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English language is taught as a subject and at the same time it is a medium of instruction for other subjects in the Nigeria education curriculum. The aim and objectives of teaching oral skills in English as taught in the Nigeria education curriculum is to enable students communicate effectively and intelligently in English. It also helps students develop confidence in their ability to express themselves in English as fluently as possible and provides an opportunity for the correction of mistakes in spoken English. The English language has become greatly valued in Nigeria’s Educational system. As remarked by Bamgbose, Banjo & Thomas (2005), the dominance of English in formal and transactional communication is unchallengeable. In view of the multilingual nature of Nigeria, with more than 400 indigenous languages Ufomata(2017), believes that English is regarded as the only feasible and realistic choice for the nation now and in the foreseeable future. The greatest efforts expended on English language in Nigeria have been in the area of the Educational system, particularly in relation to Nigerian indigenous languages with the major ones being Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fulfulde, and Kanuri. English as the official language of Nigeria and also the former colonial language was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country.

Oral English is a very important language skill, however it has been neglected for far too long by teachers of English, this is as a result of lack of adequate teaching methods. However, recent development in the teaching of English Language requires greater emphasis on this aspect of English language. This is because oral English complements the understanding and the use of English language so as to improve the standard of spoken English. According to Idris (2001), not much has been achieved since the introduction of Oral English in West African School Certificate and National Examination Council due to the problems associated with teachers’ neglect of oral English. Recently, there is the emergence of new publications particularly on Oral English by other language teachers, researchers and scholars such as Mannell, Cox, and Harrington (2009), Akperero (2000), Enyeazu (2001), and Idris (2001). This development has gone a long way in bringing oral English into focus and enhancing of teachers’ quest for modern teaching methods. Its inclusion in the English Language Examination Paper (Test of Orals) has drawn the attention of many teachers and students’ attention.

A good approach to oral language instruction will develops the reading, writing and speaking skills of the student thereby making the learning of English language more effective and the learning experiences of learners in other subjects being taught in Secondary Schools more concrete and more enjoyable. Teaching method is therefore are strategies of instruction or style of instruction. Oral English is an activity oriented subject. The way it is taught is important for helping students solve different problems in life. Oral English being a science and secretarial subject, therefore involve the teacher using methods that will give the students to be actively involved. It is a well-known fact that no skilled teacher ever uses just one method of teaching shield (2002) points out that good teachers follow no one method, instead he/she uses whatever methods and materials that seem to be best for the particular topic.

              Although, many methods of teaching oral English exist, only methods of teaching oral English language will be discussed for the purpose of this research. Audio lingual methods according to Gambari (2012), is a scientific approach that presents oral model to students either on tab or in teaching process of mechanical habits formation.  Basic learning and teaching exercises of the audio lingual method are dialogues and drills. There is also dialogue method. Through dialogues, structures, are contextualized and cultural aspects of the target language can be included as well. Moreover, dialogues are used for repetition and memorization of sentence structures. Correct pronunciation, stress, speech rhythm and intonation are seen as crucial. After students have memorized the dialogue, specific grammatical patterns are selected and practiced in pattern-practiced drills (Richard & Rodgers 2007:59). Richard and Rodgers point out that “the use of drills and pattern-practice is a distinctive features of the audio lingual method.

            The Direct method was developed as a result of a philosophical shift that took place at the end of 1800 which resulted in a revolution in language teaching practises. The Direct Method is considered as the first “real” method of language instruction (Dada & Joseph, 2020). This method is predicated on the idea that people would have an easier time learning an L2 if it were presented to them in isolation, without any reference to the L1. In essence, the processes involved in learning the new language should be similar to the processes that a child goes through when they are learning their native language. To be more specific, in the opinions of Alemi and Tavakoli (2016), the method encourages the learning of vocabulary and phrases of the second language without the need for the learner to resort to translating using their native language. The ultimate goal is to get the students to ‘think’ in the target language, whether that be the second language or the foreign language.

