Is Attitude an Impediment to Achieving English Proficiency amongst the Final Year Students in the Northern Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria: A Comparative Study of Southern and Northern Geopolitical Zones

Famogbiyele O. Taiwo


This study investigated whether it is the learners’ attitudes in the northern geopolitical zone of Nigeria which impede them from achieving high level of proficiency in the study of English language as compared to that of their counterparts in the southern geopolitical zone. Three research questions were generated to guide the study. 28-item questionnaire adapted from Gardner’s (1985b) Attitude Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) were used to elicit the data needed. The descriptive survey research design that was adopted for the study comprised of four-part Likert-type statements. 610 students (male and female) registered for SSCE examination were selected from 18 government-owned public secondary schools in the Northern and Southern geopolitical zones using stratified random sampling technique. The data collected were analyzed using simple mean scores and percentages. The result of the study showed that students in the Northern geopolitical zones, in fact, have high positive attitude towards the learning of English but were not motivated to learn it and that language anxiety had a pervasive impact on the language learning experience of the students. The study recommends amongst others that, language teachers need to evolve effective teaching and learning strategies that generate the attitudes and motivation most conducive to the production of more successful learners of English language.

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