Comparative effect of interactive mobiles (clickers) and communicative approach on the learning outcomes of the educationally disadvantaged Nigerian pupils in ESL classrooms
Agbatogun, Alaba Olaoluwakotansibe
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Effective teaching that promotes learners’ active engagement and the development of communicative proficiency has been a challenge to teachers of English as a second language (ESL). Previous research on second language (L2) teaching has shown that L2 learners improve better in communicative skills when they are actively engaged, participate in communicative tasks that facilitate interaction and are provided with the opportunity to use the target language in the classroom. This study focuses on improving ESL learners’ learning outcomes in remotely-located primary schools in Nigeria. The study aimed to test whether the introduction of Personal Response System (PRS) and communicative approach can improve pupils’ English-language communicative competences and their attitudes towards English learning. Specifically, this study examined the extent to which significant differences exist in pupils’ communicative competence performance scores and learning gains based on teachers’ use of a communicative approach, PRS and lecture methods in the ESL classroom. Furthermore, the research also attempted to find out whether pupils’ attitudes towards the learning of English would significantly differ based on teaching strategy. Attitudes of pupils and teachers towards the interventions were also investigated. A pre-test and post-test non-randomised control group design was adopted in this study. Some qualitative data were also collected to augment the quantitative main data. Ninety nine pupils from three intact classes in different schools in Ijebu-North local government, Ogun-State, Nigeria were assigned to two experimental groups and one control group. In addition to the traditional use of textbooks, one of the experimental groups was taught using communicative activities, while the second experimental group experienced communicative tasks blended with the use of a personal response system. The control group received the conventional classroom instruction (lecture method), including the use of the English language textbook. In order to provide answers to the research questions and the hypothesis of this study, English Language Listening Tests and English Language Speaking Tests, Pupils’ Attitude to English Language Lesson Questionnaire, Pupils’ Attitude to Clickers’ Questionnaire and Pupils’ Attitude to Communicative Approach Questionnaire were administered at the pre-and post-test stages of the research. These instruments were also complemented with data from classroom observation, video recording of the instructional process, and audio-recorded interviews with the teachers and selected pupils in the experimental groups. The results indicate that the two experimental groups showed greater improvement in communicative competence than did the control group; but the PRS group improved more than the communicative approach group both in listening and speaking skills development. Moreover, pupils’ learning gains were statistically different, with the PRS group having the highest gain scores above the communicative approach group, while the control group did not experience increased learning gains. The results also reveal pupils’ mixed-reactions with respect to their attitudes toward the English language lesson and the interventions. Teachers’ attitudes toward the interventions were in the positive direction.