Causes of Concord Errors among Ibibio-English Bilinguals

Abstract: The research study was conducted on Causes of Concord Errors among Ibibio-English Bilinguals. It was carried out in five secondary schools in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state. The instrument for data collection was a well structured questionnaire for the respondents who where students. The population of the study consisted of two hundred students, sampled out of 3,877 students from the schools selected for the study. The three research questions formulated and used to guide the study.

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Literature review was carried out on areas related to the study. Simple percentage computation was used to analyze the data collected. The result of the findings, however, revealed that: Lack of understanding of the rules of concord can cause concord errors among Ibibio- English bilinguals. The method of teaching adopted by the teacher can cause concord errors among Ibibio- English bilinguals. The language of the immediate environment of the learners can be responsible for poor concord performance among Ibibio- English bilinguals.

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background to the Study

The term “concord” can be defined as agreement of harmony, which must exist among the parts of a sentence. This harmony principally relates to subject/verb and pronoun/antecedent and to number, gender, person, time and voice.

The rules of concord states that, the subject of a sentence should agree with its verb in a singular verb while a plural subject goes with a plural verb. There are rules of concord that guide in the formation of English words and sentences. For instance, a plural noun is formed by adding‘s’ ‘es’ to its singular form, while s singular verb is formed by addition of ‘s’ ‘es’ or ‘ies’ to it.

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Accordingly Iyoha (2005), states that formation of English sentences follows stipulated rules. None adherence to these rules result in a number of sentence errors. Some users of English as a second language often encounter problems in their attempt to arrange English words in agreeable patterns (P.17).

The formation of sentences is agreeable and meaningful patterns can be possible through proper understanding of the rules of concord. Previous studies in language indicate that many bilinguals’ nations who use English as a second language find it difficult to adapt to proper standard of usage of English Language.

This problem may be caused by a list of factors. Many writers of language textbooks and researchers have made tremendous contributions to expose Nigerian-English bilingual groups to the proper way of using the language through well-stated rules. Unfortunately, there are concord errors often made by people in using the language. Many indices have been considered to find out what are the causes of concord errors among bilingual nations, but the researcher is motivated to carry out a research study on causes of concord errors among Ibibio-English bilinguals, with specific reference to Nsit people of Akwa Ibom State.

In a nutshell, the research project is carried out to find out causes of concord errors among Ibibio-English bilinguals, so as to proffer a reliable solution to the problem.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

The poor performance of student of English in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area is attributable to lack of understanding of the rules of concord which may be as a result of poor method of teaching by the teachers.

It is also possible that the problem may be caused by the difference in structure between the English language and the language of the immediate community, which is Ibibio language. Several other factors are attributable to the cause of the problem.

Consequently, this study is focused on identifying whether any of these stated problems is responsible for the poor concord performance of Ibibio English bilinguals in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, so as to proffer a reliable solution to the problem.

1.3  Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to examine what are the causes of concord errors among Ibibio English bilinguals, with specific reference to poor performance of students in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.

Specifically, the study is aimed at the following

  • To investigate whether poor method of teaching by the teachers and the difference in structure between the English language and the language of the immediate community could be the cause of the problem.
  • To examine identify and expose causes of concord errors among users of English as a second language.
  • Investigate the extent to which the problem affects communication in English language.
  • Address the problem of concord errors among Ibibio bilinguals, so as to proffer possible solutions accordingly.
  • State approaches to effective teaching and learning of English concord in schools.

1.4  Significance of the Study

This study shall be of immense benefit to the students and teachers in particular and reading public at large as they will use this work as a reliable instrument for gaining proper knowledge of the rules of English concord. Users of English as a second language will find this work useful as it will expose causes of concord errors and the rules often violated in using the language. Writers of English language textbooks too will inevitably find this work, a useful companion in expanding the horizon of their language arts on causes of concord errors among users of English as a second language and possible remedy to the problem.

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