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  • Background to the Study

Oral English is a crucial skill that all English language learners of a second language need to acquire if they wish to be successful in their efforts to acquire the language. Learners in secondary schools should place a significant emphasis on developing their oral English skills (Ezeka, 2012). Learners have the opportunity to practise essential oral skills like stress, rhythm, and intonation through this activity, which is essential if they wish to become proficient writers and fluent speakers. Due to the fact that stress, rhythm, and intonation are all components of pronunciation, it is essential to acquire these skills.

One of the many components that comprise a language is the rhythm of its speakers’ words. Words in spoken English typically have an increased number of syllables. Some syllables are stressed long and others are stressed short, while others are stressed weak and strong. These are the factors that contribute to the rhythm of the English language. It is the amount of time that passes between the primary stresses or accents, and it has the appearance of a musical voice in human feeling (Abubakar, 2011). It has been asserted that each language possesses its own unique rhythm. Someone who is ill or has a weakness in their language may use language that lacks senses of rhythm. Learning or acquiring the rhythm of a language is something that comes more naturally to children than it does to adults.

When speaking, the force that is placed on a word to make its meaning clear in many sentences is referred to as stress. When you say some words with more force than others, you are doing something called word accentuation. The sounds that are placed on the main words in English, such as verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, are referred to as Content Sounds. Nouns like “bag” and “sauce,” verbs like “walk,” “drive,” and “hit,” adverbs like “well” and “fast,” and adjectives like “fat,” “big,” and “thin.” And there are some words that we do not place a lot of emphasis on; they are called Function. Words like “the,” “an,” “a,” “some,” “any,” and “a few,” auxiliary verbs like “am,” “was,” “can,” “could,” “should,” and “must,” etc., prepositions like “near,” “next to,” and “after,” conjunctions like “but,” “and,” “or,” “for,” and “as,” and pronouns like “he,” “she,” “we,” “they,” “him,” and The following is a list of the eight different patterns of word stress that can be found in English. Words like “police” and “cord” both have two syllables, with the second syllable being the stressed one. There are many different kinds of stress, such as emphatic stress, contrastive stress, tonic stress, stress brought on by newly acquired information, stress timing, and degree of stress.

Intonation is a type of pitch that refers to the degree to which a sound is low or high. When uttering a sentence like this, the speaker’s voice may go up to a higher tone or down to a lower tone. This makes the speaker’s delivery more animated and the meaning more understandable. Intonation is a challenge for students of English who want to be able to speak the language with the same fluency as native speakers of the language. Intonation is often referred to as the “music of a language,” and it is widely considered to be the single most important component of a strong accent. The intonation of a speaker’s voice conveys information about how they are expressing themselves. A falling tone and a rising tone are both examples of types of intonation. The intonation of the English language creates the music of the language. We can convey feeling through tone, as well as ask questions with it. It is essential to always keep in mind the significance of the tones being used in each conversation. To ensure that there are no misunderstandings between the speaker and the listener, we use different tones of voice when the conversation is unclear or cannot be understood.

Therefore, students who are learning English as a second language are typically confronted with the challenge of developing their oral proficiency in terms of correct pronunciation of English sounds (phonemes). This can be due to the fact that English is a new language, the student’s mother tongue, or interference from their first language. On the other hand, there has been a focus on the pursuit of Standard English; as a result, both students and teachers of the English language should strive toward a level of competence that is comparable to that of the standard form (Standard English or Received Pronunciation). This makes it possible for the learner as well as the instructor to acquire sufficient competence for the practical purposes of teaching and communication in day-to-day life.

Within the framework of the educational curriculum in Nigeria, the English language serves not only as a topic of study but also as a medium of instruction for a variety of other topics. Students will be able to communicate effectively and intelligently in English if they are taught oral skills in English, as required by the education curriculum in Nigeria. This is the goal and the objective of teaching oral skills in English. The student will be able to develop confidence in his ability to express himself in English as fluently as possible, and it will provide an opportunity for errors in spoken English to be corrected.

The development of the student’s reading, writing, and speaking skills, which in turn will make the student’s experience of learning the English language more fruitful and the learning experiences of the learners in other subjects being taught in secondary schools more concrete and more enjoyable, is the goal of an effective approach to the instruction of oral language.

Because of this, a significant amount of interest and emphasis should be placed on the methods that teachers use to teach oral English as well as the use of appropriate instructional materials. This is because these things will assist the learner in developing his or her pronunciation to the point where it will allow for effective communication with both native and non-native speakers. In a similar vein, it is self-evident that improper pronunciation, mispronunciation, poor intonation, and misrepresentation of phonetic sounds are common errors that are identified among teachers and students of English as a second language in today’s society. For example, the vast majority of students get the qualities and lengths of vowels confused. Because of these issues, recent advancements in language teaching and learning have made the teaching and learning of oral English not only a necessity, but also a pre-requisite for determining whether or not a learner is competent in language use and acquisition. This is because of the problems that were mentioned earlier.

