0813 406 9676 kenterpro1@gmail.com





1.1 Background to the Study

            In spite of the important roles played by the English language, the vast majority of pupils in Nigeria are unable to develop fluency in the abilities associated with the language, particularly writing. According to Komolafe and Yara (2010), the low performance of students in English might be associated to their incapacity to properly write. They make this observation based on their observations. This results in students’ performance in other disciplines being appallingly poor in both external and internal assessments of their knowledge and skills. This is especially noticeable in the writing that kids produce, which is the most common form of expression among students.

A person’s level of English proficiency may be inferred from their written work simply by examining how fluently and correctly they express themselves in the language (Hong, 2007). The capacity to communicate successfully across language barriers is becoming even more critical in today’s more interconnected world, and the English writing skills necessary to do so effectively are becoming more and more in demand. Reading fluency in English is widely acknowledged as a vital ability for a variety of reasons, including educational, professional, and personal goals.

Reading comprehension is the act of reading, comprehending, assimilating, and interpreting what is included in a reading material, such as a passage, a novel, an article, or a textbook. Reading comprehension may be described as the process of reading, understanding, absorbing, and interpreting what is contained in a reading material. Reading comprehension, according to Grabe (2009), is a complicated behaviour that cannot be simply summed up in a single term and hence cannot be measured. According to his point of view, it is an active and constructive process that requires a significant amount of the reader to make use of the textual clues as well as the reader’s prior knowledge in order to develop a model of the meaning that the writer intended. In this context, the term “comprehension” refers to having an understanding of a reading material. It is possible to gauge a reader’s level of understanding by seeing whether or not they are able to provide appropriate responses to questions that are posed by the text. Reading and understanding are inseparable processes that cannot be separated. Reading and understanding have been compared to identical twins by Hyde and Linn (1988), who believe that the two are linked together by a single chain. No learner can possibly comprehend material that he or she has not read, and it is not natural to find pleasure in reading something that one does not fully comprehend.

In the realm of education, gender disparities in reading comprehension have been the subject of a significant amount of research. The extent to which males and females differ in their reading ability has been investigated, and efforts have been made to discover the variables that contribute to these variances. Given the significance of having strong reading comprehension abilities in the process of acquiring a second language, this research has been of utmost significance in the context of language learning.

Hyde and Linn (1988) carried out what is considered to be one of the early research on this subject. They discovered that males did better than females when given activities that needed spatial abilities, and females performed better than males when given tasks that required linguistic skills. These findings were eventually extended to the field of language acquisition, where it was revealed that females tend to do better than men in reading comprehension tasks (Grabe, 2009). This led researchers to conclude that gender may have a role in one’s ability to learn a language.

Several research have looked into the reasons why men and women have such different levels of reading comprehension, and they have found some of the answers. According to Shaywitz et al.’s (1995) research, one of the possible explanations is that girls typically read more than males do, and this might be the reason for their superior performance in reading comprehension tasks. In addition, research conducted by Lorch and Lorch (1995) indicated that females employ a more complex reading approach than males do. This strategy requires them to concentrate on the specifics of a text and draw conclusions based on those specifics. This provides support for the hypothesis that women are more adept than men in gleaning meaning from written material.

Cognitive talents may also play a role in the gender gap in reading comprehension, which is another theory that has been put up to explain the phenomenon. According to research conducted by Halpern (2000), girls often have greater verbal ability than males, which would explain why they are more successful in reading comprehension tasks. However, it is essential to keep in mind that cognitive talents are not just influenced by one’s gender alone; rather, they are also affected by a number of other variables, such as one’s genes and their environment.

It is possible that sociocultural variables may contribute to the gender variations in reading comprehension that have been found. For instance, Martin and Halverson (1983) found that gender norms and expectations may play a role in how males and females approach reading tasks differently. According to Grabe (2009), cultural influences such as the gender roles and expectations of various civilizations can have an effect on the reading habits and capabilities of both males and girls.

In light of this, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between gender and language acquisition by conducting a comparative study of the performance of male and female students in Ibadan South’s reading comprehension exams.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

            In the past, a person was considered to have a high level of education if they possessed the ability to speak English in a natural and error-free manner. It was standard practise to use phrases such as “he is educated, can’t you hear the way he speaks” in everyday conversation. However, according to Obed (2018), it is not a given that students who speak the language successfully would also read and write it fluently. Students in secondary schools who are able to read at a proficient level are more likely to do well in other courses as well. On the other hand, many scholars have, throughout the years, bemoaned the poor performance of pupils in terms of their ability to comprehend what they read. The low performance has been linked to a wide variety of variables, including instructional strategies, the qualifications of teachers, and the attitudes of pupils, amongst others. Despite this, there has been a rise in the amount of debate and investigation on the influence of gender on the academic performance of students studying the English language. Many scholars are interested in determining whether or not males do better than girls in English.

