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This study focused on the Influence of Class-Size on the Teaching and Learning of English Language. Five research questions were raised for the purpose of effectively carrying out the study, after which two different questionnaires were structured to elicit information from both teachers and students. One Hundred and Fifty students and Twenty Four teachers were randomly selected from Twelve different schools in the area of focus and simple percentage method o statistical analysis was used to analyse the data collected. It was discovered from the study that large class-size is a great challenge to achieving success in the teaching and learning of English Language, as teachers could hardly prove their efficacy in classes thereby resulting to poor output from students. It was thus further recommended by the researcher that government should make adequate provision for language instructional materials and at the same time workshops and seminars should be organized for teachers of English Language to curb the menace of class-size in our secondary school.

INTRODUCTION Background to the Study With the abolition of slave trade in Nigeria at the beginning of the 19th century, British Colonial interest shifted to agricultural production from exportation to Europe. During this period, precisely in 1842 and 1846 {2009 Britannica enyclopaedia} the first missionary stations were established in Badagry (near Lagos in the South West) and Calabar (in the South-East) respectively. The then evangelism grew sporadically to produce the first generation of students who were made up of mainly children of slaves whom the village communities thought they would not miss much. As the British Colonial government felt the needs of African who were literate in English language, who would serve both trade and colonial interests, the missionary therefore in 1880s was officially ordered to teach English language in their schools. So English language became a language of concentration for reasons such as: it was financially rewarding to study English language more than any of the indigenous languages; certification

became conditional upon passing English before any recognition or consideration is given. However, this development and the need to learn English as a Second Language {ESL} necessitated the establishment of the first state school in Nigeria in 1899. It is undoubtedly obvious that English language in Nigeria has an enormous importance so much that for over a century now, it has continued to enjoy the pride of place in all spheres of the nations endeavours educational, business, communication to mention a few. English language today has gained constitutional recognition to have served as an official language and even gaining the advantage of being the First Language {L1} over the Mother Tongue {MT}. Despite all the importance and the position of English language in the countrys educational system, it still suffers set back in its output. This has been ascertained and established by various examination bodies, government, education planners and individuals. It is highly pathetic and embarrassing that a secondary school graduate could not write an errorfree sentence. Some of these students are eloquent but their reading and

writing are nothing to talk about. These problems of drastic failure in English language when investigated into, was attached to issues like cultural background, incompetent teachers, over-population, non-

availability of materials among others. It is highly paramount to mention at the juncture that one of the reasons giving for the mass failure in the subject is Large Class-size. This reason is identified by both students and teachers of English language. It is as a result of this that the researcher needs to throw a search light on this subject matter to ascertain the fact if truly class-size, whether large or small influences the teaching and learning of English language. Moreso, it shall be known at the end of this research, the ways by which teachers of English language can teach their subject effectively in an over-crowded class. Statement of Problems As stated earlier in the introductory part of this research that teachers and students do associate failures in English language to class-size. It is to

this insinuation that the researcher tends to investigate into the following problems: I. Challenges faced by teachers in managing class with over-populated students. II. Lack of sufficient instructional materials and other teaching facilities that could aid teaching and learning processes in the classroom. III. Poor teaching strategies and approaches adopted by teachers in large class-size. IV. Inability of the gifted and talented students to participate fully in the class activities and vice versa. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to investigate and proffer solutions to the negative effect of class-size on the teaching and learning of English Language in Secondary Schools. Looking critically at the subject matter, the researcher aims at: I. assisting teacher of English Language to cope and manage classes that are either over-populated or normally populated;

II. ensuring effective use of the few available instructional materials to enhance teaching and learning processes in English Language; III. providing English Language teachers with appropriate teaching methods and techniques in large classes; and IV. fostering teacher-students interaction for full participation of student in the classroom. Significance of the Study The significance of the study lies in the fact that little has been written on the Effect of Class-Size on the Teaching and Learning of English Language in Secondary Schools in Ilorin-West Local Government Area of kwara State and Nigeria as a whole. The study will therefore: I. Assist teachers of English Language in adopting suitable teaching methods in teaching over-populated classes coupled with proper management. II. Provide educational planners and curriculum planners with ways of combating problems of teaching English Language in over-populated classes.

III. Serve as a measure for government to know their weaknesses and thus make provision for infrastructural and human resources management. Research Questions I. Does students population have any effect on their learning? II. How effective is a teachers method of teaching in a large class-size? III. How effective is a teachers method of teaching in a small class-size? IV. Are the lesson objectives achievable in a large class-size? V. What is the level of students participation in a large class-size? Scope of the Study This research work examines the Effect of Class-Size on the Teaching and Leaning of English Language in Selected Secondary Schools in Ilorin-West Local Government Area of Kwara State. It is worth mentioning that this study focuses on some selected secondary schools in Ilorin-West Local Government and not the entire kwara State and the figures provided therein are based on the responses of the teachers and

students of the selected schools, which is believed to cover the entire Local Government Area. This research is limited to this area as a result of some constraints but could still be valuable in educational planning. Moreso, this research work is closely related to the Effect of ClassSize on teachers of English Language and to a certain length the performance of students of these class-sizes. Definition of Terms The following terms are constantly used in the research work and are briefly explained to avoid ambiguity: Class-size: An educational tool that can be used to describe the

average number of students per class in a school Mother Tongue: The native language of a child, particularly the local language of the father. L1: This refers to a First Language contact of child. Mostly it is the

native language in most cases.


