Effect of the Mother Tongue on Students' Performance in Senior School English in Ogbomoso, Nigeria

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Institute Journal of Studies in Education


This research examined the effect of the Mother-Tongue on students’ performance in the Senior Schools English in Ogbomoso South Local Government, Oyo State. The purpose of this study is to ascertain the role of the Mother Tongue as a complementary medium in English language class. Mother tongue is one’s first language; it is an instrument for the development of the human mind, it can help to get proficiency in other languages, especially English language. English is the language of education, mass media, politics, commerce and socio-cultural life. It is very imperative to find out whether mother tongue has relationship with the English language usage and performance in English. The Non-equivalent Control Group design was adopted for the study. Two groups were involved, one group constituted the Experimental Group while the other served as the Control Group. One hundred and eighteen students and five teachers were involved in the study. The instruments for data collection were pre-test multiple choice questions; teaching packages; and post-test multiple choice items in English language. The instruments were validated and used to collect data for the study. Two Hypotheses were postulated and tested using the Analysis of Co-variance at the 0.05 level of significance. The result of the study showed that a systematic use of the Mother Tongue in the English class will present the teachers with the opportunities to equip learners with explicit knowledge of the language systems and ultimately aid mastery of the language. There is a significant difference in the performance of students in English when they are taught through the medium of English and the Mother Tongue than their counterparts in the Control Group. Again, there was no significant gender effect on the performance of students in English, when they were taught through the medium of English and the Mother Tongue. On the basis of these findings, it was recommended that teachers of English should incorporate the Mother Tongue of learners to effectively explain the content of the English when necessary.



Mother tongue, performance, proficiency, first language, English language, medium of instruction