0813 406 9676 kenterpro1@gmail.com





1.1.   Background to the Study

English is undoubtedly the most important language which is being employed for communication purposes across the globe (Babbie, 2008).  The use of English as a tool for effective communication, study and work, as well as an important goal of secondary education is advocated in the national policy on education (FRN, 2013). The crucial role English Language plays in the Nigerian linguistic scene makes it imperative for Nigerians to show evidence of reasonable degree of competence and of more vigorous training in its use, than in the use of any other foreign language. Beena (2014), stated that English language is a recognized medium of communication in the administration of government businesses in Nigeria. It is also the medium of instruction through which learners acquire knowledge and skills at all levels of education. However, in spite of the vital roles of the English language, most Nigerians are unable to acquire mastery in the skills of the language especially writing. Consequent upon this, there is a need to orientate quality of instruction towards utilizing competencies and essay writing skills for self- reliance and development of the society.

Writing is foundational to success in academics, in the work place and in the global economy. In an increasingly demanding world of literacy, the importance of ensuring students’ proficiency in writing can never be overemphasized. The ability to write well, hitherto a luxury is now a dire necessity (Bolman, 2019). Writing is vital to students’ developing literacy skills. In light of this, teaching learners to write well should be top priority of a worthwhile education system. Bolman observed that a school that teaches its children the curriculum without concurrently teaching them how to write well is a school that has failed.

To De Felice and Pulman (2008) writing skill is the fourth and last of all the language skills. It is generally termed as the most difficult and complicated skills to master. The first two skills tend to come naturally especially in L1 situation. It is an expressive skill. It is a viable medium of communication to readers, whatever the writer wants to convey. The same author further defines writing as an assemblage of sentences in such a way as to produce a meaningful account of an object or an event. Unlike speaking which is learned informally, naturally and unconsciously from the beginning, writing requires conscious and formal effort to learn.

However, students’ writing over the years has taken a downward trend which has continuously reflected in their performance both in internal and external examinations. Khadijeh (2015) reported a consistent decline in the way students write as exemplified in the various errors they commit in their written work or essays. The authors stated that candidates’ expressions are generally poor and their range of vocabulary is limited. Therefore, students’ poor writing skill has been identified as a major factor in students’ poor performance in English Language examinations. Eissa (2013) pointed to the fact that students’ writing (especially those who are second learners of English Language (L2) e.g. Nigerian students) should be properly corrected. It is a general consensus among language experts that making/committing errors is a necessary and natural process in language learning (Ellis, 2003). Apart from this, other studies point to the fact that the teachers’ pedagogical strategies are often in contrast with the learners’ expectation (Habash, 2012). This is where the language teacher is an important variable in ensuring that the strategy he/she adopts enhances students’ writing skill.

Prepositions are the subtlest and a set of small words that are of a closed class in English language (Yildiz, 2015). They express a relation between two entities, one being that represented by the prepositional complement, the other by another part of the sentence. The prepositional complement is characteristically a noun phrase, a nominal wh-clause, or a nominal –ing clause. For instance, the book is on the table, Mary is not responsible for what she did, Nanpan read the manual before installing the system. Prepositions do not accept new words easily, but they have notoriously polysemous behaviours in sentences. They are difficult to learn as most of them have different functions and they do not have many rules to help in choosing the right prepositions in a particular context (Swan, 2005, p.425). They combine with other parts of speech to express new meanings, and they participate in idiomatic expressions. For instance, He was angry at the weather and Peret was angry with me for failing to keep our appointment. Sometimes, one preposition comes with the verb form, another with the adjective and still another with the noun form of the root word. For instance, sympathize with someone, sympathy for someone and sympathetic to someone (Thibeau. 2019).

            The basic syntactic properties and semantic functions differ in many languages. In other languages, the prepositions occur after the complement (subject-object-verb). They are called postpositions. In English language, they are usually placed before a noun or a noun equivalent (subject-verb-object). Languages such as English, French, German, and numerous others are prepositional languages whereas Korean, Turkish, Finnish, and lots of others are postpositional languages (Suzanne, 2005). They often cause problems for second language learners as there are no one-to-one correspondences between English and the other languages. Besides, many prepositions have metaphorical and abstract meanings that a language learner finds difficult to learn. The task of choosing the right preposition is made even more difficult when the preposition is used together with a noun, a verb, or an adjective, especially since there are no general rules by which a preposition is assigned. For instance, She relied on Max, similar to the other one, the author of the book – the prepositions on, to, and of are determined by rely, similar and author respectively.

While learning, the various meanings and meaning extensions of prepositions are perhaps the greatest challenge. A pedagogical strategy is essential for students to pay attention to the co-occurrence, collocation, and discourse behaviour of prepositions.

