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PROJECT TOPIC: TENSE ERRORS IN ENGLISH ESSAYS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS (A CASE STUDY OF SECONDARY SCHOOL IN LAPAI, NIGER STATE)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the Study

Communication is considered as one of the most distinct features of every speech community. That is, people use language to communicate their thoughts and express their opinions to one another either through writing, speaking or other non-verbal forms of communication. Though not every form of communication is linguistic, it is obvious that the act of using language to communicate is the most frequently used mode of communication in every speech community (Gumperz, 2009). It is an undeniable fact that writing is one of the most dominant forms of communication that uses language. This mode of communication is highly considered to be a daunting task both in the first and second languages (Hourani, 2008; Richards & Renandya, 2002). That is, writing is considered to be the most difficult aspect of the language abilities and skills that students need to acquire (Corder, 1974). This difficulty as stressed by Richards & Renandya (2002) is not only limited to generating and organizing ideas but also relates to the inability of students to translate these notions and ideas to “legible text”. As a productive skill, writing is

considered as a very difficult task especially with non-native speakers of English, yet, students cannot do away with it. This is because, writing serves as an indispensable feature in the academic lives of students and as such, the link between academic literacy and tertiary education cannot be overemphasized by scholars (Afful, 2007).The problem of writing becomes very much compounded when students are made to express themselves in a second language - English Language.

The reason is based on the fact that most students lack the skills to communicate effectively in English.


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