           The oral approach was developed by British applied linguist from the 1930’s. two of the most prominent leaders of the movement were the British linguist Harold palmer and A.S Hornby (Richard and Rodgers 2007:36) their aim was to develop a more scientific oral approach to language teaching than the direct method with the result of a systematic study of the principles and procedures that could be used for the selection and organization of the language context (palmers) 1917, 1921 quoted in Richards & Rodgers (2007:36).

Situational language teaching method is another method used in teaching Thus, the name situation approach further additions were made and the term situational language teaching came into usage and has been extended to a method. In this research paper the term situational approach. Maina (2015) recommends that in a classroom situation, dialogue can be conducted between teacher and student or student to student. Apart from stress and intonation, dialogue can be used to teach etiquette and problematic sounds. According to Mwang, (2006), intonation helps us to communicate the right message.

             Apart from the above, there is also simulation. According to the oxford advanced learner’s dictionary, (2018), simulation is the deliberate making of certain conditions that could exist in reality, in order to study them or learn them. Gathumbi (2005) defines simulation as an activity that presents learners with an opportunity to discuss a specific problem or related problems within a defined a activity. Here, the participants interact either as themselves in imaginary situations or other people in imaginary situations.

              The demonstration is another method of teaching oral English. The teacher, as the instructor, prepares the students first and then gets out of the way learners may interact in pairs or in small groups, role play can be used to teach etiquette by demonstrating the ability to use correct register in different context. (Ann, 2008). The following procedures, according to Maina (2015) can be used to illustrate this method: A teacher ask two learners to imagine that they watched a football match between their school and another school. On their way back are joined by another friend and they heartily discuss the game.

            Another method is the discussion method. Maina (2015) stated that discussion means any exchange of ideas and opinions either on a class basis, with the teacher as the mediator and to some extent, as the participator or within the context of a group, with the learners talking amongst themselves”. According to him, a teacher should prepare students, firstly by giving them a chance to choose topics that can easily develop into: an argument, serious topics, less serious topics and topics and tropical issues for instance a television program plan for a vacation, mutual friends and any topic that will motivate the students to express their views. Maina (2015) views discussion as a rich stimulus for communicative interaction discussions and debate topics, may be chosen and timed according to the level of the class small groups should be used to discuss a topic after the task the learners should be asked to present their discussion, students learn how to think critically and express their views while in a debate they learn how to justify themselves in polite ways while disagreeing with others.

Narration or story telling method. It can be used to teach both listening and speaking skills. Learners can be told to narrate to the class folk’s tales and other creative stories. Story telling helps students to express ideas in the format of developing a beginning, middle and ending. According to Gathumbi (2005), this is an effective way of developing speaking skills since learners have to speak and listen, and in some cases, use paralinguistic cues. According to Adams (2008), storytelling encourages creativity and helps students practice their language skills. Narration can be used to teach listening comprehension as follows: to achieve the objective of identifying the features of ogre or trickster stories the teacher will narrate the story, use pre-recorded material, a radio program or even a resource person. The role of the learner would be to listen carefully in order to answer questions that the teacher will then ask based on the story. For example, who are the characters in the spoken piece? What happens to the main character in the end? Identify the features of an ogre/trickster narrative in this story, what is the moral lesson of the story? Which animals are usually tricked by others?

Oral presentations can be used to teach use of gestures, pronunciation of speech sounds and mainly to develop the speaking skills. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2018), Defines presentation as to produce a show, play or a broadcast for the public. In classroom setting, the teacher and the learners give presentations which enhance speaking skills. Maina (2015) reports that each student can be allowed seconds before the class starts to say what they think about a given topic. Varied topics like corruption, HIV/AIDs as a killer disease, COVID-19 as a global pandemic, conservation of the environment and domestic violence may provide a good opportunity for the learners to talk. Such presentation enables the teacher to access the student’s fluency and competence when expressing their views. Focus can be both on the content and oral delivery or presentations during an oral presentation practice. The teacher can demonstrate how to effectively use non-verbal cues like eye contact and facial expressions to enhance communication oral presentation was a technique the researcher looked out for in this study.

It is in line with the above discussion that this study seeks to make an assessment of methods of teaching oral English in senior secondar schools in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.



