EFFECT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE ENTRANCE GRADES ON LEARNERS‟ PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND IN FEDERAL COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST ZONE, NIGERIA

0
74

EFFECT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE ENTRANCE GRADES ON LEARNERS‟ PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND IN FEDERAL COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST ZONE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study investigated the Influence of English Language Entry Grades on Students‟

Performance in Shorthand in Federal Colleges of Education in North-West Zone, Nigeria. As a guide to the research, three research questions were raised and three null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The researcher adopted ex-post-facto design.  The populations for the study were 416 NCE II Secretarial Students of five Federal Colleges of Education who formed as population of the study. There was no sampling owing to the small number of the population.  Three research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation.  Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMC) statistics was employed to test null hypotheses 1,2 and 3 at 0.05 level of significance.  The result of the study revealed that English language entry grades had significant influence on students‟ performance in shorthand.  The students with the “A” and “B” and “C” entry grades in English language were found to have statistically higher academic performance in shorthand. Based on this finding, the researcher concluded that students‟ massive failure in shorthand in Federal Colleges of

Education North-West Zone, Nigeria was as a result of their inability to perform well in English language at WAEC and NECO and researcher concluded that good entry grades in English language enhance good academic performance, and good academic performance leads to higher shorthand grades in tertiary institutions. It was therefore recommended, among others, that credit pass in English language should be made a minimum entry grade requirement into NCE 1.

xiii

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Education is the totality of life experience that man acquires which enables him or her to cope with and derive satisfaction from living in the world. Business Education is a programme that is offered in tertiary institutions of leaning that would also enable one to achieve social competence. It is an important part of general education which emphasizes on skill and competent acquisition for use in offices and business related occupations. Business Education is an aspect of education which is significant to individual and national development. It is one of the programmes offered in Colleges of Education which comprises of accounting and Secretarial Education among others.

Business education is a program of study that covers a wide range of spectrum of economic activities in any society. It equips the scholars with desirable competencies necessary for selfemployment which is very important in the present depressed Nigerianeconomic situation. Amoor and Udoh (2012) havenoted that business education plays a significant role in the economic development by providing knowledge and skills to the learners. It enables them to adequately impart knowledge to others, and handle sophisticated office technologies and information systems.

Shorthand is a linguistic skill and words are the very stuff of which it is made. A welldeveloped skill in English language is generally considered a contributory factor to success in the total shorthand skill acquisition. English Language is a very important subject and a good knowledge of it enhances students‟ performance in shorthand. This is because, English Language is basic tobeing able to read, transcribe and interpret shorthand notes. A welldeveloped skill and mastery in English language is very important to the success in understanding of shorthand both in taking down transcription. Note therefore, a student who read well, learn the tempo and structure of English Language early in their development; these students tend to master vocabulary, variance in expression, organization and skills without much difficulty.

Shorthand is one of the core courses offered in business education in Nigeria. It is a skillful way of recording speech in a written form by the use of signs and symbols. These signs and symbols are called outlines. Westfall (2013) described shorthand as an abbreviated symbol of writing method.

There are twenty six consonants which are known as strokes and words. These consonants are the rudiment of shorthand which the students must first learn. Generally, Pitman shorthand use symbols to represent sounds. With the advent of technology, several other systems have been invented at various places all over the world to promote speed writing. Such systems are Duployan shorthand, Eclectic handy write shorthand, Munson shorthand, and Brief hand shorthand. The skills to be mastered in shorthand can be classified as vocational and personal use system. Shorthand is an interesting skill and training. It is among the major skills that are practically applied in all secretarial training.  It representsany system of rapid handwriting which can be used to transcribe the spoken word. Shorthand may be used in a variety of techniques including simplifying existing letters or characters and using special symbols to represent phonetic words and phrases.  It is one of the corner stone subjects of Business

Education at all levels of Education from 1850‟s to date. Pitman (2012) ascertained in his passage by saying that Gold is not gotten on the surface.  It means that the diligence required to master the art of shorthand is time consuming.

One of the central demands that are required to master the art of shorthand is diligence. It is time consuming. It is what the uninterested students and teachers tend to require for success. Anything worth doing is worth doing well and that nothing good comes easily that is the key to success in shorthand. That explains why enduring training is needed to improve dexterity and mastery in speed and accuracy must be well developed. This is usually after long term consistent efforts.

