The impact of Course Book in the Mastery of the English Language: The Case of Senior Primary English Book Six
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The study “The Impact of Course Book in the mastery of the English Language: the case of Senior Primary English Book Six” has as its main objective to evaluate how the speaking and writing skills are handled in the ‘Senior Primary English’ can help improve learners’ mastery” of the English language.
Based on the objectives of this study, the following hypotheses were formulated: (1) coursebooks with adequate exercises and drills in the two language skills will have a positive impact on the English language proficiency of primary school pupils. (2) The instruments used for this study were observation, interview, a perusal of the SPE.
It was discovered that even though the coursebook handles many exercises on writing and speaking, there are few aspects of writing and speaking that are not in the coursebook. So it is recommended that the coursebook be revised to take care of these weaknesses.
Background of the Study
The English language is a West Germanic language that originated in Britannia presently known as Britain, under the influence of West Germanic tribes, then known as Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (Minkova and Stock Well, 2001: 26-27).
Among all the languages of colonization in Africa, English has been one of the most important because it serves not only as an official language but also as a language of instruction in schools, administration, law, technology and a symbol of unity.
According to David Crystal (1997:8), Cameroon which was explored by the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish and the British became a German colony in 1884 and was later divided between Britain and France. The French colonized section was influenced by French, and British colonized section by English after some historical developments; the two sections were united in 1961.
English and French became the official language. Cameroon is a highly multilingual country comprising about 247 indigenous languages, two official languages, and Cameroon Pidgin English which is spoken by many Cameroonians (Echu 2005:10).
This diversity of languages and dialects has affected Cameroonians greatly. Coursebooks were introduced to facilitate the teaching and learning of the second language and to help enhance a structured learning process amongst the then existing schools.
The British introduced English in Cameroon as a means of communication. To ensure the proper learning and acquisition of the English language, the British missionaries set up schools in which the language was taught to the indigenes with focus on writing and reading. Also, missionaries set up teacher training colleges wherein some smart Africans were trained to teach others.
As expected, the quality of English language taught by the Africans (Cameroonians) started deteriorating. This downward trend in the quality and originality of the English language has continued to sink deeper so that the English that is spoken and written today reveal many lapses.
Attempts have been made by linguists to diagnose the problems responsible for the improper mastery of the English language through the introduction of course books. The coursebook was introduced in Cameroon to facilitate the teaching and learning of English in the educational sector.
Also, coursebook plays a key role in enhancing teaching and learning. The coursebook is designed to take care of the four basic language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing.
So because of the introduction of the coursebook as a facilitator of teaching and learning of English language, the impact of the course book (Senior Primary English^ ANUCAM 2004) on the mastery of English language will be the focus of this research. This means to see the effect of the coursebook on the learners’ mastery of the English language.
Statement of the Problem
Since the topic of this research deals with the impact of coursebook on the mastery of the English language, it is indisputable that coursebooks have a positive impact on learners. But the fact that the coursebook has positive
impacts does not mean that there are no lapses relating to the structuring of the course books. Complete reliance on such course books by teachers and learners may or may not offer the desired proficiency required by learners.
Objectives of the Study
This research aims at investigating how the English language coursebook, Senior primary English book six (ANUCAM, 2004) helps in the mastery of the English language.
It is also aimed at investigating how two of the four language skills (speaking and writing) are handled in the coursebook (senior primary English).
The research is to see if teaching English through course books can improve learners’ mastery of the English language.
- To what extent does the coursebook Senior Primary English effectively handle the language skills of speaking and writing?
- Does the coursebook have elements that are believed to be essential for a good textbook?
- To what extent does the course book (Senior Primary English) help learners in the mastery of the English language?