This is known as Second language and it is mostly the official

language or the language learnt after the acquisition of the First Language. Instructional Material: This may also be called teaching aid

and it is the material used to facilitate teaching and learning process.


Introduction Despite the importance of English Language in our society, it still suffers a great set-back in all of our institutions of learning. The secondary education is not left out of this educational / language trauma. It has been discovered that most complaints by students and teachers of English Language is the alarming rate at which the class-size increases. The truth of the matter is that that the first curriculum priority is language. Therefore English Language as far as Nigeria is concerned provides the connecting tissue by which all other subjects are pursued. Combating the issue of class-size especially in English Language classes remains a problem that needs to be solved. Observations have revealed that most of our classes in secondary schools have not less than fifty students this is an indication that for each of the classes, their would be the challenges of the classroom management, classroom control,


classroom maintenance, deviance e.t.c. for the teacher. It is no doubt that most of the time needed to carry out the teaching-learning activities shall be wasted. On the other hand educational planners like Okoro (1985) and others opined that few pupils per class are uneconomical, as they do not make full use of space, teachers and teaching materials. This implies that small class-size is also not beneficial as optimal use of human and material resources would not be attained. Concept of Class-Size Class-Size is simply an educational tool that can be used to describe the average number of students per class in a school, in order to impart and measure their academic performance. The concept of class-size has been given series of definitions in different context by educationists. Hoffman (1980) defined class-size as the number of students per teacher in a class. While Kenedy (1989) sees it as a tool that can be used to measure education system. In relation to class-size, Stepaniuk (1969) argued that there are approved norms of class-size, 40 pupils per class for the grade 1

to 8. This is in line with the National policy on Education under section 5 sub-section 27 which states that the ratio of teacher and students in the class for secondary school should be 1:40. Meaning that as far as Nigeria is concerned, the approved number of students in a class should be 40 students per teacher. Class-size based on students population is therefore divided into two. These categories are small class-size and large class-size. a. Large Class-Size: What is considered small in one country, (e.g. Pakistan, China and some other developed nations) may be seen as large class in another country such as North-America. Even within the same country, perception and experience of class-size varies according to different factors such as students age and level. However, generally 41 and above is considered large (43rd IATEFL Conference 2009). Therefore, a large class-size is one in which the possibility of individual relationship between professor (teacher) and students is precluded, in which not every student who want to speak in class can be call on, and in which grading essay exams can take


up every evening and weekend of the course (Weimer, 1987). International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (43rd Conference 2009) also opined that a large class is the one which teachers face problems in teaching, managing and evaluating. It is also defined as a class in which there are many challenges and opportunities for the teachers as well as for the learners in terms of managing resources, time and space. The above definitions depict that a large class-size is any class where there are challenges for teachers and students in having a problem free teaching and learning processes, which at the end makes evaluation more time consuming than normal. b. Small Class-Size: The National Council of Teachers of English of United States {NCTE, 1990) described a small class-size as a class where there is increase in teacher-students contact and interaction among students help them understand one another, and increase their desire to assist one another. Blatchford P. et al (2002) is of the opinion that small class-size is a class in which there is less or no


concentration on class control and management and management of students delinquencies and deviances. A small class-size is a class with the population of students ranging from 1 to 40. Lots of arguments have been generated by teachers, students and even educational planners within and outside Nigeria as to if there is any effect of class-size on the teaching and learning of English Language. The results of researchers on this subject varied from country to country. Glass and Smith (1987) conducted a research on this subject and concluded that the average size when class-sizes were reduced from 25 to 15 was 0.9, but more importantly, there was a non-linear effect. He at the end argued that what matters is the quality of instruction, teachers attitude, school climate and interpersonal regard. (Hattie 2005) after researching on the subject matter in almost all countries of the world, finalized that it has been difficult to find studies identifying differential effects of achievement relating to class-size. Dean (1994) compared class-size in some countries and found that Turkey, Norway and Netherland had the class-sizes of 20 or


more; the UK, USA, Japan, Canada and Ireland had sizes between 15 and 20. However in Nigeria, educational planners like Nwadiani (2000) argued that the higher the class-size, the lower the cost of education. He contented however, that most classrooms are overcrowded, spreading resources thinly and thereby affecting the quality of education. Ajayi (2000) supported the viewpoints and argued that in order to control rising capital cost of education, the average class-size could be increased. Toth. L. et al (2000) reported that the increase in enrolment in many institutions which has become major concerns of students could definitely lead to an increase in class-size. In contrary to Ajayi, Nwadiani and others, Commeyras (2003) is of the opinion that effective teaching seems impractical for teacher educators having large class-size of 50, 75, 100 or more. To this end, the concept of class-size is generally acceptable as a toll to achieving educational goal and objectives with the population of 40 students as basic standard. Despite this, there has not been unanimous agreement on the influence of class-size on the students outcome in the


teaching of English language; yet teachers and students complaints especially in this area of study is the class-size being too large, which causes deviance and delinquencies on the part of the students and loose of concentration and inability to meet the objectives of the lesson on the part of the teachers. Effectiveness of English Language Teaching and Learning in Large and Small Class-Size Having considered the concept of class-size and views of educationists on its influence of Teaching and Learning of English Language in relation to students performances, the effectiveness of teaching in both class-sizes need to be looked into. To determine the effectiveness of any teaching such as English, the outcome or performance of the students need to be ascertained. In terms of output, Simkins (1981) reported that output represents the immediate results of the systems activities. According to him, the main outputs in education are expressed in terms of learning, that is changes in the knowledge, skills and attitude of individuals as a result of their experiences within the educational system.