Oral English is a very important language skill; however, it has been neglected for far too long by English teachers. This is because there is a lack of adequate instructional materials to teach oral English. Although oral English is a very important skill, it has been neglected for far too long by English teachers. New developments in the teaching of English, on the other hand, necessitate a greater focus on the oral component of the English language. This is due to the fact that oral English provides a supplement to both the comprehension and application of the English language, thereby elevating the quality of spoken English. According to Idris (2001), the problems associated with teachers’ neglect of oral English have prevented significant progress from being made since the introduction of Oral English in the West African School Certificate and National Examination Council. As a result, not much has been accomplished since the introduction of Oral English. Recently, new publications have appeared, particularly on Oral English, written by other language teachers, researchers, and scholars such as Mannell, Cox, and Harrington (2009), who advocated for the use of technological instructional materials in the teaching and learning of oral English. These new publications have been a driving force behind the adoption of technological instructional materials.

If learning and teaching oral English are going to be successful, the instructor or teacher in charge of the course needs to make use of appropriate instructional materials. According to Igbojinwaekwu (2013), instructional materials encompass a wide variety of resources that may be put to use in order to make the communication process more successful and time-saving. The audio-visual material is an example of one of these types of instructional materials. There is a type of instructional material known as audio-visual material that helps make ideas or concepts clearer in instructional programmes. However, this type of instructional material should not be viewed as a replacement for effective teaching (Moronkola, 2012). According to Gbodi and Laleye (2006), a videotape recorder is a form of audio-visual material that can be useful for the instruction of programming on topics that are both abstract and difficult to explain verbally. Audio-visual aids are the most effective tools for developing faultless communication and interaction between students and teachers as well as between students and the content being studied. Not only do these aids help the teacher save time, but they also help develop and arouse students’ curiosity, creativity, and motivation. It places a strong emphasis on the comprehension of both information and concepts, and it continues to work toward the development of solid foundations for higher and additional levels of study. According to Anzaku (2011), the term “audio-visual materials” is commonly used to refer to those instructional materials that can be used to convey meaning without completely relying upon verbal symbols or language. This type of instructional material is commonly referred to by the term “audio-visual materials.” Visual aids are any devices that can be used to make the learning experience more real, more accurate, and more active. These aids can take the form of charts, graphs, diagrams, photographs, and videos. Visual aids are utensils that help to make a problem or lesson more transparent, as well as easier to comprehend and recall (pictures, models, charts, maps, videos, slides, real objects etc). According to Mkpa’s (2003) theory, people remember ten percent of what they hear, twenty percent of what they see, and twenty percent of what they do; however, they remember fifty percent of what they hear, see, and do. As a result, effective management of learning resources is essential to effective teaching and learning. A student’s role was limited to that of a passive listener before the advent of modern education, while the role of the teacher was that of an independent body who decided the what, when, and how of education. However, in recent years the advantage has begun to shift toward the students. It is recommended to make use of audio-visual aids because experts believe that they account for 85 percent of the total teaching (Jadal, 2011). They help the individual student remain concentrated on the material that is being presented by the instructor during the class period. The five senses that humans possess are the key to efficient learning, with seeing, hearing, and touching being the most important in terms of maximising an individual’s potential for acquiring new information. It has been determined that people remember only 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, but 80% of what they see and do (Lester, 2012). It is important for instructors to be aware that students acquire knowledge and skills in a variety of formats, have varying capacities for information retention, and employ a variety of strategies when demonstrating their understanding in the classroom (Tamakloe, Atta & Amedahe, 2005). To guarantee that all students are afforded an equal opportunity to acquire new knowledge, educators ought to make use of a wide range of instructional strategies and procedures. Nearly every day, new strategies and procedures emerge to supplement the established ones in the field of education. Notable among them are the ones that are supported by technology. Kochlar (2004) made the observation that in more recent times, technology and most especially audio visual aids have been successfully introduced in the field of education in general and in particular to make the subject more productive and more individual in secondary schools. The most significant effect that it has had is that it has made it common practise to combine textbooks with audio visual aids as an additional or supplementary resource for learning activities that take place in a classroom setting.

It is in the light of the above that this study seeks to examine the effects of audio visual materials on students’ learning of oral skills in selected secondary schools in Mangu Local Government Area.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Due to the ever-increasing nature of the declining academic performance of Secondary School Students, particularly in terms of their results in external examinations like WAEC, research in oral English will never come to an end. Many professionals in the field of education have a propensity to place the blame on factors such as the students’ lack of interest in the topic that is being discussed, the interference of the students’ mother tongue, the students’ lack of constant practise, the lack of orientation and facilities, as well as the shortage and limited accessibility to relevant books.

