Academic journal article Higher Education Studies

Influence of School Certificate English Achievement and Faculty on Course of Study

Academic journal article Higher Education Studies

Influence of School Certificate English Achievement and Faculty on Course of Study

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study was to find out the influence of both students' achievement in the West African Examination Council's Senior School Certificate English Language examination and the faculty of study by the students in the university on their performances in Use of English and in specific courses of study. 964 undergraduate students of Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria, were sampled for the study. The students' results in the Senior School Certificate English Language examination, scores obtained by them in the Use of English course at the university and their cumulative grade point averages in their specific courses of study at the university were the data collected and used for the study. Four hypotheses were postulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance, using mean, standard deviation and analysis of variance as statistical tools. It was found out that achievement in the Senior School Certificate English Language examination and Use of English course at the university contribute significantly to the variance in students' academic performance in specific courses of study; significant differences exist in the academic achievement of students in various faculties in the Senior School Certificate English Language examination; faculty of study does not significantly influence students' academic achievement in Use of English, and faculty of study does not significantly influence academic performances in specific courses of study. The study thus canvassed that admission of students into different faculties in the university should not be determined by their level of achievement in the Senior School Certificate English Language examination.

Keywords: achievement, course, faculty, influence

1. Introduction

The status and utilization of English in Nigeria as a lingua franca cannot be overemphasized as it serves as a socializing agent among speakers. In communicative language, it enables users to relate or socialize better among themselves. In the school setup, a pass at credit level in the Senior School Certificate examination is a prerequisite for admission into the university. It is a language of science, technology, aviation and broadcast (Baugh, 1982), and cuts across our social strata and multi-ethnic situation (Yusuf, 2000). It is a worldwide language (Ezema, 2000). Thus, if poor performance by candidates is recorded, it means that the nation's quest for human capital development will be in danger (Nimyel, 2010). Admission into any course of study in any faculty at the university is determined, to a far extent, by candidates' achievement in the Senior School Certificate English Language examination.

Use of English is a course that is offered in all Nigerian universities. Its aim is to imbue in undergraduates ability to carry out communication both orally and written so as to cope with the academic needs in various programmes of study. This is because all academic work is carried out through the medium of English Language in all faculties. The course also focuses on appropriate and correct English Language use by exposing students to the skill of developing effective plan of study in the courses of study by the students. More so, the course enables students to be efficient and proficient English Language users for their academic activities and for use in communication within and outside the university environment.

From the foregoing, it is clear that the Senior School Certificate English Language examination is intended to test compliance to set standards in the use and application of English Language both in school and out of school. The Use of English course at the university consolidates and strengthens the gains of the knowledge of English Language at the secondary school level so as to provide ample opportunity for learners to succeed in their specific courses of study at the university. Therefore, the study was to find out if their performances in the Senior School Certificate English Language examination and the faculty into which they have been admitted have any influence on their performances in the Use of English course, and in their specific courses of study at the university. …

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