This study examined the predictors of academic performance in Literature-in-English among secondary school students in Calabar. The research employed a descriptive survey design and included a sample of 171 students studying Literature-in-English, selected through the simple random sampling technique. To gather data, four tools were utilized: the questionnaire focused on Students’ Participation in Literature-in-English Classes (QSPLC), and the Literature-in-English Achievement Test (LAT). The collected data underwent analysis using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods. The findings revealed a significant impact of students’ English language proficiency, possession and utilization of relevant texts, and active participation in Literature-in-English classes as a predicator to positive achievement in literature in English.
Background of the study
Despite the importance attached to the literature in English, and efforts made by stake holders in the educational sector to optimize the learning of English Language as a school subject, students’ achievement in English Language has not commensurate to the investment made in it. There has been a fall in students’ academic achievement in English Language over the years as compared to other subjects in the school system. Evidence abounds that students have not been doing well in English Language. Adeosun (2016) observed that the low standard of literature in English is reflected in the large number of candidates who failed the school certificate literature in English. Study habits encompass the strategic approaches that learners employ to gain knowledge, skills, and insights (Benwari and Nemine, 2014). According to Hussain (2000), study habits are the inclinations that students cultivate towards independent learning over a period of time. Therefore, study habits involve a range of activities and attitudes that a learner must develop to effectively engage in academic pursuits.
The cultivation of effective study habits has a positive impact on academic performance and educational achievement in literature in English. Occasionally, students fall short of the anticipated average performance level. This discrepancy isn’t necessarily due to a lack of ability; more often, it results from inadequate study habits. Some of these subpar study habits encompass immersive personalized reading, meticulous note-taking, active participation in classroom interactions, completion of homework and assignments. For a student focusing on English for academic purposes, the development of efficient study habits is imperative to attain academic triumph. While external factors like resource insufficiency and inefficient utilization of leisure time can influence performance, achieving educational success hinges on adopting proficient study habits, committing to learning, and embracing constructive feedback (Agina-Obu, 2001).
In line with this, Asagwara (2017) contends that unfavorable study habits render the process of knowledge acquisition arduous and laborious, whereas effective reading habits facilitate the acquisition of knowledge with ease. Education is a process by which the mind of human being develops through learning at homes, streets, religious institutions like churches and mosques, schools, colleges or universities. It is also a process whereby a person develops attitudes and abilities that are considered to have value and relevance in the society. It is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youth. Every nation hoping to have bright future needs to emphasis education because it is the only way to much development. Yusuf and Al-Banawi (2013) noted that education must be considered as a key investment in modern economies because, as previously seen within the framework of a knowledge-based economy, there are strong and positive correlation between economic activity and education in explaining economic growth. Asiru (2014) stated that education is a catalyst to the development of individuals, society and the nation as a whole. Dagbo (2014) also opined that education in an important tool for social growth, development and interaction of all elements in the society for it economics, social and political well-being. Olayanju (2014) posited that education plays a critical role in human capacity building and skills acquisition. Despite the fact that the development of any nation depends largely on the quality of education of her citizen, the academic performance of most Nigerian youth in secondary schools is decreasing. This has become a major concern of education stake-holders and researchers. Imogie (2012) drew attention to the public outcries concerning the low quality of education in Nigeria. Literature-in-English is one of the dynamic subjects offered in senior secondary schools. It is a literary work of art which includes drama, prose and poetry. It is an artistic work that mirrors life and, significantly, centres on the culture, beliefs, customs, religion and historical values, particularly people and society. Literature is, therefore, a reproduction of man’s life in society; a creative representation of life. In literature, language shapes the perception of things. The knowledge of Literature increases students’ effective use of the English language and helps learners widen their understanding of other cultures. The study of Literature helps Language learners to achieve cultural assimilation, language competence, conflict resolution, good liberal education and development of anticipated attributes. The fact is that a student, who is exposed to all the values of Literature, will be fully incorporated into his/her culture as well as other people’s culture. Such students will become fluent in the language, having a wide range of vocabulary at /her disposal. Literature allows students to be conversant with the hints of the English language and exposes them to varieties of usage. Literature-in-English is included as a significant subject in both the secondary and tertiary institutions’ curricula. It is one of the requirements for a student to gain admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria and such students must possess a credit pass in Literature-inEnglish to study courses like Law, English, Theatre Arts, Mass Communication, Linguistics, Classics and other art courses (JAMB Brochure, 2014). Literature-in-English trains learners for literacy and prepares them with skills ranging from critical thinking to creative and lifelong learning skills which are demands of 21st-century education. However, it is a fundamental subject that allows students to come to the full actualisation of their potential. Literature-inEnglish is stated as one of the vital subjects in the field of studies (Humanities) in the 2014 edition of the National Policy on Education to be offered by Arts students requirements for a student to gain admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria and such students must possess a credit pass in Literature-in English to study courses like Law, English, Theatre Arts, Mass Communication, Linguistics, Classics and other art courses (JAMB Brochure, 2014). Literature-in-English trains learners for literacy and prepares them with skills ranging from critical thinking to creative and lifelong learning skills which are demands of 21st-century education. However, it is a fundamental subject that allows students to come to the full actualisation of their potential. Literature-inEnglish is stated as one of the vital subjects in the field of studies (Humanities) in the 2014 edition of the National Policy on Education to be offered by Arts students. The study intend to explore the predicators of academic performance in literature in English among secondary school students in Calabar.