Effect of Language of Instruction on Pupils’ Academic Achievement and Interest in Agriculture in Primary Schools in Imo State.


This study was designed to determine the effect of language of instruction on pupils’ academic achievement and interest in Agriculture in primary schools.

The study adopted a pretest, posttest, non-equivalent control group, quasi-experimental research design which involved groups of pupils in their intact classes  assigned  to experimental and control groups.

The population for the study was 17,542 primary  five pupils in Owerri Education Zone of Imo State out of which 145 pupils were sampled using 2-stage purposive sampling technique and used for the study.

Six research questions and eight null hypotheses, tested at 05 level of significance guided the study. The instruments used for data collection were Achievement Test in Agriculture (ATAGRIC) and Agriculture Interest Inventory (AGRICII).

To ensure content validity of the ATAGRIC, a table of specification was built for the test. The lesson plans, ATAGRIC, AGRICII and the training manual were subjected to face validation by seven experts. The ATAGRIC was trial tested to determine its psychometric indices and reliability co-efficient.

The trial test for determining the coefficient of stability of the ATAGRIC was carried out using test re-test reliability method. Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient of the  ATAGRIC  was found to be 0.81.

Cronbach alpha was used to  determine the internal consistency of  the Agriculture interest inventory items. The reliability coefficient for the AGRICII was found to be 0.82. Data were analyzed using mean to answer the research  questions; while ANCOVA was used to test the null hypotheses.

The study found out that Igbo language as a medium of instruction is more effective in improving pupils’ academic achievement and interest in  Agriculture than English language as medium  of instruction in Imo State.

The study also found out that Igbo language instruction is effective in improving both rural and urban pupils’ achievement and interest in Agriculture. There was an effect of gender on the pupils’ achievement and interest in Agriculture favouring boys.

However, the effect on interest was not found significant. The study found out that there are no significant interaction  effects of Igbo  language as a medium of instruction and gender on the academic achievement and interest of primary school pupils in Agriculture.

This implied that the effectiveness of Igbo language as medium of instruction on pupils’ achievement and interest in Agriculture does not depend on gender.

Consequently, it was recommended that Government should review the language policy of the country with a view to incorporating and enforcing the use of language of the environment or mother tongue based instruction  at the senior primary school level and the curriculum should be reviewed towards additive bilingualism in schools.


TITLE PAGE —————— i
ABSTRACT ———- xi


Background of the Study—- 1
Statement of the Problem ——– 11
Purpose of the Study—– 12
Significance of the Study—— 13
Research Questions ——- 15
Hypotheses———- 15
Scope of the Study —– 16


Conceptual Framework: ——– 18
Agriculture in Primary Schools in Nigeria —- 19
Teaching Methods in Agriculture ———— 20
Agricultural Experiences and Language Development — 32
Language of Instruction and Academic Achievement —— 36
Language Policy in Nigeria —- 47
Components of Language of the Environment or Mother Tongue Based Instruction– 51
Bilingual / Multilingual Education in Nigerian Context——— 53
Mother Tongue –Based Instruction Model for Effective Teaching ————- 56
Gender and Academic Achievement ————- 60
Gender and Pupils’Interest in School Subjects — 61
School location and Academic Achievement——– 65
School location and Pupils’ Interest———- 67
Theoretical Framework: —– 69
Theory of Bilingualism————- 69
Theory of Second Language Acquisition —— 70
Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory of Learning —- 74
Models of Second Language Teaching —- 77
Review of Related Empirical Studies ————– 79
Summary of the Review of Related Literature– 98


Design of the Study————– 101
Area of the Study————- 102
Population of the Study———- 102
Sample and Sampling Technique—— 102
Instruments for Data Collection ——- 103
Validation of the Instruments —– 104
Reliability of the Instruments ——– 106
Experimental Procedure —– 107
Method of Data Collection——- 111
Method of Data Analysis —– 112


Research Question 1—- 113
Hypothesis 1———– 113
Research Question 2— 114
Hypothesis 2—— 115
Research Question 3– 116
Hypothesis 3—— 117
Research Question 4— 118
Hypothesis 4—- 119
Research Question 5—— 120
Hypothesis 5——- 120
Research Question 6— 121
Hypothesis 6—- 122
Hypothesis 7– 123
Hypothesis 8——- 124
Findings ——— 125
Discussion ——— 126


Re- Statement of the Problem——— 132
Summary of Procedure Used——— 134
Principal Findings of the Study——– 135
Conclusions——- 136
Implications of the Study——— 136
Recommendations—– 137
Limitations of the study ———- 138
Suggestions for Further Study —– 138


1.1 Background of the Study

Agriculture deals with the production of food for the benefit of man. It involves a set of activities that transform the environment for the production of animals and plants for human use.

The different branches of agriculture directly or indirectly help in making food available for man. Ekemode (2002), listed the different branches of agriculture to include soil science, crop science, animal science, forestry, horticulture, fishery, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics and extension among others.

Agriculture is also studied as  an  important branch of applied science relating to plants, animals and soil which  deal directly with food production in agriculture.

Agriculture is of great importance to individuals, industries and to national  development. It affects every aspect of man’s daily life. The body needs  food  from  agriculture to stay healthy and productive.

Yusuf (2005), said that lack of food  for  man  means low production in every sector of the economy and every career be it law, medicine, engineering, pharmacy and others. Industries are supplied with  raw  materials  from agriculture for the production of goods utilized by man.

Generally, agriculture supplies mankind with the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter and  clothing  and  also  provides employment opportunities to people. Agriculture is also important for the technological development of a country.

Agricultural knowledge has contributed much  technologically.  According  to Manyong and Ikpi (2005), agricultural knowledge provides scientists with the basic nature of each agricultural product and how to handle it.


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Abonyi, O.S. (2005). Instrumentation in behavioural research. A practical approach Enugu: Falladu Publishing Company.

Adaji, T.O. (2004). Effects of verbal reinforcement strategy on  academic  achievement  of poor achieving pupils in English and Mathematics in primary schools. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis. Department of Educational Foundations. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Adegbite, W. (2004). Bilingualism- biculturalism and  the  utilization  of African  languages  for the development of African nations. In Oyeleye, L (ed). Language discourse in society. Ibadan: Hope Publications 13-31

Adelogun O.F. (1995). Effects of yoruba and english language instructional  media  on students’ academic achievement and interest in mathematics in Oyo  State. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis. Department of Science Education. University of Ibadan.

Afolayan, T. (2002). The six- year primary project in Nigeria: In Bamgbose, A (ed). Mother Tongue Education. London: UNESCO/Hodder.

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