Reading comprehension is not one of the pupils’ strong points, according to the researcher, who has previous experience in the classroom. As was said before, previous studies have been obsessed with the performance of students in the English language; nevertheless, the gender differential performance of students in reading comprehension receives less attention than the performance of students in the English language. In addition, according to the findings of the study, it is not out of place to remark that even in the media, males are the predominant authors, while females are seen mostly as news casters on television. This is something that should not be overlooked. This situation represents a vacuum in study, and it was just this gap in research that fascinated the researcher enough to motivate her to carry out her inquiry in order to determine whether males or girls are superior when it comes to reading comprehension.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine gender and language learning; a comparative analysis of performance of male and female students in reading comprehension in Ibadan South. Other specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Discuss the difference between males and females’ performance in answering reading comprehension questions.
  2. Measure the difference between male and females’ performance in their ability to summarize ideas in a comprehension passage.
  3. Determine the difference between male and females’ performance in their ability to identify literal message in reading comprehension.

1.4. Research Questions

            The following questions will guide the study:

  1. What is the difference between males and females’ performance in answering reading comprehension questions?
  2. What is the difference between male and females’ performance in their ability to summarize ideas in a comprehension passage?
  • What is the difference between male and females’ performance in their ability to identify literal message in reading comprehension?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The relevance of a research on the subject of gender and language acquisition, more especially the comparative comparison of performance between male and female students in reading comprehension in Ibadan South, Nigeria, can be regarded in a number of different ways, including the following:

Educational Equity: This study has the potential to provide insight on potential gender-based differences in reading comprehension ability across different demographics. It is able to determine whether or not there are discernible patterns of disparities between male and female pupils in terms of their capacity to read written texts. When educators and policymakers have a better grasp of these variations, they are better able to work towards the goal of promoting educational fairness and offering tailored interventions to alleviate any gender-related inequalities.

Teaching techniques: The findings of the study can guide teaching techniques and tactics that can be utilised to promote reading comprehension for both male and female students. This is because the study compared the reading comprehension of male and female students. The study can reveal particular areas where each gender may struggle or shine by comparing the performance of the two genders. This can provide insights into teaching approaches that can respond to the various requirements of pupils.

The study has the potential to make a contribution to the process of developing curricula by emphasising the aspects of reading comprehension that may require a different focus for male and female students during the education process. In the event that substantial gender-based disparities are found, the designers of educational programmes may want to think about including gender-responsive strategies. These strategies take into consideration the fact that male and female students have distinct abilities, preferences, and modes of learning.

Academic Achievement and Gender prejudices: The study has the potential to challenge and eradicate gender prejudices associated with academic achievement. It is possible to give evidence-based insights that go beyond preconceived beliefs about gender and intellect if the performance of male and female pupils is objectively examined and compared in terms of their reading comprehension. This has the potential to establish a learning environment that is more inclusive and equal, one in which students are not constrained by the expectations of society based on their gender.

Formulation of Policy: The findings of the study have the potential to contribute to the development of evidence-based policy in the field of education. The results can be used by the government and educational institutions to establish policies and efforts that are focused at decreasing any discovered gender discrepancies in reading comprehension ability. These policies may involve targeted interventions, teacher training programmes, or resource allocation techniques to help male and female students alike on their quest to become proficient in a second language.

In general, the study on gender and language learning holds significance for the promotion of educational equity, the informing of teaching approaches, the shaping of curriculum development, the challenging of gender stereotypes, and the guiding of evidence-based policy formulation in the field of education. The specific focus of the study was on reading comprehension performance in Ibadan South.

1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study covers gender and language learning with the aim of making a comparative analysis of performance of male and female students in reading comprehension. The study is restricted to Senior Secondary Schools in Ibadan South Local Government Area of Edo State. The study shall cover males and females’ performance in answering reading comprehension questions; their ability to summarize ideas in a comprehension passage; their ability to identify literal message in reading comprehension and their ability to sequence ideas in the reading comprehension passage. The study will involve a sample of 50 senior secondary school learners (25 males and 25 females) from two (2) Senior Secondary Schools.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Effect: This is the aftermaths or the result of something which could either be negative or positive.

Gender: This is either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones.

Performance: It is the measurement of student achievement across various academic endeavours. Teachers and education officials typically measure performance using classroom achievement, graduation rates and results from standardized tests.

Reading: It is the process of using interpreting symbols and comprehending the message written by the writer.

  • 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