The mastery of subject-verb-agreement by level 500 students of the bilingual letters at the University of Buea
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This research evaluates the mastery of Subject-Verb-Agreement by level 500 Bilingual students at the University of Buea. This is a scientific study between English students and French Students on the subject-Verb-Agreement. The respondents were fifty (50), 14 English students and 36 French students.
Data was collected by sharing questionnaires to the students. After, we analysed the different answers of respondents in numbers and percentages, which constituted the discussion of the findings that influenced the limitations, the recommendations and the conclusion of this work.
In the course of this research, we found out that our hypothesis has been proven to be true. In fact, French students master better the rules of grammar on Subject-Verb-Agreement than English students. It has also been discovered that both English and French Students have the same difficulties to agree on the verb with some subjects such as Politics, on hundred dollars, United States and Mumps. The reasons for this can be pedagogical and individual in this area of study.
Subject-Verb Agreement just means using the right version of the verb to agree with the subject. It means how verbs change to agree with their subjects. It is really simple, if you are a native speaker, you will naturally ensure your verbs agree with their subjects. So, our topic is about the mastery of Subject-Verb Agreement by level 500 students of the bilingual letters at the University of Buea. In this chapter, we will talk about the background of the study, the statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the sample population, the research questions, hypothesis, the significance of the study, the scope of the study, the definition of the terms and the objectives of the study
Background of the Study
English as a global language or communication expands throughout the world. A language that is recognized and understood by people everywhere. In many parts of the world that language has been established. In most countries around the English language can be found in some form or another, whether it be an international news broadcast such as CNN or a Chicago Bulls lee-shirt. As said Stevenson “A global economic and political structure needs common tongue”. Everyone has their own reason for the rise of English as a global language. He also said that it was estimated that “The number of native speakers is 300 million to 450 million”. More than one billion people are believed to speak some form of English. The language was brought into Africa and especially in Cameroon through colonization in the 1880 and it now occupies the status of official language in the country together with French.
The Republic of Cameroon is a multilingual country comprising some indigenous languages (283), one lingua franca (Cameroon Pidgin English) and two official languages (English and French). These official languages are the heritage of Franco-British rule in the country between the end of the First World War and independence. The two official languages, English and French came into Cameroon in 1916 when Britain and France shared Cameroon into two unequal parts after defeating the German forces in the country. Southern and Northern Cameroons to Britain and East Cameroon to France. French Cameroon achieved independence on January 1, 1960, as “La Republique du Cameroon”. The following year, on October 1, 1961, the large muslin northern two-thirds of British Cameroons voted to join Nigeria; the largely Christian southern third, southern Cameroon, voted in a referendum, to join with the Republic of Cameroon to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. At the reunification in 1961, English and French became the two official languages of Cameroon as the country opted for the policy of official language bilingualism.
The term Cameroon English (CamE) is meant to contrast with four main kinds of speech as said in Mbangwana (1993). First, it stands in contrast to Pidgin English widely used in Cameroon. Secondly, it contrasts with the speech of the uneducated speakers of English. CamE further contrasts with the speech of francophone Cameroonians; some of these speakers may have a high command of English, but they are regarded as users of a performance variety and can hardly serve as a reference. Finally, the term Cameroon English excludes the speech of a handful of Cameroonians who have been so influenced by other varieties they can no longer be considered representative of English spoken in Cameroon.
University of Buea (UR) is located in Buea along Malingo Street, in the south-west province of Cameroon, near Mount Cameroon. It was founded as university centre in 1985, and became a fully fledged university in 1992, following a government decree that re-organized state universities in the country. It is one of the two English speaking universities in Cameroon, along with the newly created University of Bamenda. UB was conceived in the English-speaking tradition of Cameroon; the University of Buea seeks to foster the essence of that system while situating itself within the larger bilingual and multilingual context of Cameroon.
The English and French students in the faculty of Arts in UB are supposed to have the same mastery of the English language and most in terms of grammar because they learned it since their primary and secondary studies until now in the university, but we have come to find that French have a good mastery of English grammar more than English students. Carrying out this research is, therefore, a way to bring students to give more importance to the English grammar’s rules especially in terms of Subject- Verb Agreement. For we know that a proper mastery of English grammar rules means a good basis in the learning process in the use of the grammar of the language.
Statement of the Problem
A problem can be easily solved when we know what it is about and a researcher can better conduct his research when the problem is stated for a clearer result.
The problem of this research is that despite the teaching of practical use of Subject-Verb Agreement to English and French students in the primary and secondary schools also in the university of Buea, they do not apply it in their daily conversation when speaking English and even in their writing conversations such as tests and essay writing and many other academic procedures. This makes them relaxed in keeping the rules of Subject-Verb Agreement when asked to do it in the formal context. We have come to notice that some of them to apply the rules, they agree well the subject and the verb as they should be done in the Standard English Subject-Verb Agreement rules. A scientific hearing of bilingualism students of the Faculty of Arts, especially those of level 500, when they speak sentences with Subject-Verb Agreement reveals that French students agree on the subjects and the verbs better than English students as far as the English Subject-Verb Agreement is concerned. It is this irony that propelled me to take on this research, which evaluates the mastery of the Subject-Verb Agreement of the English language by bilingual students of level 500 in the Faculty of Arts at the University.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this research is to clarify the fact that French students master the Subject-Verb Agreement better than English students. So, through this, we will evaluate their mastery of the Subject-Verb Agreement during periods of English speaking/writing experiences and study in the University of Buea where they are actually studying English and French
The respondents used for this research are English/French students of level 500 at the University of Buea. They involve people of two categories male and female. These students will not be chosen in function of their intelligence but by their availability and willingness to help me to realise my research.
-how is the mastery of Subject-Verb-Agreement among students doing Bilingual Letters at level 500 in the University of Buea?
-What is the frequent type of Subject-Verb-Agreement errors between English students and French students doing Bilingual Letters at level 500 in the University of Buea?
-who master better the rules of Subject-Verb-Agreement between Anglophones students and Francophone Students?