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Friday, September 8, 2023


 1.1 Background to the Study

Home is the first and the most significant place for the child’s inclusive growth and development. Home provides not only the hereditary transmission of basic potentials for the child but also the favourable environment in terms of interpersonal relation and cultural pattern. However, education like in school at home must also strive to achieve the desired objective in principles with constructive ways of perceiving and making self meaning. However, educational psychologist broadly maintained that in education development of a child, how and school are the twin that play complimentary roles and also towards the social bringing of the children in the society. Omebe (2012), agreed on the ideology that, home is the forerunner of the school. He also expressed that; the home and school are the two notable institutions that cultures a child to be what he/she is in the society. 

Egboh and Igba (2013) in their personal reflection added that the homes are the two stages that combined efforts to propagate a child or children to face the challenges in the society. Okpahone (2010) stated that home is the basic education formation, while school is hearing and based are responsible for the addition and supplement. Therefore, if the foundation laid by the home teachers is fragile, the child may not stand firm and benefit adequately from the secondary school education. But, when its natural or educational formation satieties and also effectively boosts its awareness toward the study, the school can feature to strengthen the foundation, Aboyi (2012) asserted that the failure of some students from meeting up to the demands within the family, school and society was the negative influence of students toward the utilization of the available wealth of the family. Nweke (2011) stated that the actual cause of students’ failure is as a result of the nature of family background and up-bringing in terms of socio-economic status and other home variables, which can give birth to poor planning mechanism. Poor planning mechanism has to do with a situation in which parents do not have the will to set aside funds and use the funds based on budget. Interest in learning and academic performance among students cannot be separated from the home environment from which they grew up.

Several studies have been done within and outside Nigeria on the effects of home environment on students’ achievement and interest in English language. Research results in psychology and sociology of education have pointed out some factors that enhance educational achievement.   For example, Dewey’s learning by experience theory, revealed that experience is an interaction between the organism and his environment. Also, cognitive theory stated that learning takes place when the child interacts with the environment where the learner gets maximum concentration (Malik, 2000). Environment could be physical, social and abstract (Anene, 2003). It also includes people, parents, sibling and peers. According to Anene, social environment has to do with social life, societies, and club which may affect individuals. Abstract environment, she adds, is the reactions, feedback of the responses received on interactions with others, while the physical environment is the objects or materials found in the home, school or community. Nwosu and Maduewesi (1980) observed that factors such as motivation, ability to learn and maturation are affected by environmental conditions.

Of all the different aspects of the environment, the home produces the first and most insistent and perhaps the most subtle influence on the education development of the child. Nwosu and Madeuewesi (1980) and Malik (2000) asserted that the kind of home in which the child receives his early training determines in good part the kind of individual he/she will become. Malik also observed that the home is the first and the most significant place for the child’s inclusive growth and development. It provides not only the hereditary transmission of basic potentials for the child, but also the favourable environment in terms of interpersonal relationship and cultural pattern. Malik added that the home, like school, must strive to achieve desired objective in educating the child. It has also been argued that other factors other than socio-economic status (Anumudu, 2001; Onyejemezi, 1989; and Taylor, 2012) contribute to the child’s performance in school. Intelligent quotient, as noted by Nwosu and Maduewesi (1980), affects the child’s educational achievement. Nwosu and Maduewesi argued that intelligent quotient plays an important role, while Stone (1966) claimed that parents’ value for education has great effect on the child’s achievement in school. Similarly, language of communication in the home, according to Taylor (2012), affects a child’s learning of the English language especially children from bilingual or multilingual homes. This is why Ejike (2003) argued that slow adaptation of many Nigerian students at school is the reason why many fail English language because the language of communication used at home may be the child’s first language or Pidgin English. Anumudu (2001) confirmed the assertion that interested parents encourage their children to work hard by exposing them to different experiences which help them to learn a lot of things before going to school.