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been observed that many students do not pass well in external examinations such as West African School Certificate (WASC) and National Examination Council (NECO) (Obanya 2004, Ebenuwa-Okoh (2010) and Atanda and Jaiyeoba 2011) noted that some of the factors responsible for the low performance of students in schools are low socio-economic status of parents and lack of seriousness of students. This study therefore attempts to investigate the predicators of low academic performance in literature in English among secondary school student in both external and internal examination in Calabar.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to examine the predictors of academic performance in literature in English among secondary school students in calabar. The specific objectives are;
- To examine the effect of gender as a predicator to academic performance in literature in English in selected secondary schools in Calabar
- To ascertain the relationship between parent socio-economic status and school environment on student performance in literature in English
- To examine the influence of study habit on students’’ academic achievement in literature in English in Secondary Schools in Calabar Metropolis
- To proffer suggested solutions to the identified problems.
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study
- Is gender a predictor to academic performance in literature in English in selected secondary schools in Calabar?
- Is there any relationship between parent socio-economic status and school environment on student performance in literature in English?
- Does study habit influence students’’ academic achievement in literature in English in Secondary Schools in Calabar Metropolis?
The following research hypothesis were formulated in null form and 95% confidence interval to aid the completion of the study;
H0: gender is not a predictor to academic performance in literature in English in selected secondary schools in Calabar
H02: There is no any relationship between parent socio-economic status and school environment on student performance in literature in English
H03: Study habit does not influence students’’ academic achievement in literature in English in Secondary Schools in Calabar Metropolis
- ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
The assumptions of a study on predictors of academic performance in English Literature can vary, but here are some common assumptions that researchers might consider when conducting such a study:
Homogeneity of Participants: Researchers may assume that the participants in the study have similar educational backgrounds, language proficiency, and cultural experiences, so that any differences in academic performance can be attributed to the predictors being studied rather than other external factors.
Normal Distribution: Researchers might assume that the data related to academic performance and predictor variables follow a normal distribution, which allows for the application of certain statistical tests and analysis methods.
Valid and Reliable Measures: Assumption of using valid and reliable measures for predictor variables like reading habits, language proficiency, study habits, and socio-economic status. Valid measures accurately capture the intended constructs, while reliable measures yield consistent results upon repeated measurement.
Causality: Researchers may assume a causal relationship between the predictor variables and academic performance. However, establishing true causality often requires rigorous experimental designs or advanced statistical methods to account for potential confounding variables.
No Interactions: In some cases, researchers might assume that there are no significant interactions among the predictor variables that could complicate the relationship between predictors and academic performance.
It’s crucial for researchers to explicitly state these assumptions in their study and to consider potential limitations and challenges that could affect the validity and reliability of their findings. Additionally, testing these assumptions through appropriate statistical analyses and sensitivity checks is important for ensuring the robustness of the study’s conclusions.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings of this study will be of great importance to the teachers and students of literature in English as the study will explore the predicator for academic performance on the subject matter, the study will also be of significance to teachers of literature in English as the recommendation will help the re-strategized in addressing some of the causes of low performance in literature in his/her classes in literature in English in Calabar. Finally the study will be useful to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the findings of this study will serve as a reference point to further studies.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers the predictors of academic performance in literature in English among secondary school students in Calabar. The study focused on selected secondary schools in Calabar metropolis.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the cause of the study, there were some factors that limit the scope of the study which was out of the researcher’s control;
AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Something such as an event or fact that enables you one to determine the future outcome of a process
Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects
Literature in English
Literature, a body of written works. The name has traditionally been applied to those imaginative works of poetry and prose distinguished by the intentions of their authors and the perceived aesthetic excellence of their execution