Most offices have shorthand writers frequently called stenographers or secretaries who take dictation from their bosses, types up the dictation into letter format. Shorthand can therefore be described as a major technical skill required of secretary to become effective. Really, despite the innovations in Information Communication and Technology, it is difficult to predict when shorthand can be completely erasedfrom Office of Technology Management (OTM) communication.Ezenwafor (2015) stated that, shorthand is the bedrock of stenography which enables confidential secretaries to write spoken words at such a high speed as 100 and 120 words per minute. This speed as stated is the required speed in the minimum standard of the Nigerian Certificate in Education graduates. This work however focuses attention on Pitman shorthand system which is the system that is dominant in Nigeria.

In Nigerian Colleges of Education, Shorthand constitutes one of the most important components of business education curriculum. Consequently, it is considered as a key subject in the training OTM and office skill students in Business Education. Thus for Colleges of

Education to produce competent graduates of business education, the quality of students  becomes the key to producing quality graduates of shorthand. It is common practice that the quality of graduates is measured using academic performance andthe indicator of a quality student is the entry qualification.Entry qualification may be said to be one among many other factors that influences academic performance. Students‟ Entry Grades are set standards that students are expected to meet before they can be admitted into tertiary institution. Students‟ who must offer secretarial studies must possess basic grades at SSCE or NECO in English Language.

In Nigeria, there are basically two major modes of admission into Colleges of Education. These are the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) which is an organised examination conducted by the JAMB in order to centralize the admission system. There is a qualifying examination used alongside the candidate‟s results.English language is usually graded. These grades include D7 which represents scores of 45-49 correspond to grade D at the higher institution and is weighted 1.Grades C6 and C5 represent scores of 50-54 and 55-59 respectively and are weighted 2 to correspond with grade C at the higher institution. Similarly, grades C4 (60-64) and B3 (65-69) are weighted 3 and B2 (70-74) and A1 (75-100) are weighted 4 in line with the university and other higher institution of learning grading system.

In each case, English Language is a compulsory subject to be passed by the students. Gbore (2013) has stated that the grades and scores obtained by the candidates that are given admission to the tertiary institutions are supposed to be a measure of the replica or closeness to the academic behaviour each of the candidates should likely demonstrate while in the University pursing the courseor programme chosen to specialize in.

Researchers have proven that entry grade of students influence the future academic performance of students in shorthand. Swart (2005), Acato (2006), and Geiser and Santelices(2007) all argue that admission points which are a reflection of the previous performance as they tend to predict future academic performance. McNicol (2013) has indicated that a well-developed skill in English languageis a contributory factor to success in the total shorthand skill both in writing and transcription. Therefore, students‟ with good entry grade in English language are expected to perform well in shorthand,asEnglishlanguage grades are sometimes used to forecast shorthand performance and research reveals a relationship between English languageability and shorthand success. English grades usually reflect reading ability, vocabulary development, English usage and ability to punctuate and spell all the factors associated with transcription performance, the ultimate goal of all shorthand instruction.

For a student of Shorthand to sail smoothly in the course, entry grade in English language is fundamental for academic success. In North-West geopolitical Zone of Nigeria, students‟ performance in Shorthand appeared on the downward go.

In this study area, no empirical study has been carried out on the influence of students English

Language Entry Grade on students‟ performance in shorthand. It is on this note that the study seeks to examine the Influence of English Language Entry Grades on Students‟ Performance in Shorthand in FCE North-West Zone, Nigeria.

         1.2       Statement of the Problem

Over the years, students‟ performances in writing and transcription of shorthand outlines have not been encouraging this was as a result of poor Entry Grades in English language.  Other researchersreported that students who have acquired good entry grades in English language perform better than those with poor grades in English language.  Therefore when  students with little or no exposure to English language enroll into secretarial education, they are most often unable to fully benefit from instructions in English language and may risk academic failure in shorthand or be frustrated to change the course or drop out.

Although there have been studies of the place English language have on students‟ performance in Pitman shorthand, such studies are not ready available within the environment which the researcher conducted the study.

On the other hand, the findings and/or conclusion often drawn by the teachers and local researchers who usually obtain their data on shorthand performance by the SSCE students often make references or conclusion based on their collected scores from the WASC and NECO records.

The concern of this research is to establish or know what role the influence of students‟ performance at the „O‟level of pass o shorthand students‟ performance.