Tsang (1988) remarked that output consists of educational effects such as cognitive and non-cognitive skills that are learned by students. In agreement to this, Lord (1984) enumerated four major areas in which the measurement of output in education could be analysed. This has he listed include the assessment by the teachers; standard examinations as a measure of educational output; other standardized tests for national and local monitoring and market research techniques Effectiveness of English Language Teaching and Learning in a Large Class-Size A large class-size as earlier stated is a class in which teacher concentrates more on management and control of the students rather that working towards the achievement of the lesson objectives. A large classsize therefore base on definitions could also be referred to as over-crowded classroom. Most of the secondary schools in kwara State, particularly those of Ilorin-West Local Government hardly meet the standard of the teacherstudents ratio. It has been noticed that the minimum population of students in various classes are 50 and above. As a result of this, teachers and

students are tend to face difficulties in teaching-learning processes. Ijaya (1997) in her research opined that a large class-size offers nothing but noise making, difficulty of cheating students, restriction of teachers movement to the front of the class and inadequate participation in the lesson by students sitting at the back. She added that the increase in examination malpractices cannot be divorced from poor seating

arrangement in classrooms. She finalized that the quantity and quality of interaction are likely to be adversely affected due to lack of space for moving round the class and the overwhelming number of students that the teacher has to deal with within a forty-minute lesson. Though many researchers have conclude that large class-size poses lots of problems, but Hess (2001) on the contrary states that large classes have many advantages. He affirms that the number of the students is so huge; it means more communication and interaction in the classroom, moreover a diversity of human assets. In addition, outstanding students will cooperate with their weak peers. Ur (196) in support of this clarifies that while the teacher has a big number of students and cannot provide help to


all students, nevertheless students can expand strategies to be better by doing peer-teaching and group effort, thus benefiting and nurturing an environment of cooperation and mutual end. Juxtaposing the merits and demerits of large class-sizes, it would be realized that large class-sizes forces teachers to be teacher-centered and Teaching English as a Second Language {TESL} based on research is not effective when a teaching is teacher-centered. The National Capital Language Resources Council of the United State (NCLRC, 2007} identified the two major draw backs in teacher-centered model of teaching. These are: a. It involves only a minority of students in actual language learning. b. It gives students knowledge about language, but does not necessarily enable them to use it for purposes that interest them. Effectiveness of Teaching and Learning of English Language in a Small Class-Size Efficiencies and effectiveness of English Language Teaching and Learning of in a Small Class-Size to some extent is known. Some

researchers have investigated and concluded that the class-size has nothing to do in the students achievements, wile lots of them are of the opinion that effectiveness of teaching is high when there is reduction in class-size. NCTE (1999) has identified the following encouraging results from small class-size and improving instructional methods: I. Smaller classes result in increased teacher-students contact. II. More leaning activities take place in small class-sizes. III. Students in smaller classes show more appreciation for one another and more desire to participle in classroom activities. IV. Smaller class-sizes allow for potential disciplinary problems to be identifies and resolved more quickly. V. Smaller classes result in higher teacher morale and reduced stress. VI. Less retention, fewer referrals to special education, and fewer dropouts are the ultimate rewards of class-size reduction. IATEFL (43rd Conference 2009) argued that in smaller classes teachers move from group to individual instruction; time spent on procedural activities is reduced; time on review increases. In support of


small class-size, Blatchford et. Al (2002) commented that in small classes, there exist individualization of teaching and less time spent in management or procedural activities, hence more teaching overall. To contradict the positive influence of Teaching and Learning English Language in Small Class-Size, Bakare (1986) affirmed that smaller classes were correlated with smaller number of teacher-students interactions and less questions from students. He added that there would be less lecturing from the teacher and more prying and waiting for responses when teachers asked questions. Nigeria being a developing nation with limited resources seems to denounce the reign of small class-size. Adeyemi (1998) portrayed this by saying that average class-size influences the cost of education while capital cost could be reduced by increasing the average class-size in schools. Support giving to large class-size is majorly warranted especially in Nigerian schools as a result of economic factors. Researches have therefore shown that the negativity attached to English Language Teaching and Learning in Large Class-Size out weigh that of small class-size. While


small classes focus on more time to identify problems and provide feedback on more time to identify problems and provide feedback, large class teachers experiences more stress along with issues of control, marking e.t.c. In Blatchford (2002) research, he concludes that while small class-size will not make a bad teacher better, they can allow teachers to be more effective. Earnest Boyer (1987) also concludes that the central qualities that make for successful teaching can be simple stated thus: command of the material to be taught, a contagious enthusiasm for the play of ideas, optimism about human potential, the involvement of ones students. When these combinations are present in the classroom, the impact of a teacher can be powerful and enduring. Methods of Teaching English Language in a Large Class-Size It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that large class-size unlike small class-size has negative influences on the Teaching and Learning of English Language in our schools. The issue at hand is therefore not the discussion of the demerits of large class-size, rather it is a matter of the challenge on how to find ways of following the principles of