According to Sumaira, Waqas and Muhammad (2017) prepositions are traditionally classified into three categories: prepositions of place, of direction (or motion or movement) and of time. These prepositions pose a challenge to the learners as well as teachers of English because of the uniqueness of the problem involved. The learners face difficulties in the proper usage of prepositions in sentences, and therefore, land in trouble. Besides that, each of these prepositions has various meanings and usages that make the learning process equally difficult. In English, many prepositions are used to describe both spatial and temporal relationships (Ruziah, 2006). Both spatial and temporal functions of prepositions may pose challenges on the part of the second language learners. Richards (2014) states that spatial preposition is a physical thing located in relation to another. The meaning of each preposition is spatial to describe these meanings; the trajectory (TR) and the landmark (LM) are defined. For example, The ball is on the table. Here, the preposition on functions as a preposition of place. The phrase, the ball refers to a thing whose location the speaker wants to indicate. It refers to the subject of the preposition. The phrase, the table refers to another thing, the Landmark of the preposition. The preposition locates the Subject (the ball) in relation to the Landmark (the table). The category of spatial prepositions is broadly divided into two groups: prepositions of static location and prepositions of direction (Hamzah, (2012). When prepositions follow verbs, they become distinct whether they describe the location or direction. For example, the preposition at is used to represent a static location of an object in most cases, e.g. John is waiting for his friend at the store. There are cases in which at represents a direction or a destination, e.g. The dog jumped at my face or we arrived at the park. While the number of spatial prepositions is small, the number and variety of spatial relationships denoted by them are many. This provides an insight into the problems and challenges of the inherent ambiguity and vagueness in the usage and understanding of spatial prepositions (Khadijeh, 2015).. The temporal uses of prepositions frequently suggest metaphorical extensions from the sphere of place. In fact, prepositions of time are very regular and easy to understand as compared to prepositions of place.

It is in line with the above discussion that this study seeks to examine the effects of misuse of prepositions on the performance of Senior Secondary School II students in selected secondary schools in Shendam Local Government Area.

  • Statement of the Problem

Learning to write in a second language is one of the most challenging aspects of second language learners. They have put lots of time and efforts for acquiring the language and learning to write. In their attempt to master the writing skill, learners inevitably commit errors. One of the major difficulties with writing in English is the use of prepositions, which has been found to be a major source of errors. Since the preposition is an essential component in writing English, it will be valuable to the teachers to be familiar with types of errors. Learners make in order to reduce, if not eliminate, the problems in the use of appropriate prepositions according to the context.

The inspiration for this study arose from the fact that over the years, there has been   persistent rate of low performance of students in English language, especially essay writing. Students are unable to write effectively (Komolafe &Yara, 2020). This situation is not peculiar to any level, but it is more pronounced and disturbing at the secondary level because certificates are required for higher education at this level.

            Due to the problems stated above, the present study was designed to investigate the effects of misuse of prepositions on the performance of SS II students in selected secondary schools in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State.

  • Purpose of the Study

            The main purpose of this study is to examine the effects of misuse of prepositions on the performance of Senior Secondary II students in selected schools in Shendam Local Government Area. Other specific objectives of the study include to:

  1. To classify errors in the use of preposition among the students.
  2. To determine the most frequently occurred prepositional error committed by the students.
  • To find out which preposition the students have mastered.
    • Research Questions

            The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. What are the classification of error made by students in preposition?
  2. What is the most frequently occurred prepositional error committed by the students?
  3. Which preposition is frequently used by the students?
    • Significance of the Study

The importance of this research cannot be underestimated especially now that writing has become the major means of official communication and correct grammar and use of prepositions are at the forefront of affairs. This research shall be beneficial to government, curriculum planners, teachers, parents and students who are the center of this research work.

Government will benefit from this study as suggestions made at the end of the study will serve as a guide for improving the standard of standard of education and employing qualified teachers and they will get to know that there is need to provide adequate textbooks, and instructional materials for correcting these errors in the use of prepositions and also endeavor to employ qualified teachers.

To the curriculum planners, this research will open their eyes to the lapses in the current curriculum and therefore, they will structure learning experience and also make adjustment in the curriculum in order to take care of the errors made by students in the use of prepositions.

This research will help to enhance students’ academic performance in all areas and their general life as a whole since they turn to be good writers. That is to improve students’ grammatical competency and use of preposition accuracy in their writing and build upon their proficiency in the English language; it will also enhance their knowledge of the characteristics of English prepositions.

This study can serve as a particular reference material in academic situations of Senior Secondary Schools. It can also serve as a reference material for future researchers carrying out further research on this research topic or on a similar topic. It is therefore prominent concern of the researcher to develop a comprehensive document that can be used as a good reference material to those concerned.

The study will also help teachers and whoever uses English language to be conscious of their use of prepositions knowing well that some Nigeria languages are postposition while the English language is prepositional in nature. Furthermore, it will motivate teachers to adopt new ways of teaching grammar especially prepositions, in order to avoid misuse of prepositions among students.

  • Scope/Delimitation of the Study

The researcher is aware of other problematic areas in grammar among secondary school students which include punctuation errors, syntactic errors, among others. But the present study shall analyse effects of misuse of the prepositions on the performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Selected Secondary schools in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State. Despite the fact that the study is restricted to the study area, its findings will be generic or applicable to other parts of the state and country at large.

  • Contextual Definition of Terms

Effects: These are results of an event. The aftermath misuse of preposition has on the writing of the students in secondary schools.

Misuse: Misuse in this context refers to lack of adequate knowledge on the use of prepositions.

Preposition: Prepositions are the subtlest and a set of small words that are of a closed class in English language. They are words that states the positions of nouns. They often times comes before a noun.

Performance:  These are results of the use of prepositions among the learners. These results to error in communication with create ambiguity and anomalies in writing.

Secondary: This is a post-primary school where learners attend after leaving primary school.

Students: These are learners in secondary school which are within the age range of 1-19 years old.

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

₦ 3,000

This Complete Project Material is Available for Instant Download Immediately After Payment of ₦3000.



Bank Name: United Bank of Africa (UBA)
Account Name: chianen kenter
Account Number: 2056899630
Account Type: savings
Amount: ₦3000