In the study area, no empirical study has been carried out on the Influence of English

Language Entry Grade on students‟ performance in shorthand. It is on the basis of the problem stated above that this study was conducted to assess the Influence of English

Language Entry Grades on Students‟ Performance in Shorthand in FCE North-West Zone, Nigeria

 

 

.

 

         1.3       Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this study is to assess the Influence students‟‟ „O‟ level performancehas on NCE shorthand students‟ on English language Entry Grades in Federal

Colleges of Education in North-West Zone, Nigeria.

The specific objectives were to determine the:-

  1. Influence of “A” grade at the „O‟ level English Language grade on Business Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E in North-west Zone, Nigeria.
  2. Influence of “B” grade at the „O‟ level English Language grade on Business Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E in North-west Zone, Nigeria.
  3. Influence of “C” grade at the „O‟ level English Language grade on Business Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E in North-west Zone, Nigeria.

         1.4       Research Questions

In line with each specific objective, the following research questions were raised:-

  1. What is the influence at the A grade in „O‟ level English Language grade on Business

Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E in North-west Zone, Nigeria?

  1. What is the influence at theB grade in „O‟ level English Language grade on Business

Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E in North-west – Zone, Nigeria?

  1. What is the influence at the C grade in „O‟ level English Language grade on Business

Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E in North-west Zone, Nigeria?

 

 

 

         1.5       Research Hypotheses

In line with the research questions, the following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at the significant level of 0.05:-

  1. There is no significant influence at theA grade in „O‟ level English Language gradeon

Business Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E North-west Zone, Nigeria.

  1. There is no significant influence at the B grade in „O‟ level English Language gradeon

Business Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E North-west Zone, Nigeria.

  1. There is no significant influence at the C grade in „O‟ level English Language grade on

Business Education students‟ performance in Shorthand in F.C.E North-west Zone, Nigeria.

         1.6       Significance of the study

It is expected that the findings of this studyafter  Journal publication and in other media will be useful to the following stakeholders:-

  • Business Education Students
  • Business Education Lecturers
  • Federal Colleges of Education
  • Employers
  • Researchers
  • Internet user
  • Curriculum planners

Business Education students will find this research work useful because it will be an aid to them to know the importance of good entry grades in English language especially in the area of writing and transcription of Shorthand outlines.

Business Education Lecturers will find this work useful in educating and proper orientation of the students on the need to acquire credit in O‟level English language as a pre-requisite to  admission into NCE.The lecturers will also use the result of this study to adopt strategies as to simplify and enhance the comprehension of shorthand transcription and also help the students to intensify their effort in their quest for knowledge.

Federal Colleges of Education and Colleges of Education will benefit from this research work because only the students with credit in WAEC and NECO are to be admitted into NCE.  The employers will enjoy the services of competent and well trained secretaries who might have gotten experience in Secretarial Studies skills.  The skills acquired will save the employers the cost of re-training the secretaries on the job.

Curriculum planners will benefit from the findings of thisstudy on the achievement of educational objectives for national development by designing policies on courses, skills and knowledge that are relevant to the field of study in business education programme. When academic performance of students is enhanced and encouraged through their past achievement, it means government‟s heavy investment is justified. College departmental managements are also interested in fostering excellent academic achievements and are also The study will benefit researchers in Business education (Secretarial Studies) as it will serve as available data for future point of reference.

Finally placing this research in internet will create global awareness, anetwork providing a variety of information on the importance good entry grades in English language as prerequisite for performance in shorthand.

1.7    Assumptions of the Study

The following basic assumptions were made for the study that:-

  1. Student with good background in English language at „O‟Level will perform better in

Shorthand courses than those with poor background English Language

  1. Students with higher entry grades in English language at „O‟ level will help in developing positive attitudes in shorthand than their counterparts with low grades students with lower grade could be better in shorthand if they are admitted into pre-

NCE course so that they could fulfill their ambition in their chosen career.

1.8     Delimitation of the Study

This research study was delimited to Federal Colleges of Education, North-West Zone, Nigeria because they were picked purposively for the study.

The study was delimited to only NCE II 2015/2016 academic session students who offered shorthand as a core course that requires writing and transcription.

It was also delimited to English Language Entry Grades and Students‟ Performance in Shorthand because they are the central focus of Secretarial Course.

 

EFFECT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE ENTRANCE GRADES ON LEARNERS‟ PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND IN FEDERAL COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST ZONE, NIGERIA

Leave a Reply