good practice for teaching English in the specific context of a large class in difficult circumstance. Generally in any teaching and learning, it is of great importance to select and utilize the right instructional strategies. Onasanya (1988) said that: The effective teacher is one that uses instructional strategies in communicating with the learners and guiding him / her to the desired performances of understanding as specified in the lesson objective(s) Onasanya however highlighted some learning facilitating strategies that characterizes effective teaching. These strategies include: a. Beginning a lesson by stating its objectives and outlining its structure; b. Demonstrating effective delivery skills built n clarity, gestures and direct rye contact with learners; c. Presenting clear, precise guidelines and routines that make the classroom run smoothly; d. Involving the learners actively in the learning tasks;


e. Scanning the classroom frequently and drawing the learners back to the lesson when attention wanders; f. Moving round to supervise and offer help as needed when students work at their desks; g. Getting down to students interest level, listening sensitively, and accepting meaningful learner responses that differ from the teachers view; h. Commencing and stopping lesson on time; i. Treating the learners with trust and respects; j. Creating room for reviews and repetitions especially where difficult tasks are involved; The strategies for teaching English Language in large class-size as stated by the IATEFL (43rd Conference 2009) is tagged problemsolution approach. These involve: a. Managing Large Classes: This involves the grouping of students into different categories. This would ensure the management of


limited resources and also give room for easy identification and assessment of those that refuse to be involved. b. Teaching Writing: it is of the opinion that when this is done, students are totally involved in the activities of the class. c. Assessing Speaking / Writing: learner-centered method of This approach emphasizes the whereby teacher only


supervises the students and let the main activities to be carried out by the learners. d. Dealing with Limited Resources: After the grouping of students, this ensures the identification of the inadequacy or non-availability of resources and thereby making provision for such Teaching and learning a language like English is a scientific process that has been studied and researched a great deal over 50 years (http://eslflow.com). There are good and bad ways to teach a language and part of the responsibility instructor / teacher is to update their skills as often as possible to reflect current ways of teaching and to have the most positive impact possible especially on students in large classes. Some of


the ways / approaches of tackling the large class-size problem is the understanding the variety of teaching methods and how those methods have changed through history. This will help teachers tailor their lessons to the needs of the class. The English as a Second language website (http://eslflow.com) highlighted some basic effective teaching methods for languages. These methods are: 1. Grammar Translation Method: This method arose in Germany in the late 18th century. It originated with the study of classic languages like Greek and Latin. By using this method, teachers assume that students will probably need to use a language but that just studying a language will be good for them. The method puts a high priority on the ability to read literature in foreign language and translate accurately into first language. Some features of this method are: i. Teaching is done in students first language thereby causing total concentration by students ii. Reading and writing are emphasized and little time is spent on speaking or listening.



Class exercises are usually grammatical and focus on control of form

2. Communicative Language Teaching {CLT}: This method was developed around 1990. The goal of the method is to make the language classroom as much like the real world as there is problem for students to communicate in a large environment. It also emphasizes appropriate use of language. Some of the features of this method are: i. Students and teachers are involved in the teaching and learning processes using the target language. ii. Errors in this method are considered natural and thereby result to the participation of students without fear of condemnation by peers or teacher. iii. Variety is emphasized when studying language functions.

3. Total Physical Response {TPR}: This method was developed in the 1960s and 1970s and it is called TPR because one of the principles is that students learn more and faster when they involve their entire


body. This method is based on series of commands given by teacher and emphasizes listening and comprehension and allows students as much time as they need to begin speaking. Features of this method are: i. The attitude is relaxed and comfortable and errors are acceptable. ii. iii. In TPR, students are generally active. The teacher speaks relatively little and only in the target language Some other methods of teaching language in large class-sizes are Notional-Functional Approach, Structural Approach e.t.c To teach and learn English Language effectively in a large class-size, it is stated that learners needs are to be met using different techniques. The ESL website (http://eslflow.com) categorizes learners into 4. These are the imaginative learners, analytic learners, common sense learners and dynamic learners. It is further emphasizes that when teachers technique of


teaching are set to meet these learners needs certainly the learning activity will lead to a positive outcome Appraisal of Literature Review To critically analyse the subject matter, it has been generally accepted that class-size is a vital educational tool that determines the learning outcome in any educational system. The unanimous agreement of researchers on the subject matter of discourse is that class-size could be large or small. Having investigated into the two categories of class-size, both with demerits and merits, which influence the teaching and learning of English Language. Significantly, the large class-size tends to make teachers being overworked with added weight of extra students, having strain on resources, students with disabilities are at disadvantage because they may not get the individualized attention, and teachers are tend to experience discomfort, problems of controlling and evaluation; lack of individual attention and as a whole bad learning outcome. The small class-size on the other hand, though being condemned for economic purpose, has many advantages

such as more interaction with teachers, identification of individual differences, sense of concentration and helping hand being render by peers and many more. As a result of the negative influence of the large class-size on teaching, the need to overcome the problem is then necessitated to facilitate proper teaching of English Language. It is discovered that for effective teaching of English, teacher needs to select and utilize appropriate instructional strategies. Furthermore, the Problem-Solution Approach needs to be adopted by English teacher for effective teaching and learning coupled with the adoption of good method and techniques of teaching and mastery of the language.