Indeed, interested parents, Anumudu (2001) confirmed, encourage their children to work hard by providing them with educational materials that facilitate learning at home.  These facilities have motivating factors, which the child manipulates and in the process, learning occurs and the child gains educational experience or background knowledge. Supporting these claim, Marynard (1970) opined that the performance of any child at school is affected by the basic support the child receives at home. Ejike (2003) added that student’s learning attainments are traceable to the circumstances at home. Ezewu (1983) revealed that the failure of many remedial schemes launched to counter non-performance failed in America because they neglected the home situation. Thus, Frude (1981) observed that the family as the principal sources of a child’s happiness and well being can also be the most powerful source of stress, which can affect the child’s academic performance.

Researchers are of the opinion that the majority of Nigerian secondary school students possess poor reading habits (e.g. Aina, Ogungbemi, Adigun, & Ogundipe, 2011). The poor academic performance of Nigerian students in English Language have been traced to, inter alia, teacher factors (e.g. Abiola, 2013), student factors (e.g. Fakeye, 2010), mother-tongue interference (e.g. Oluwole, 2008) or a combination of factors (e.g. home and school [Adekola, 2012]). Also, the poor performance of Nigerian students in English Language public examinations has been located, albeit partially, in their lack of competence in reading comprehension (Adekola, 2012). Thus, this study sought to investigate the effect of three variables–home, school, personal–on reading comprehension, an aspect of English Language competence, because reading has been found to be a cornerstone of literacy and success.

Comprehension passages, a major part of the English Language examination in Nigeria, are usually tough nuts to crack for Nigerian students. For example, Kolawole, Adepoju, and Adelore (2000) submit that students' problems and failures begin in English Language Paper 1 (of the West African Examination Council secondary examination) which covers essay writing, summary writing, and comprehension tasks; comprehension tasks constitute 33% of the total marks obtainable in the paper. The foregoing background information brings into sharp focus the concern of the present study, an examination of the extent to which aspects of the variables of home (literacy resources and economic background), school (quality and characteristics of teachers as well as school resources), and personal (self-concept) affect students' reading comprehension and achievement in reading. It is our contention that a better understanding of the interactions among these variables, especially when taken together, would help in solving some of the problems of Nigerian students' poor performance in English Language examinations.

Home variables means those qualities in a family that are subject to change or varies; they include all the human and material resources present at the home that may affects the child’s academic outcome, such as the parent’s level of education (low, middle or high), their occupation, socio-economic status (low, middle or high), parenting style (authoritative, permissive, democratic and neglectful), marital status, broken homes (single parenthood, divorce, separated etc.) and socializing facilities available in the house. Thus, the home is the basic institution for providing the child’s primary socialization and laying the educational foundation for the child upon which other agents of socialization are built. The education received by a child from parents at home is most likely to house highly significant and dominant effects on the behaviours of the child later in life. What the child learns at home and how his/her family motivates him/her towards education contributes to the child success of every individual. Furthermore, in students’ home background, some factors that influence their academic performance include: parental educational background, parental economic status, parental marital status, parental home location etc.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The actual problem emerges for parents, teachers and education stakeholders, once the academic performance of the students are not satisfactory, that the students’ thought, feelings and attitudes are not well expressed in English Language which is the official medium of communication with which all academic activities are transacted. The researcher was concerned with the socio-metric factors such as the kinds of social activities around the home environment of the students, for instance, a student that lives near the market square will adopt the language of the people around the market. This could affect the child in learning good English at school. Those who have different language backgrounds have problem in pronouncing words in English like native, English speakers. Also English language learners have different levels of cognitive ability when English Language is combined with school work, teachers and parents should be aware that the problem may be related to the background knowledge rather than intellectual ability. All these factors affect academic performance of students in English Language in secondary schools. It is against this background that the researcher has decided to investigate on the home variables and academic performance in English language among secondary school students in Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to examine home variable and students’ academic performance in English Language in Obot Akara Local Government Area; specifically this study will intended to:

i. examine whether parental level of education influence students’ academic performance in English Language in secondary schools.

ii. access whether the occupation of the parent  influences students’ academic performance in English language in secondary schools.

iii. find out whether family income influence students’ academic performance in English Language in secondary schools.            

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