A good result has not yet been seen, despite the fact that efforts have been put in place to improve Oral English. According to Adams (2020), 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. It is very important to keep in mind that despite these efforts, a good result has not yet been seen. This unfavourable trend is unquestionably due to the fact that a significant amount of effort is being directed solely toward the challenges faced by the students, rather than being focused on the issues associated with pedagogical practises and curricular resources. As a result, the researcher came to the conclusion that one of the contributing factors that led to the poor performance of students in oral English was the teachers’ neglect of the use of audio visual materials in the process of learning oral skills. This is the reason why the researcher is interested in investigating the effects of audio visual materials on students’ learning of oral skills in selected secondary schools in the Mangu Local government Area with the goal of providing solutions that are long-lasting.

1.3. Purpose of Study

The research aims at investigating the effects of audio-visual materials on Senior Secondary School students’ learning of oral skills in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. The specific objectives are-

  1. To discover the effect of audio visual materials in improving students’ performance in stress patterns
  2. To discover the effect audio visual materials in improving performance of students in intonation
  3. To examine the effect of audio visual materials in improving performance of students in consonant sounds.
  4. To examine the effect of audio visual materials in improving performance of students in vowel sounds.

1.4 Research Questions

            The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

  1. What are the effects of audio visual materials in improving students’ performance in stress patterns?
  2. What are the effects of audio visual materials in improving performance of students in intonation?
  3. What are the effects of audio visual materials in improving performance of students in consonant sounds?
  4. What are the effect of audio visual materials in improving performance of students in vowel sounds?
    • Significance of the Study

The importance of this study cannot be underemphasized especially when taking into consideration the important roles the English language play in our day to day activities. The following members of the education community—students, parents, educators, the government, curriculum planners and future researchers—will all stand to benefit from the study.

The students will gain an understanding, as a result of this study, that the oral sounds of English are not the same as the other vowel sounds found in the Nigerian languages. When they are instructed with audio-visual materials, this will serve as a motivator for them to pay more attention to the differences between the topics. Their academic performance in oral English and even their spellings will be sharpened as a result of this, and as a result, their communicative competence both inside and outside of the classroom will be enhanced because proper pronunciation is essential to successful communication.

The teachers too will benefit from the study as they become aware of the importance of audio visual materials in teaching oral skills. They are going to employ it more frequently, particularly when instructing sounds. In the light of this, they will see audio visual aids as a handy tool in the teaching and learning of oral skills.

Curriculum planners will also benefit from this study as they will indicate various audio-visual materials as teaching aid which will enhance the teaching and learning of oral skills in Senior secondary schools.

This study will be helpful to book authors as well because it will encourage them to recommend the use of audio-visual materials for teaching other language skills such as listening, reading, and writing. This is because audio-visual materials are helpful in teaching and learning in this modern day and age.

When parents realise how important it is for their children to have good pronunciation skills, it will have a positive effect on their children’s academic performance. They will employ every avenue to encourage their children to listen attentively especially during the radio and television news casting, as this will help them to acquire the best model of the language.

Through the course of this research, the government and the administrators of schools will provide sufficient instructional media for the activity of language learning.

In conclusion, once this investigation has been finished, it will contribute to the body of literature that already exists on audio visual aids and oral English; consequently, it will serve as a reference material for future researchers who would like to carry out additional research on subjects that are comparable to those already covered.

  • Scope of the Study

The research will be restricted to the effects of audio visual materials on the learning of oral skills. The study will use audio-visual aids to examine elements of oral skills such as stress, intonation, consonant sounds and vowel sounds.

            Despite the fact that there are a lot of audio-visual instructional materials in modern times such as television, projectors, ipads, ipods, etc. For the purpose of this study, the researcher shall make use of the computer/laptop to teach students oral English.

The study is limited to selected secondary schools in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. The study is limited to only SS 2 students from two public secondary schools which are GSS Kagu and GSS Dyis which were selected using random sampling technique. SS 2 students are used because they are not just starting senior section nor are they the exams class in which the study might interrupt their preparations.

However, despite the fact that the research is restricted to the selected Local government area, its findings will be generic – it can be generalized to other parts of the state and country as well.

  • Operational Definition of Terms

Audio Aids: These aids depend on single sense that is hearing. An attentive and discipline listener is the key goal of success through this form of communication.

Pronunciation: Is the production of significant sound in two senses, first, the sound is significant because it is used as part of a code a particular language, second, it is used to achieve meaning in contexts of use.

Oral Communication: Is the process of expressing information or ideas by word of mouth.

English: The language, originally of England, now spoken in many countries and used as a language of international communication throughout the world.

Language: Use of words in agreed way as means of human communication.

Students: A school pupil or a person studying at a place of higher education

Secondary School: Level of education that comes after the basic or results from the primary education.

  • Format: ms-word (doc)
  • Chapter 1 to 5
  • With abstract reference and questionnaire
  • Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below

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