Introduction This chapter is set to expose readers to the kind of methods and approaches used by the researcher in carrying out his research. The research was carried out and discussed under the following headings: Research Design, Population, Sample and Sample Techniques,

Instrumentation, Procedure for Data Collection, Procedure for Data Analysis, Reliability and Validity. Research Design This research will make use of survey method of descriptive research. This is done in an attempt to collect data and valid information for the manipulation of the variable in order to determine the current status of the population or sample of the population. This method will be used to collate information about the Effect of Class-Size on the Teaching and Learning of English Language. To achieve


this, three majors ways shall be used for data collection i.e. interview, questionnaire and documentation Population The population of this research is basically teachers and students of English Language. Due to the fact that the whole English Language teachers students in Ilorin-West Local Government cannot be assess, the researcher therefore uses Random Sample Technique in order to achieve the possible outcome of the whole population. Sample and Sampling Technique As stated earlier, the researcher would use Random Sampling Techniques for this study. It is hoped that ht schools that are randomly selected can be used to generalized the population. The accessible population includes secondary school teachers and students, out of which 24 English teachers and 150 students were randomly selected from twelve (12) secondary schools. The twelve secondary schools are:


1. Ilorin Grammar School 2. Government Day Secondary School, Adeta 3. Model Secondary School 4. Baboko Community Secondary School 5. Sheikh AbdulKadir College 6. Alore Secondary School 7. Mandate Junior Secondary School 8. Mount Camel College, Oloje 9. Government High School 10. Government Girls Day, Pakata 11. Barakat Community Secondary School 12. Banni Community Secondary School Instrumentation The instrument used by the researcher was mainly the questionnaire meant for the secondary school teachers and students. The researcher assumed that the information derived from their responses will be valuable


as they are those who are directly involve in the teaching learning processes. The questionnaire is categorized into 3 sections A, B, and C. Section A requires the personal information of respondents. This involves question like name of school, the school being taught, teachers experience e.t.c. In section B and C, 12 and 13 questions were carefully organized respectively. These are questions that tackle the general problems of teachers and students in teaching and learning English language in large and small class-sizes. Procedure for Data Collection The questionnaires were distributed to 36 English teacher and 300 students of selected schools with permission from principal of various schools. The questionnaires were responded to by teaches and students after the explanation of the purpose of the study by the researcher. With cooperation by the head teachers, the teachers and students, the questionnaire were directly collected by the researcher and some were collected through the head teacher.

Reliability and Instrumentation Test Retest method was used to ascertain the reliability of questionnaire. The questionnaires were administered to the same group at an interval of two weeks and 85%of the same responses were still derived from the respondents. Validity of the Instrument In respect of the validity of the instrument, the draft copy of the questionnaire was shown to the project supervisor, after which necessary corrections were made to correlate with the study in question. The questionnaire has both face and content validity as it was concerted to by the supervisor to match the content of the literature review. Procedure for Data Analysis After the collection of data, the researcher sorts the questionnaire into two. One part of the questionnaire favoured the large class-size and the other favoured the small class-size. Frequencies were then expressed in percentage, based on the total number of responses.


The data obtained were transferred into data sheet using descriptive statistics for the data analysed. The detailed analysis of the data are shown in chapter four


PRESENTATION AND DATA ANALYSIS Introduction This chapter presents and discusses the analysis of the data analysis of the data gathered from the questionnaires that were administered by the researcher. The data that will be presented consists of 24 teachers and 150 students responses that are randomly selected from twelve {12} school in Ilorin-West Local Government. Research Question 1: Does Students population have any effect on their learning? Table 1: Simple percentage analysis on students responses for Research Question one S/N 2 ITEMS YES % 80 NO 30 % 20

Are you able to contribute to the lesson 120 when you want to?

When the teacher is in the class, do you 77

51.3 73



always hear murmur of noise within the classroom? 9 Does the English textbook provided go 81 round the students? 54 69 46

It is obvious that the above presentation in table 1 shows that One Hundred and Twenty (120) students covering 80% of the students responses affirmed that they do contribute to the lesson when they want to, while 20% of that response amounting to Thirty (30) students deny their ability to contribute to the lesson when they want to. Also, Seventy Seven (77) (71.3%) students opined that they always hear noise within the class when the lesson is on. On the other hand, Seventy Three (73) students, equated as 48.7% disagree with hearing murmur within the class. However, Sixty Nine (69) students i.e. 46% disagree with the question of having enough English textbook for the students. While 54%,


which is equal to Eighty One (81) students supported having enough textbook for ht subject. Research Question 2: How effective is a teacher method of teaching in a large class-size? Table 2.1: Simple percentage analysis on students responses for Research Question two S/N 3 ITEMS YES % NO % 18.7

Does your teachers method of teaching 122 make you like the subject?

81.3 28

Is your English teacher able to carry 120 everybody along?




Does you English teacher supervise your 125 work individually or go round the class?

88.3 25


In the presentation above, it is glaring that One Hundred and Twenty Two (122) students i.e. 81.3% responded to show their likeness with the


teachers method of teaching, while 28 of them i.e. 18% dislike their teachers method of teaching, which results to their hatred for the subject. Moreso, One Hundred and Twenty (120) students amounting to 80% acknowledge their teachers ability to carry them along and in contrary, Thirty (30) students amounting to 20% acknowledge their teachers inability to carry them along. For question 6, One Hundred and Twenty Five (125) students (83.3%) testified that their English teacher supervise their work, while 16% equated at Twenty five (25) students confirmed that their teachers neither go round to supervise their work nor check individually. Table 2.2: Simple percentage analysis on teachers responses for Research Question two S/N 1 ITEMS YES % NO % 66.7

Is your method of teaching effective in an 8 overpopulated class?

