Attitude and the Learning of English Language by Anglophone English Major Students
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This research project examines the attitude and the learning of the English Language by Anglophone English Major Students: A case study of Level 300 students of the Academic year 2017/2018 of the University of Buea.
This work reveals some background information on attitude, it reviews literature about the attitude towards the learning of English Language, and it displays the methodology used to collect data and finally analyzing the claim (trying to justify what is being said about the attitude towards the learning of the English Language by Level 300 English Major students).
It was found out that Level 300 English Language students possess various attitudes such as not doing assignments at all as 35% of the respondents said. Again, some said they did not apply to read the English Language because they were rejected in other departments.
It was discovered again that 94% of the respondents said they preferred to communicate in Pidgin English because it is easier and easily understood by all. This thus affects their competent and proficient level in the English Language.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Language plays a crucial part in every country and does not only help in the growth of the economy but is also important in the development of the nation. In today’s global economy, the success of the nation depends mainly on the skills and the knowledge that the individual shows in competing towards growth.
For this reason, the government invests much in the education of its citizens. Pidgin English is a medium of communication that started through the activities of early European explorers; Portuguese, Spaniards, Germans, British, and French on the coast of Cameroon.
When these explorers and traders came in contact with Cameroonians who spoke different languages but shared similar customs and traditions, this vital form of oral communication, Pidgin English developed into a full-fledged language.
The linguistic situation in Cameroon continued to develop and when the English – speaking part of Cameroon was reunited with their French-speaking brothers in 1961, the consequence of reunification was that English and French came into existence as official languages and gave rise to a large number of linguistic varieties which extend the scope of English in Cameroon.
The English language spoken in Cameroon has undergone many changes, and although it was spoken by the English-speaking Cameroonians, as a second language ( L2 ), the French-speaking Cameroonians in recent years are fast embracing the English language not only as a foreign language but more or less almost like a second language.
English being the global language plays a crucial part in order for one to fit into the real world and fit into the group of people that they are planning to communicate with.
In post-colonial Cameroon, it is interesting to report that many Cameroonians now show a positive attitude towards their variety of English in spite of official efforts to implant a traditional native English accent (Ngefac 2011). Again, according to Ngefac 2009, up to 32% of his informants expressed a preference for Cameroon English.
Thus, English is used as a medium of instruction in schools to the two million English-speaking Cameroonians. However, as Koenig et al ( 1983 ) points out that, the widespread of Pidgin English in English Speaking West Africa reduces the speakers of Standard English to only 18%.
DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY AREA
This study was carried out in Buea, the Headquarter of the South West Region, the precisely the University of Buea which is located in Molyko.
The population of this study consisted of Level 300 Anglophone English major students of the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, the University of Buea that the researcher has deliberately taken with the sample population made up of 100 respondents from the Department of English and the sampling procedure that will be used for this research is the random sampling technique.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, research has been made to know how the attitude of students affects their performance and the learning of the English language in class. Anglophone English major students of the University of Buea have negative attitudes towards the learning of the English language. Thus, this causes many teachers to ask why their students possess such type of negative attitude towards a particular language but the answer may be difficult to come by.
However, according to Festinger, Schacter, Black (-1950) when we hold beliefs, attitudes, or cognitions, which are different, then we experience dissonance- this is an inconsistency that causes discomfort.
As such, this research seeks to find out the attitudes students show towards the learning of the English Language.
For example in Level 300 during the first semester, we had a course titled Advanced Writing ( ENG 227), in which students were expected to do their assignment online, but because of their misguided impression of the name Anglophone, they are easily earned away and as such, they think that they know the English Language already and thus, only 85% of the students did the assignment.
Again, despite studying the English Language at the University of Buea, Many Anglophones Major English Students are not still proficient in the English Language which poses a problem. Others say they did not apply to read the English Language at the University of Buea but rather, they were forced to study it and this accounts for their negative attitude towards learning the English Language.
AIM OR THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study aims to examine why, despite studying the English Language at the University of Buea, many Anglophones English Language major students are not still proficient in the English Language. This study specifically looks at 300 level English students to examine their attitudes towards the use and learning of the English Language.
Again, it was noticed that most Anglophones English major students prefer using mostly Pidgin English compared to the English Language. So, this study seeks to find why English major students have a negative attitude towards the learning of the English Language.
Specifically, this study sought out to;
To examine the attitude of respondents towards learning the English Language To find out the relationship between language use and their proficiency in English To find out if students actually do their assignments To make or proposed possible solutions.