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1.1. Background to the Study

The primary goal of language learning is effective communication. In a second language context, there is the need for activities that will make the learners practice the target language in the class in order to use it effectively in their socio-cultural setting. There is doubt that learning is usually motivated if apt materials, activities and tasks are designed; it is for this reason that the use of qualitative interactive strategies make enormous difference in students’ attitude towards language learning (Dornyei 2003). The use of interactive strategies encourages collaborative work and this reduces the anxiety which learners face when they learn in isolation. Rather, learners exhibit increased self-confidence and motivation to learn and all these make the classroom climate conducive for learners to use the target language in interaction.

Learning strategies are the thoughts and actions we engage in consciously or unconsciously as we learn new information which facilitate bottom-top comprehension. Wenden and Rubin (2007) define strategies as any set of operations, steps, plans, routine used by the learner to facilitate the obtaining, storage, retrieval, and use of information. Similarly, Richards and Platt (2002) posit that learning strategies are intentional behavior and thoughts used by learners during learning that adequately help them to understand, learn or remember new information. It thus implies that interactive strategies are those activities designed by the teacher in order to enhance learners’ participation and negotiation in the learning process. The strategies are also useful in clarifying issues and the result is that learners’ communication skills are sharpened.

In a second language learning situation, learners’ communication skills cannot improve without the teacher engaging the learners in activities, especially those that make them work in small groups. This frees them from all inhibitions that would have arisen if asked to speak to a whole group. Working in small groups / pair activities provide safe environment for learners to use the language to negotiate, interact, argue and communicate without fear.

          First of all, we are in a global village and English has become an international language all over the world. If the learners/students are not guided to grasp the basic principles of how the language operates, then the problem is compounded and the learners will suffer severe impediments of language transfer. Language is spoken and written and it follows some systematic principles which have been accepted and used by members of any given society.  Grammar is a vital part of the English language which needs to be given the necessary attention (Moiinvaziri, 2008). One main aspect of grammar which poses a lot of problems to students is concord. It is believed that a good grasp of the concept is a panacea to good performance in English language as well as other subject areas. The researcher’s experience through interactions with students in and outside the classroom as well as other teachers reveal that concord is a problem at all levels of education. Deviation from concord rules tend to bring out negative responses from both native and non-native speakers/ hearers alike. Such errors reflect badly on the speaker’s personality since they tell us something about his educational background. It is for this reason that the classroom teacher needs to know errors students make and why they make them to enable him/her devise appropriate strategies to eliminate them.

            The basic idea of interactive teaching is that students must be active. Interactive teaching takes into account that learners have experience and knowledge that they bring to each situation. Instead of just adding more knowledge to that, teachers use the students‟ knowledge to assist in learning more. Instead of just giving the information to the students, teachers encourage them to come up with ideas of how it connects to their own world, thus constructing their own meaning of the material (Shekari, 2015).

The first thing to realize about interactive teaching is that, it is not something new or mysterious. If a teacher asks questions in class, assigns and checks homework, or holds class or group discussions, then the teacher already teaches interactively. Basically, interactive teaching is just giving students something to do, getting back what they have done, and then assimilating it, so that the teacher can decide what would be best to do next. However, it is important to note that English language facilitates the learning processes and effectively promotes our intellectual development, since all other disciplines hinge on it. Hence, efficient learning of English language in our schools as a medium of communication certainly promotes the general understanding in other subjects.

 In addition, English language cannot be taught in a haphazard and sluggish form of traditional method of parroting and memorization. Poor performance and results of English language is becoming poorer every day. Generally, the standard of education is fast falling as a result of poor foundation especially at the secondary school level (Mwajim, 2012).  More so, the traditional methods must be modified with new trends (techniques) that are geared towards improving efficiency and proficiency for effective delivery of English language. Interactive teaching techniques operate on a more practical and cooperative forms with a lot of activities for learners to participate and carry out as observed by the researcher.

The researcher observed that interactive teaching technique is an integration of teaching technique that demand high student participation at all levels of learning process. The teacher guides and the students perform different learning tasks in groups based on the three levels of interaction patterns in the classroom students-teacher interaction, student-students interaction or students-community resources interaction. 

Williams (2009) notes that universities are dissatisfied with the low standard of many entrants who have scored reasonable marks in the examination but are handicapped in their university studies because of their inability to read with understanding or write clearly. Adekola (2010) says that the secondary level of education has for some time been receiving much attention in West Africa because it is the immediate reservoir of potential middle and high level manpower. But it is at this level that a lot of wastage in manpower potential occurs because of so many factors one of the most important being the language problem. Admission to this level of education and successful completion of the courses depend very much on the students‟ proficiency in English Language, which is the medium of instruction. 

Learning and teaching of English language as a second language can cause misunderstanding of concepts and ideas due to differences in cultural world views. To this group, cultural influence on English impoverishes the language. English Language teaching in Nigeria has developed within the framework of theory and practice which have been applied in countries where English is taught as a second language. In any sociolinguistic context, the teacher of English needs to be acquainted with the historical and theoretical bases of language teaching.

At the same time, we cannot afford to ignore factors within the Nigerian context which necessarily influence the teaching of English as a second language. The trained teacher not only understands and can implements the method as shown in the textbook; he is likely to be selective in the use of textbooks and methods of teaching, choosing only those materials which are based on sound linguistic and pedagogical principles (Aremu, 2014). 