33.3% 16

Is your method of teaching effective in a 24



class of lower students? 3 Do you find coping with students easy in 1 an overpopulated class? 4.2% 23 95.8

From the data presented above, it can be deduced that 33.3% which is Eight (8)of the teachers responses attest that teaching is effective in an overpopulated class. On the other hand, Sixteen (16) teachers covering 66.7% confirmed that teaching is not effective in an overpopulated class. Consequently in question 2, Twenty Four (24) teachers which is 100% agreed that their method of teaching is effective in classes of lower students. Out of Twenty four (24) teachers, only one (4.2%) teacher believed that coping with students is easy in an overpopulated class; while the remaining Twenty Three (23) amounting to 95.8% affirmed that coping with students in overpopulated class is not easy.


Research Question 3: How effective is a teachers method of teaching in a small class size. Table 3: Simple percentage analysis on teachers responses for Research Question three S/N 7 ITEMS YES % NO % 66.7

Do you find teaching in a small class-size 8 more tasking than that of a large classsize?

33.3 16

Is assessment in an overpopulated class 22 stressful?

91.7 2


Are instructional materials adequate in an 0 overpopulated class?



The table above shows that 33.3% which is also Eight (8) teachers accepted that teaching is more tasking in a small class-size, while 66.7%


which represents Sixteen (16) teachers opined that teaching is not tasking in small class-size. Furthermore, Twenty (22) teachers which is 91.7% confirmed that assessment is stressful in an overpopulated class while Two (2) teachers (8.3%) sees assessment as being easy in an overpopulated class. Question 9 portrays that 100% which is the total of the Twenty Four (24) teachers concur with the inadequacy of instructional materials in overpopulated class. Research Question 4: Are the lesson objectives achievable in a large class-size? Table 4: Simple percentage analysis on teachers responses for Research Question four S/N 11 Do you ITEMS usually when meet the YES lesson 11 in an % NO % 54.2

45.8 13



overpopulated class?



Is performance of students in small class- 24 size24


In the data presentation in Table 4 above, we can infer that Eleven (11) teachers which is 45.7% do meet the lesson objectives in over populated class, while 54.2% which is equivalent to Thirteen (13) teachers stated that they do not usually meet the lesson objectives in an overpopulated class. 100% covering the whole of the teachers confirmed that performance of students in small class size is better than that of students in overpopulated class. Research Question 5: What is the level of students participation in a large class-size? Table 5.1: Simple percentage analysis on students responses for Research Question five S/N 2 ITEMS YES % 80 NO 30 % 20

Are you able to contribute to the lesson 120 when you want to?


80% of the students in the above presentation of table 5 states that they are able to contribute to the lesson when they want to, while Thirty (30) students (20%) responded that they are unable to contribute to the lesson when they want to. Table 5.2: Simple percentage analysis on teachers responses for Research Question five S/N 5 ITEMS YES % 100 NO 0 0 %

Is there cordial relationship between 24 teacher and students in terms of their interaction in a small class-size?





class 2

8.3% 22


participate in the lesson than students in non-populated class?

Considering table 5.2 above, all the teachers opined that there is increase in teacher-students interaction in small class-size.


Similarly in the next question, Two (2) teachers representing 8.3% believed that students in overpopulated class participate in the lesson than students of non-populated class, while 91.9%, which can be equate to Twenty Two (22) teachers did not believe the assertion. Discussion and Findings The data presentation in table 1 indicates that students population does not really have much effect on the students learning. Question 2 of the table shows that almost all the students, 80% are able to contribute to the lesson when they want to. Though 87.3% of the total respondents are more than 40 in their various classes, yet they still have the opportunity of contributing to the lesson. This development cannot be divorced from the experience of the teachers, which helps them to manage largely populated class. This fact is derived from the researchers finding in section c number 4 of the questionnaire where 79.2% of the teachers strongly pointed out that their experiences helps them in managing over populated class. Still on table 1, 51.3% of the students stated that they do not hear murmur / noise within the classroom when the lesson is going on; while

48.7% confirmed that they do hear murmur / noise while the lesson is going. Considering the two percentages of the respondents (51.3 and 48.7%), it is a fact that students population in one way still affects their learning as there is just little difference of 2.6%. Moreso for any classroom that has more than 40 students, there cannot be absolute silence in such class. The textbook as collectively shown by the students responses go round the class with 54%. Contrary to this, the teachers responses with 100% states that the instructional material is not adequate. The researcher therefore go by the responses of the teachers as the have direct contact with the available material and that the students in the course of answering the questionnaire exercise the fear of being punished by the teachers if some responses against their teachers are chosen. The analysis from research question 1 can therefore be summarized to affirm that students population have effect on their learning. Similarly table 2.1 and 2.2 helps in determining the efficacy of the teachers in a large class. Under these tables, the responses of both the


