1.1. Background of the Study
The modern trend in education and the complex nature of learning and instruction have made the role of the teachers more challenging. This new role does not just involve the more transmission of information to students but it involves looking at the problems associated with learning and instruction. The National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) in Nigeria emphasized that our children should be educated properly so that they can acquire skills and competencies that would enable them function well and solve problems in the society. The accomplishment and realization of these important educational goals in Nigeria lies in the new trend in the educational approaches. These new approaches to learning and instruction expose the students to conceptualize and effectively manage their own learning and thus reinforce their learning and transfer their training in practical situations.
Despite the new approach to learning and instruction, English language at the Senior Secondary School level in Nigeria has been plagued with poor results and low achievements. Annual results from West African Examinations Council (WAEC) reveal woeful performances from the students who have made enrollment for English language examinations a yearly ritual. It is worrisome to note too that the performance of these students has continued to deteriorate year after year. It is understood that if the situation in English Language remains like this, it will affect both the economic and technological growth of the state. This is because a good mastery of English language is mandatory on all students in order to do well in other secondary school subjects. Students who are handicapped in English language are therefore likely to be handicapped in the acquisition of skills in arts and technological related subjects. From the foregoing, therefore, we can conclude that English language is an indispensable language of communication in Kaduna.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This research as stated above concerns itself with the study of strategies for improving low academic performance in English language by suggesting possible solution to the following questions: What are the attitude/feelings of the students towards the studying of English language? What account for the decline in performance in the subject (English language)? Do they have enough material and human resources for the teaching and learning process? Do they understand the subject very well? Does the Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) syllabus have either a positive or a negative effect on the student performance?