Confusion of the Use of Been and Being by English as Second Language Learners in Nigeria

Amina Gogo Tafida, Bala Muhammad Dhalhatu, Mohammed Alhaji Usman


English language teaching in Nigeria is faced with numerous challenges resulting in negative academic performance of students at various levels of education. Some of the challenges include unqualified and inexperienced English language teachers, inadequate space allocation for English language on the school timetable, improper teaching methods, lack of English language specialists to teach the various aspects of English, giving emphasis to some aspects of the language than the other among others. The paper takes a look at the confusion of the use of been and being by English as second language learners which might be due to less emphasis given to that aspect of the language during the teaching/ learning process. A test containing 30 questions was administered on two groups of schools- public and private. In each of the schools, some SS3 and JSS3 students were sampled for the study and the results show significant error margins of more 50% in the two sets of respondents. Tables and pie charts were used to show the findings. The major findings of the study show that: the verb forms, ‘been and being’ are confusing to English as second language learners especially at secondary school level; there is significant difference in the level of confusion in the use of been and being by students in public and private secondary schools in Minna metropolis and there is significant difference in the level of confusion in the use of been and being by senior secondary school students in public and private schools among others. Some of the recommendations offered are: the teaching of language forms should be accompanied by numerous real life examples; Language teaching should progress from known to unknown; it is essential to use substitution tables to provide the learner with enough practice on language use; and that qualified English language teachers should be employed to teach English language. These findings and recommendations are expected to improve the teaching and learning of English as second language.

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