1.1 Background of the Study
In order to study English as a second language and be successful at it, the pupil must be helped by the teacher to acquire skills in the four language arts skills; namely; speaking, reading, listening and writing.
Language is the vehicle of social interaction and we need effective language to function properly in the workplace, social interaction, and indeed, for functional literacy. It must be emphasized that “a person is functionally literate when he has acquired the knowledge and skills in reading and writing which enable him to engage effectively in all those activities in which literacy is normally assumed in his culture or group” (Gray, 1969:24). A rich and stimulating language environment during the early years and beyond is essential to the development of verbal and intellectual skills necessary for language learning.
Trifonovitch (1981) indicated that a pupil is automatically placed at a disadvantage when he already has a language of his own and he is asked to learn another language.
Majority of Nursery/primary school pupils in Nigeria already have various mother tongues before they are admitted into school. Nigeria is reputed to have 250 languages. With the poor speaking, writing, listening and reading abilities in English language in Nigeria, educators, parents, employers are worried and concerned.