Today, English as a second language (ESL) according to Olaofe (2013) has been witnessing unprecedented changes in curriculum, teaching methodology and application of learning theories. This is coupled with rapid increase in school enrolments across educational levels in the midst of limited teaching learning resources. All these challenges have created a huge demand on teachers of English that are expected to teach learners of varied cultural, socioeconomic, and psychological backgrounds in adverse learning situations.  Williams (2009) says, the methods used should be in keeping with objectives for English Language teaching in Nigeria. These objectives are determined by the roles and functions of the language in and outside the classroom.

It is in the light of the above that this study seeks to examine the effects of interactive learning on the performance of Senior Secondary School II students in Grammatical Structure in Panyam, Mangu Local Government Area

1.2 Statement of the Problem

English language is in a poor state in our institutions of learning. This is evidenced by the high failure that has been recorded at various levels of education, particularly at the senior secondary school. Part of the comments of the Chief Examiner’s report for West African Examination Council on English Language (WAEC) (May/June, 2021) says: contrary to expectation, the performance of the candidates was awfully poor. Some of the candidates scored zero in the subject, having failed to write an answer that could earn a single mark in any section of the subject. It appears that a good number of schools registered illiterates and unqualified candidates for this test as observed by the research. 

Students’ poor performance in English language has been attributed to lack of appropriate use of method, inexperienced teachers, poor students‟ attitude toward English Language, poor learning environment and gender effect. Recent report of chief examiner of West African examination council (WAEC) revealed the disgusting failure in the final year examination 2021, it was revealed that less than 46% had credit in English language. 

This shows that most of the students have difficulties in understanding the subjects, poor teaching, method lack of instructional materials as well as lack of teaching skills by the English language teachers, were among the reasons for these poor results, primary and secondary levels of education besides admission into higher institutions and professional institutions. English Language students in senior secondary schools find it difficult to perform tasks that require high cognitive thinking. Specifically, they find it difficult to perform well in tasks that require them to apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate within the context of Blooms (1956) taxonomy of educational objectives. This learning difficulty was also evident in problem solving skills as demonstrated by their consistent poor performance in English Language test. It is in the light of the above that this study seeks to examine the effects of interactive learning on the performance of Senior Secondary School II students in Grammatical Structure in Panyam, Mangu Local Government Area

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The objective of this study is to assess the effects of the Interactive learning in enhancing the level of students in performance in subject verb agreement in Panyam, Mangu. The specific objectives are to:

  1. Determine the performance of students who were exposed to interactive learning in subject-verb agreement.
  2. determine the performance of students who were not exposed to interactive learning in subject-verb agreement.

iii. examine the difference in the mean score of students who were exposed to interactive learning and those who were not exposed to it in subject-verb agreement.

1.4         Research Questions

This study presents and answers the following questions:

  1. What is the performance of students who were exposed to interactive learning in subject-verb agreement?
  2. What is the performance of students who were not exposed to interactive learning in subject-verb agreement?

iii. What is the difference in the mean score of students who were exposed to interactive learning and those who were not exposed to it in subject-verb agreement?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

To conduct an unbiased study of the problem, the following null hypotheses were used for the study and tested at P≤ 0.05.

H0: There is no significant difference in the mean score of students taught with interactive learning and those taught without it.

H0: There is a significant difference in the mean score of students taught with interactive learning and those taught without it.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would benefit the following stakeholders: such as colleges and universities, professional bodies, examination bodies, Curriculum planners, Experts in curriculum, researchers, English language teachers, Ministries of Education amongst others.

Colleges and universities preparing teachers can benefit from the findings of this study. These institutions can become aware of factors that inhibit effective learning of the English Language, and put pedagogical structures in place to do encourage teachers in training to teaching using these techniques.

Professional bodies such as the English Language Teachers Association (ELTA), States Educational Resource Centres (SERC), Nigeria Educational and Research Development Council (NERDC) can benefit by considering the findings of this study in developing instructional methods and therefore become aware of the variables to manipulate in order to enhance teaching and learning. 

           The findings of the research will be of great significance to curriculum planners, as they can plan the curriculum bearing these interactive techniques in mind, so that the curriculum will be more of activity based.

The findings will help teachers in choosing appropriate instructional materials capable of releasing students‟ tension towards the subject. It will motivate teachers to develop interest towards utilizing instructional materials, and selecting suitable teaching methods towards effective teaching and learning of the English Language. It will equally help teachers to develop suitable methods for assessing students‟ academic performance in English Language. The findings will sensitize English language teachers on the benefits of the use of local resources as a strategy for teaching and it will have greater effect on the academic performance of the students. The research findings will as well form another dimension of innovations in the teaching and learning of English Language. 

Curriculum experts will also benefit from the study since, the results of the study will assist in curriculum planning such as giving information relating to the teaching and learning of English Language, curriculum planners will have knowledge of interaction between gender and instructional approach on student‟ performance in English Language.

 Findings from this research will be significant to the authors and publishers of English Language textbooks as it will expose them to the importance of interactive techniques in the teaching and learning of English Language in senior secondary schools in States and Plateau state in particular. It will also make them realize that the interactive techniques are a wonderful curriculum laboratory which can provide extremely dynamic and interesting real life opportunities for leaning.

The Ministry of Education officials will benefit from the study by having knowledge of different instruction facilities that can be used in schools, it will serve as an input for effective law making and the legal framework guiding its activities. It will enable them to work harmoniously with the schools and on how to use these interactive techniques so as to enhance the performance of English Language students.

1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study is limited to the effect of Interactive learning on the performance of students in subject-verb agreement in senior secondary schools in Panyam, Mangu Local Government only. Also the aspect of Interactive activities that the work is focusing on are predictive, questioning and summary.

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