teachers and the students are critically examined. 81% of the students responses shows that the teachers method of teaching make them like the subject; while 80% of the students also confirmed that their English teachers are able to carry them along; and 83.3% asserted that the English teachers usually supervises their work individually or go round the class. The teachers responses concerning this research question depict that 66.7% stated that their teaching methodology is not effective in an overpopulated class. 100% of the teachers equally supported that method of teaching is effective in a class of lower students and 95% of this same teachers did not find coping with students in an overpopulated class easy. Without mincing words, teachers methods of teaching in a large class-size is not effective but have been professionally managed with the experiences of the subject teachers. For research question 3, teachers responses are used to determine the effectiveness of teachers teaching method in small class-sizes. Based on the responses which state that 66.7% unanimously agreed that teaching in small class-size is not tasking, it can be deduced from that that teachers


will be able to explore varieties of method of teaching when teaching in a small class-size, which makes it easy for the teacher to evaluate s teaching methodology. 97.7% of these teachers also find assessment in overpopulated class stressful. This implies that when classes are within the normal teacher-students ratio, there would be room for teacher to properly assess his / her student which will in-turn cause him her to know the areas of strengths and / weaknesses of the students and at the same time will be able to study the students individual differences. Instructional materials are also no doubt a tool for effective teaching. Under table 3 of research question 3, we are made to realize that instructional materials are not adequate at all with 100% of the teachers supporting this. It is obvious from this that when students are in classes of lower size, teachers will be able to widely spread the instructional materials and will immensely contribute to his / her teaching methodology. Research question for focuses on how achievable the lesson objective is in large class-size. With 54.2% of the teachers supporting that they hardly meet up with the lesson objective(s) and 100% also attesting


that students performance in small class-sizes are better than the performances of students in large class-sizes, we can categorically summarise that lesson objectives are not usually achievable in large classsizes, for students performances are great determinant of lesson objectives realization. Similarly, if students in lower class-sizes can perform better that the students in large class-sizes, it means that the teacher is able to cover up with all scheme of work that are entailed in the syllabus, which is also tantamount achieving the lesson objectives. Summatively, research question five examines the level of students participation in a large class-size. In table 5.1 under this research question, 80% of the students affirmed that they are able to contribute to the lesson when they want to and 20% disagreed with this. When some of the students who affirmed this assertion were interviewed, they added that they mostly contribute to the lesson in response to the teachers inquisitions. The teachers responses on the other hand have 100% of them agreeing that there is increase in teacher-students interaction in a small class-size. To sum up with this, 8.3% of the teachers opined that students


in overpopulated class participate in the lesson than students in nonpopulated class, while 91.7% justify the high participation of students in overpopulated class-size than that of overpopulated class. Judging from the above, the students in overpopulated classes do not participate well in the class compared to the participation of students in lower class-sizes. For the few ones in highly populated classes that participate in the lesson are been forcefully influenced by the teachers persistence and repetitive questioning.



Summary This study is aimed at researching and determining the Effects of Class-Size on the Teaching and Learning of English Language in Selected Secondary Schools in Ilorin-West Local Government Area of Kwara State. The study was conducted in twelve (12) selected secondary schools in Ilorin-West Local Government, after which One Hundred and Fifty (150) responses and twenty four responses by the teachers were randomly picked to collate the data. To ensure the validity and reliability of result, unstructured interview was conducted for some of the students. At the end of this research, the study revealed that: 1. virtually all the secondary schools in Ilorin-West Local Government are faced with the large class-size syndrome. The study shows that the least population of students per class is 50 as against the Policy


in the National Policy on Education which states 1:40 as -teachersstudents ratio {Section 5 sub-section 27}; 2. the students learning of English Language is being marred by the teeming population of students as it reduces the efficacy of the subject teachers, who find coping with students in large class-size challenging; 3. teaching English Language in classes of small class-sizes are easier as teachers are able to evaluate the students without being burdened by the population of the students. Through this, teachers can also evaluate his / her own teaching methodology to suite the needs of each student; 4. Teachers who have longer years of experience scan easily manage and handle large class-sizes effectively but at times do not meet their lesson objectives; 5. students from large class-sizes perform below standard unlike their counterparts from non-populated classes;


6. there is always increase in teacher-students interaction and high participation in lesson when handling students of lower class-sizes than students of populated classes; and 7. instructional materials are meagerly spread amongst students in larger sizes. Conclusion From the result of the research, it is glaring that class-size has great effects on the teaching and learning of English Language. Students of the large class-sizes suffer a lot in their acquisition of skills in English Language. They are subjected to lack of adequate materials and low dedication to the study of the language. The teachers of the large classsizes equally find it difficult to discharge their duties as a result of the superfluous population of students in the class. It is highly advantageous for the government, the school, the teachers and the students should the recommendation that would be highlighted taken into consideration.


Recommendations Having discovered the aforementioned from the study, the following recommendations are therefore postulated to solve the challenges in the teaching and learning of English Language in large class-sizes: I. Workshops and seminars should be organized for teachers of English Language periodically to enhance and improve their classroom efficiencies. II. Government should make provision for more language instructional materials such as language lab, conducive and serene learning environment for the purpose of optimizing the teachers and students output in English Language. III. There is need to effect the teacher-students ratio policy stated in the National Policy on Education so as to reduce the congestion in our classes. IV. Each school administrator should also see to it that classes exceeding forty students should be broken into arms and liase with


appropriate authority to make proc=vision for infrastructural and other necessary facilities. V. In cases where large classes could not be broken down as a result of factors beyond the administrators and teachers control, the English teachers should embark on grouping the students. This will give room for efficiency, monitoring the students participation in the class, identifying the deviant students, identifying students individual differences and also make the available instructional materials to circulate. VI. English teachers should not be keen about one particular teaching method. Inter-changing the styles of teaching will arouse different students for if a method is admired b a student, it might be otherwise to another student.