Research in oral English will never end due to the increasing nature of poor academic performance of secondary school students especially in external examinations like WAEC, NECO, NABTEB or JAMB, many educationists tend to shift the blame on the students lack of attitude in the subject being discussed, interference of mother tongue, lack of constant practice by students, lack of orientation and facilities as well as shortage and limited accessibility to relevant books (Hanz, 2018).

It is very important to maintain that though efforts have been put in place to improve Oral English, a good result is yet to be seen and according to Obriri (2007), “Although many concerned scholars and researchers have charted numerous ways to simplify the teaching or instruction of Oral English, many more problems are mounting and need to be thoroughly addressed urgently as they are alarming”. The cause of this negative development is certainly because a lot of energy is being channelled only towards learners’ problems, and not the problem of teaching. Therefore, the researcher wants to investigate problems and contributing factors to the low performance of students in oral English. This is why the researcher is interested in carrying out an assessment of methods of teaching oral English in Senior secondary schools in Mangu Local Government Area with the aim of proffering lasting solutions.


The main purpose of the study is to make an assessment of methods of teaching oral English in Senior Secondary Schools in Mangu Local Government Area. Specifically, the study have the following objectives:

  1. Examine the dominant methods of teaching oral English adopted by the teachers in Senior Secondary Schools in Mangu.
  2. Determine the methods of teaching oral English which are rarely or never used by the teachers in Senior Secondary Schools in Mangu.
  3. Determine whether teachers research for current methods for teaching oral English.


            The study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the dominant methods of teaching oral English adopted by the teachers in Senior Secondary Schools in Mangu?
  2. What are the methods of teaching oral English which are rarely or never used by the teachers in Senior Secondary Schools in Mangu?
  3. To what extent do teachers research for current methods of teaching oral English?


The significance of this research cannot be overemphasized especially now that the world has become a global village. For our nation to compete favourably with the wider world an adequate English teaching method needs to be adopted for the enhancement of students’ performance in oral English. Therefore, this research shall be of benefit to teachers, curriculum planners, government and students who are the centre of this research.

To the curriculum planners, the findings of this research will indicate loopholes in their curriculum design. They will get useful information that will enable them improve in their planning of the curriculum. Therefore, they will come to know if teaching method is a contributory factor to the under achievement of students in oral English, hence they will advocate for teaching methods that work.

Teachers of English who are the mediators between the curriculum planners will benefit from this research as it will serve as an eye opener to the importance of using a good teaching method to make oral English interesting and comprehensible among students.

Government will benefit from this study and they will make provision of adequate instructional materials and facilities for every school, if possible. They will also sponsor workshops aimed at exposing teachers of English to the trending methods of teaching oral English. PTA and proprietors in private schools will also do same in their various private schools.

Students who are at the centre of this research will benefit because the measures taken by the teachers, the curriculum planners and government, will be to their benefit. That is to say that the overall significance is that when all the stake holders in this study benefit from the findings, the learners of Oral English will perform better in both internal and external examinations.

Finally, this study when completed will serve as a reference material to future researchers who will want to carry out research in the future in the same field.


This study focuses on assessment of methods of teaching oral English in Senior secondary schools. The study is restricted to selected secondary schools in Mangu. However, despite the fact that the study is delimited to the selected schools and Local Government Area, the findings can be applicable to other parts of the State and country at large. This is to say that the recommendations can be useful to other parts of the country.


Teaching: Is the act, practice or profession of a teacher which shapes one’s thought and action through giving instructions and or performing practices.

Learning: Learning is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviours, skills and values or it is a skill or knowledge acquired by instruction or study.

Students’ Academic Performance: This is the outcome or achievements of students after being exposed to instructions through various teaching methods by a teacher.

Teacher-centered Method: This is the traditional method of teaching in most Senior Secondary Schools whereby the teacher assumes the centre of the class and dishes out instructions while students listen and take notes.

Student-Centered Method: This is a teaching method whereby the learners assume the centre of the classroom or lesson. Here, the theoretical part of the lesson comes alive as they get to do the things themselves.

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