Speaking appears to be the most critical of the four abilities (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), as those who are familiar with a language are frequently referred to as speakers of that language (Ur, 1996; Tuan & Mai, 2015).

English continues to be the indisputable language of education, governance, administration, legislation, justice, foreign contacts, unity of the country’s diverse ethnic elements, and social status in Nigeria (Adio, 2010). Producing spoken language is frequently seen as one of the most challenging components of language acquisition (Brown & Yule, 1983; Tuan & Mai, 2015).

English is taught as a topic and also serves as the medium of teaching for other disciplines in the Nigerian educational system. The purpose and objective of teaching oral English skills in the Nigerian school curriculum is to provide students with the ability to speak effectively and intelligently in English. Additionally, it assists the learner in developing confidence in his ability to communicate clearly in English and gives a chance for the correction of spoken English errors (Babu, 2010).

The primary objective of any English language instruction should be to equip students with the capacity to communicate effectively and properly in English. However, not all language learners, even after years of study, are capable of communicating effectively and properly in English due to a lack of basic information (Tuan & Mai, 2015).

The English language has grown in importance and prestige inside Nigeria’s educational system. As Bamgbose, Banjo, & Thomas (1995) noted, “the undisputed domination of English in formal and transactional communication is unassailable.” Given Nigeria’s multilingualism, with over 400 indigenous languages (Ufomata 1995), English is viewed as the only viable and practical option for the country now and in the foreseeable future. The majority of English language efforts in Nigeria have been concentrated in the educational system, notably in relation to indigenous Nigerian languages such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fulfulde, and Kanuri. English was chosen as the official language of Nigeria and as the former colonial language to enable the country’s cultural and linguistic integration. English, on the other hand, remains the sole domain of the country’s urban elite and is not frequently spoken in the rural areas, which account for three-quarters of the population (Tuan & Mai, 2015).

A sound approach to oral language training will strengthen the student’s reading, writing, and speaking abilities, making English language learning more successful and the learning experiences of students in other topics taught in secondary schools more tangible and engaging (Yichu, 2013). In actuality, many language learners struggle to communicate in the target language’s spoken language. Each students have unique difficulties.

On this point, significant focus and effort should be spent on oral English instruction since it will assist the student in developing his or her pronunciation adequately to allow for efficient communication with both native speakers and non-native users. Similarly, it is self-evident that frequent errors detected among English language teachers and students nowadays include inaccurate pronunciation, mispronunciation, bad intonation, and misrepresentation of phonetic sounds. For example, the majority of pupils misunderstand the characteristics and lengths of vowels. In light of these issues, new developments in language teaching and learning have made oral English instruction and learning not only necessary, but also a pre-requisite for evaluating a learner’s proficiency in language usage and acquisition (Udoh, 2013).


Due to the increasing nature of poor academic performance of secondary school students, particularly in external examinations such as WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, or JAMB, many educators tend to place the blame on the students’ lack of interest in the subject being discussed, mother tongue interference, a lack of consistent practice by the students, a lack of orientation and facilities, as well as a lack of and limited access to relevant books (Udoh, 2013).

Ekpo (2018) points out that there are a number of characteristics and issues that impact the effectiveness of spoken English as a spoken language in a nation with a varied native language population such as Nigeria. These variables might stem from a variety of sources, including social environmental concerns, cultural differences, and social economic expansion. These difficulties contribute to pupils’ low success in language acquisition, especially in densely populated nations like Nigeria.


The primary aim of this study is to examine the factors affecting secondary school students’ effective spoken English. Specifically, this study seeks to:

i.          Examine the extent English is spoken in Nigerian secondary schools.

ii.        Determine whether the use of text books, practical facilities affects students effective spoken English in Nigerian secondary schools.

iii.      Determine the factors that affect spoken English among secondary school students in Nigeria.

iv.      Identify the challenges that students of Nigerian secondary schools face when they learn English.


The following research questions will be answered in this study:

i.          To what extent is English spoken in Nigerian secondary schools?

ii.        Does the use of text books, practical facilities affects students effective spoken English in Nigerian secondary schools?

iii.      What are the factors that affect spoken English among secondary school students in Nigeria?

iv.      What are the challenges that students of Nigerian secondary schools face when they learn English?