unconsciously. Actually there are a number of listening barriers based on message, delivery, audience and environment. Teaching and drilling listening strategies ease students listening comprehension.

One very important idea for teaching listening is that listening courses must make use of students‟ prior knowledge in order to improve listening comprehension (Brown, 2006; Graham, Santos, Vanderplank; Yang, and Plakans, 2012; Abdalhamid, 2012; Azmi,  Celik, Yidliz, and Tugrul,, 2014; Asemota, 2015; Jafari, and Hashim; 2015; Kang, 2016; Rao, 2016). Communicative strategies (CS) can have positive effects on listening comprehension but its impact is highly dependent on the way it is used. The teachers‟ motivation is of paramount importance. Communicative strategy enables the teacher to focus on one specific aspect of the lesson such as pronunciation and vocabulary development. CS promotes the capacity to control presentation in a listening comprehension class. It also creates room for novelty and creativity among learners, as well as making the language teacher to get immediate feedback from students. Different CS can be adopted by teachers to suit their students` needs and level of language knowledge.

The use of communication strategies in the foreign language classroom has been studied in the United States and Great Britain since the 1980‟s. More recently those strategies have been

used in some Arab countries and African countries (Rababah, 2005 in Cervantes and Renukadevi, 2014: Liu, 2014: Roy, 2016). The communicative approach in language teaching starts from a theory of language as communication. The goal of language teaching is to develop communicative competence (Richards and Rodgers, 2001 in Maryslessor, Barasa, and Omulando, 2014). Communicative strategy in this study means the helpful tools for both native speakers and foreign language learners to compensate for insufficient competence in language learning. Such tools are most especially usedin listening. The types of communicative strategies available in the literature include achievement strategy, reduction strategy andTarone‟s social strategies. The strategies also cover cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, and socioaffective strategies among others.

Communicative strategies play an important role in communication, they contribute to second language acquisition by facilitating the learning processes. Communicative strategies

(CS) can help to keep the communication channel open, and encourage hypothesis formulation (Wei, 2011; Biswas, Ahmed and Sarker, 2013; Iftakhar, 2014). Most learners may be knowledgeable in grammar or vocabulary, but they may as well face a lot of difficulties in conveying their messages both in classroom and in real life contexts. Many studies have proven that both, some non-native and native speakers of language sometimes struggle to find an appropriate vocabulary item construction or expression. These vocal items are used to communicate or convey their meaning” (Lam, 2010,Christensen, Johnson and Turner, 2011; Pourhosein, and Ahmadi, 2011; Pengnate, 2013; Shtavica, 2015). Some studies have suggested that English language teachers are not always aware of the influence of communication strategies in the teaching and learning. They are unable to use devised strategies to teach various aspects of English in the language classroom.

Based on this background, the researcher is inspired to carry out this study in order to suggest the following:

  1. Use of improved methods (communicative strategies) of teaching English language to teach listening comprehension at the junior secondary school level.
  2. Desire to reduce curriculum problem in English comprehension teaching most especially at the Junior Secondary school level.
  3. Encouragement oflearners who show lack of interest in English comprehension to

develop interest in learning its skills.

        1.2.      Statement of the Problem

Listening plays an important role in daily communication and educational process. In spite of its importance, listening has long been the neglected skill in second language acquisition, research, teaching, and assessment.Itis a basic skill in first language acquisition and is crucial in English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) learning. This skill, despite its importance, has been allocated inadequate consideration in ESL/EFL teaching. The process of employing listening strategies on the part of learners, and explicitly teaching listening skills on the part of teachers, has been overlooked. This neglect comes through a strong emphasis on assessment of the products of listening.

It is against thisbackground that the use of communicative strategies in teaching of listening comprehension is confronted with challenges such as unfamiliarity with vocabulary by learners and lack of concentration. It is also limited by length and speed of the listening, cultural differences and poor quality of recorded materials. Poor physical conditions can sometime cause inconvenience in classroom which can affect listening comprehension by learners.

Therefore, the problem areas of this study are stated as follows:

  1. Many learners in the Junior Secondary School level in Lafia Local government lack the listening ability to deal with the problem they face in their day to day communication.
  2. Most learners lack interest in English language because of the difficulty they encounter in their attempt to listen.
  3. Most learners do not even know the specific strategies (achievement and reduction) to use in addressing their problems of listening as a language skill.

        1.3.      Objectives of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find the effects of:

  1. Achievement communicative strategies on listening comprehension among students of government junior secondary schools in Lafia,Nasarawa State.
  2. Reduction communicative strategies on listening comprehension among students of government junior secondary schools in Lafia.Nasarawa State; and
  3. Suggest Specific communicative strategies applicable to teaching of listening comprehension inJunior Secondary School in Lafia.

 

        1.4.       Research Questions

Based on the above stated research objectives the following questions were asked

  1. What are the effects of achievement communicative strategies on listening comprehension among students of government juniorsecondary schools in Lafia, Nasarawa State?
  2. What are the effects of reduction communicative strategies on listening comprehension among students of government junior secondary schools in Lafia, Nasarawa State?
  3. What are the effects of reduction and achievement communicative strategies on listening comprehension among Junior Secondary School Students in Lafia?

        1.5. Research Hypotheses

Based on the above research questions, the following hypotheses were formulated for the study:

Ho1 Achievement    communicative    strategies    do    not     significantly    affect      listening
  comprehension of students of government junior secondary schools, Lafia,Nasarawa
  State.
Ho2 Reduction     communicative     strategies     do     not     significantly     affect      listening
  comprehension of students of government junior secondary schools in Lafia,Nasarawa
  State.
H03 Reduction and achievement communicative strategies do notsignificantly affect
  listening comprehension of junior Secondary School students in Lafia Nasarawa State.

        1.6.      Significance of the Study

The study issignificant because it is expected to:

  1. Help to resolve the problem students‟ encounter in listening comprehension.
  2. Avail learners with varieties of linguistic resources to deal with communicative problems in listening comprehension. Help teacherschoose communicative strategies to teach listening comprehension.
  3. Enable curriculum planners in second languageto adequately incorporate achievement and reduction communicative strategies in theteaching of listening comprehension skills.
  4. Encourage English textbook writers to include the achievement and reduction communicative strategies for the teaching of listening comprehension skills.

        1.7.      Scope and Delimitation

The effects of achievement and reduction strategies are delimited to listening comprehension performance of selected government junior secondary students in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. A reference to any communicative study on

communicative approach outside Lafia is not treated in this study. The participants of this study were drawn from selected junior secondary schools in Lafia. The study is also delimited to achievement and reduction strategies only. The aspects of listening comprehension skills that were taught include listening for specific information, listening for inference, listening for interpretation, listening for vocabulary, and listening for critical evaluation.

EFFECTS OF CERTAIN COMMUNICATIVE TACTICS ON LISTENING COMPREHENSION PERFORMANCE AMONG JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL LEARNERS IN LAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF NASARAWA STATE  

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