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Commeyras, M. (2002), Promoting a Culture in Reading. The Comet Thursday, February 13. Pp:32 Dean, C. (1999), Large Classes on the Rise. The Times Educational Supplement, No 4079. September 2, P 4 English as a Second Language Flow (2002), ESL Teaching: Idea & Techniques. Retrieved from: http://www.esflow.com/communic ativelanguageteaching.html Fafunwa Internet Journal of Education Language: http://www.fafunwa foundation.tripod.com/fafunwafoundation/id1.html Fauzia, S. (2009), Teaching and Researching English in Large Classes. 43rd International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language {IATE} Conference, Cardif, UK, 31 March 4 April, 2009. Federal Government of Nigeria, (2004), National Policy on Education 4th Edition Glass, G, and Smith M. L (1978), Meta-Analysis of Research on the Relationship of Class-Size and Achievement San Francisco: Far


West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, California, USA. Hattie, J. {2005}, The Paradox of Reducing Class-Size and Improving Learning Outcomes. International Journal of Educational

Research, Vol 43, No 6 Hess, N. {2001} Teaching Large Multilevel Classes. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hoffman, G. L. (1980}, Pupil-teacher Ratio and Academic Performance: An Experimental Analysis. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, University of Kansas, USA. Ijaya, Y. {1973}, Effect of Overcrowded Classroom on Teacher-Student Interaction. Ilorin Journal of Education. Kenedy, R. J. {1989}, Performance Measurement in Non-advanced Further Education: Use of Statistics Unpublished Ph.d Thesis, University of Lancaster, U.K, British Dissertion Abstract. Lord, R. {!984}, Value for Money in Education, London: Public Money, pp:8


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http://www.nctc.org/positions/statements/classsizesecondary Nwadiani, M. {2002}, Economic Dimension of Educational Planning in Nigeria. Benin City: Monose Amalgamates, pp:78-82. Okoro, D. C. U. {1985}, Data Need for Educational Planning. A Paper Presented at the Meeting of Educational Planners from Federal / State Ministry of Education, Lagos {November, 1985}. Onasanya, S. A. {1998}, Selecting and Utilisation of Instructional Strategies in Teaching. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction. {A Publication of the Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology, University of Ilorin} 5 {1 & 2} 53 60. ISSN 0794-4543


Simkins, T. {1981}, Economic and Management of Resources in Education. Sheffield: Department of Educational Management, Sheffield City Polytechnic, U. K. Tsang, M.C. {1988}, Cost Analysis of Educational Policy Making: A Review of Cost Studies in Education in Developing Counties. Review of Educational Research 58, (2) Summer, 181 230. Toth, S. L. et al {2002}, Class Size and Achievement in Higher Education: A Summary of Current Research. College Student Journal. Project Innovation from: Publisher, Alabama. ISSN 0146-3394.



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CLASS-SIZE QUESTIONNAIRE Dear respondents, The questionnaire is strictly designed to investigate into the Effect of Class-size on the Teaching and Learning of English Language in Selected Schools in Ilorin-West LGA. All information supplied shall be treated with utmost confidentiality. Kindly respond to the items by ticking {} in the spaces provided. Thanks for your cooperation.

SECTION A For Students Name of School: Gender: Male { } Female { } Class: SECTION B {Students} INSTRUCTION: Please tick the column that best suits you opinion by ticking{} Yes or No S/N 1 2 ITMES Are you more than 40 in your class? Are you able to contribute to the lesson when you want to 62 YES NO

Does you teachers method of teaching make you like the subject?

4 5 6

Is your English Teacher able to carry everybody along? Do those who sit at the back contribute to the lesson at all? Does your English teacher supervise your work individually or go round the class?

When the teacher is in the class, do you normally hear murmur or noise within the classroom?

Is cheating rampant I your class when writing test or examination?

9 10

Does the English textbook provided go round the class? When given an assignment, do you engage your co-students in answering the questions?


Is your English teacher able to mark the assignments given to you?


Does your English teacher usually point out your areas of mistakes after marking?


SECTION C {Teacher} Class Being Taught:.. Years of Teaching Experience:. Number of English Teachers in the School: INSTRUCTION: Please provide answers in this section by ticking the column that corresponds or suits your opinion or idea to the statements. S/N 1 ITMES Is your method of teaching effective in an overpopulated class? Is your method of teaching effective in a class of lower 2 students? Do you find coping with students easy in an overpopulated 3 class? Do you think your experience helps in managing an 4 overpopulated class? Is there cordial relationship between teacher and students in 5 terms of their interaction in a small class-size? Do students in overpopulated class participate in the lesson YES NO


than students in non-populated class? Do you find teaching in a small class-size more tasking than 7 that of a large class-size? Is assessment in overpopulated class stressful? Are 9 instructional materials adequate at all in an

overpopulated class? Do you think that providing more instructional materials and


classrooms can solve the problem of large class-size? Do you usually meet the lesson objective when teaching in an


overpopulated class? Is performance of students in small class-size better than that


of students in overpopulated class? Does students population have effects on their output?