Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Implications of Parents' Socio-Economic Status in the Choice of English Language Learning Strategies among Nigeria's Secondary School Students

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Implications of Parents' Socio-Economic Status in the Choice of English Language Learning Strategies among Nigeria's Secondary School Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

Studies have indicated that, less affluent families are less likely to have the financial and or time availability to provide their children with academic support compared to affluent families.This study investigated the relationship between Language Learning Strategies used by secondary school students in Nigeria and their Parents Socio-economic Status. The data for this research was provided by 559 respondents who study English as a second language and belonging to three varied socio-economic affiliations. A modified Oxford Study Inventory of Language Learning (SILL) questionnaire was used as the measurement instrument. Analysis of the data was done using SPSS version 16.0. This was done to assess the strategies employed and to understand their mean frequencies. A one-way ANOVA was conducted to determine the relationship between language learning strategy choice and socio-economic status of student's parents. The study found that, respondents highly used Language Learning Strategy (LLS) while learning English and within closely related frequency level. The study found significant relationship between socio-economic statuses of parents of the learner in the choice of Cognitive, Metacognitive, Social, situational and religious Strategies and no significance in the learner choice of Memory and compensation strategies to learn English. Conclusively, the findings of the study has pedagogical implications for English Language teachers and curriculum designers that could assist in understanding the English language learning patterns of secondary school students in Nigeria.

Keywords: language learning strategies, secondary school students, second language, foreign language, English learning, Nigeria

1. Introduction

The field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) focuses on the identification and pattern of learning strategies employed by ESL learners and the correlation of those strategies with other variables such as gender, proficiency level, age, belief, motivation, classroom situation, and examinations, etc. Learning strategies as conscious ideas and actions that ESL learners employ to be able to achieve a learning goal is of interest to many in the field of social and cognitive psychology, linguistics and language pedagogy (El-Dibb, 2004). Learning strategies exposes the learner's metacognition as regard to their own thinking and learning approaches, a great knowledge of exactly what a task entails, and the opportunity to use the strategies that best meet both task demands as well as their own learning talents.

Studies involving language learners often reveal that the most successful learners employ learning strategies that are quite suitable not only to the task, but also to the learning material, self-objectives, needs, motivation and stage of learning (Mohammed, 2000; Oxford, 2003). This is an indication that, effective ESL/EFL learners succeed through employing appropriate learning strategies, whereas the ineffective learners seldom employ appropriate learning strategies. It is quite evident that the choice of learning strategy is a child of many factors. Oxford (2003) further maintains that, learning strategies are employed differently and has the potentials of influencing the individual learner's proficiency, confidence and lower anxiety. Therefore, investigating the learners' strategy use in the context of their varying characteristics such as socio-economic status of their parent and what effect such a variable can exert in influencing the choice of language learning strategies is no doubt vital because it significantly contributes to learners' meta-cognition and improvement strategies as it affects English language pedagogy. The learning pattern of English language in Nigeria's secondary schools does not encourage self learning as such (Oluwole, 2008; Adeyemi, 2011). The relationship between Eglish language proficiency and academic performance help the learner to understand all subecjt. …

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