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The English grammar is notorious for its peculiarity, if not difficulty, especially as it affects second speakers of the language. This is not unconnected to the fact that in Nigeria for instance, the English language is in friction with the speakers’ native languages which are themselves different in form and structure, leading to all problems related to the improper understanding of the grammar of the language. Thus this research investigates the problems in the use of determiners among SS2 students in Kanke Local Government Area. Using the survey research design, the study found that there is a gap in the mastery of determiners among the students which has in turn resulted in abuse of determiners in their use of English. This they do by using inappropriate determiners including articles. The study thus concludes that there is a significant difference in clarity between the written articles of students who misuse determiners and those who do not. The research thus recommends that writers and publishers of grammar books should pay more attention to the general knowledge of determiners in their writings even as teachers of English are encouraged to take advantage of current materials in grammar to aid their teaching and more importantly, people of interest and goodwill are encouraged to conduct similar researches for an even better diagnosis of the problems of grammar in general and determiners in particular.






1.0 Introduction
This chapter of the study is dedicated to establishing the background of the study and also making a statement of the problem under investigation, plus stating the research objectives among others.
1.1 Background of the Study
Every human language has a grammar. This grammar refers to the rule guiding the use of such a language. The grammar gives instruction on what constitutes an acceptable utterance in the language. It tells how different component structures of the language are sewn together to make sentences that are both meaningful and devoid of ambiguity.
Interestingly, the English language has such a grammar. It has rules that regulate its word combinations to form acceptable grammatical units that are both larger and more expressive of the thoughts and disposition of the language user. Such larger grammatical units include the phrase, the clause and the sentence. It thus becomes imperative that every speaker of the English language be sufficiently exposed to the grammar of the language.
Furthermore, speakers of every language can be classified into two broad groups; native and non-native speakers. For the English language, the native speakers are those whose ancestry is English. Non-native speakers are those who have learnt the English language although their ancestors are not indigenous English people. And in most cases these speakers grow in a linguistic community where English is spoken as a second or foreign language.
Out of the very many differences that exist between the native and non-native speakers of a language, one that particularly stands out is the mastery of the grammar of the language. Non-native speakers naturally find difficulties in understanding the workings and nature of the grammar. As a result it takes a longer time and more effort for the non-native speaker to grasp the grammar compared to the native speaker of such a language.
The English language is a second language in the Nigerian linguistic environment. The result is that most, if not all, Nigerians are non-native speakers. Yet another implication is that the grammar of the English language is a natural headache to the Nigerian speaker. The increasingly deteriorating quality of education in the country does not help the situation much. The consequence is that the kind of English that is spoken in the country is imperfect to say the least. Various aspects of the grammar of speakers on close examination reveal very obvious errors even when the speakers so examined are members of the academia.
It is against this background that this research seeks to investigate the problems in the use of determiners by Nigerian secondary school students in general, and those of Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State in particular.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is no gain saying that the second language status of the English language in Nigeria predisposes the Nigerian student of English language to a wide range of problems and difficulties in both the learning and use of the language. What is perhaps worthy of mention is the fact that the deterioration of the quality of education in the country has heightened these difficulties and the frequency thereof.
Out of the many problems of English language use in the country, one cannot help but notice the wrong use of determiners. If these errors in the use of determiners were to be a problem exclusive to pupils in the primary and even lower secondary schools, then the problem would have been condemned as one that is developmental as it relates to the age of the pupils and it will be hoped that the pupils will get over it as they increase in age. However, since this problem abounds even among students in the senior secondary school, there is every reason to be alarmed. There is then need to take proactive, decisive and deliberate to discover the causes of these errors as well as investigating the extent to which the problem has permeated the system and ultimately recommend measures of tackling the challenge in order to have a more efficient and productive English language education throughout the country.
This research therefore focuses on the observed problem of determiners among secondary school students in Nigeria with particular interest on secondary school students in Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The broad purpose of this study is to assess the situation of use of determiners by secondary school students in the chosen area of study. This will be measured by the attainment of these objectives;
i. To examine aspects they are used correctly and those not used correctly.
ii. To discover if the wrong use of determiners affect the clarity of written works.
iii. To recommend ways through which the problems so discovered can be curtailed.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The business of teaching and learning is one enormous task that is successful only to the extent of the quality and variety of materials available to it. This research therefore will make a significant contribution to the teaching of grammar especially as it bothers on the problems in the use of determiners. Consequently authorities in the field of education will use it as a reference material.
Furthermore, the research itself is a valuable contribution to the field of the academics. Staff and students of various academic institutions will find the discussions here useful especially about determiners, phrase structure grammar and the English grammar in general.
Also, other researchers will find the procedure and method used here as a good model for their own researches especially those researches similar to this one.
1.5 Research Questions
The study is guided by the following questions;
i. Do secondary school students abuse determiners?
ii. How are determiners abused among secondary school students?
iii. Does misuse of determiners affect the clarity of written works?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
HO: There is no significant difference between the written articles of those who misuse determiners and those who do not.
HA: There is a significant difference between the written articles of those who misuse determiners and those who do not.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covers the problems in the use of determiners in Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State. The study however shall draw its sample mainly from SS2 students from selected secondary schools in the local government area. These schools and the number of students drawn are given below.
1. Government Secondary School, Fonkhir Amper, Kanke (25)
2. Government Secondary School, Dawaki, Kanke (25)
3. Government Secondary School, Ampang East, Kanke (25)
4. Gonerit Comprehensive Secondary School, Kabwir, Kanke (25)








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