Bilingualism as a Determinant of Academic Success Among Babcock University High School Students

Bilingualism as a Determinant of Academic Success Among Babcock University High School Students

Bilingualism as a Determinant of Academic Success Among Babcock University High School Students

 

Abstract on Bilingualism as a Determinant of Academic Success Among Babcock University High School Students

The study examined the effect of social responsibility on church growth, a study of Babcock University High School Students in Ilishan Remo, Ogun State Nigeria.

The study employed the survey design and the purposive sampling technique to select 450 Babcock University High School Students in Ilishan Remo, Ogun State Nigeria. A well-constructed questionnaire, which was adjudged valid and reliable, was used for collection of data from the respondents. The data obtained through the administration of the questionnaires was analyzed using the Pearson correlation analysis.

The results revealed that: there is correlation between Bilingualism and academic success (r=0.772; p<0.05). A positive and significant relationship exists between bilingualism and academic success (r=.896; p<0.05).

The study hereby concluded that bilingualism is a strong determinant of academic success among Babcock University High School Students in Ilishan Remo, Ogun State Nigeria. The study further recommends that: Babcock University should include French and other languages like German, Spanish, China as a GST course in order to add to the students quality in outside world. Babcock University should help other students that already have the quality of bilingualism get a job in the embassy of the language 4the students specialize. Babcock University needs an urgent reappraisal. Babcock University must become contextually relevant.

 

Chapter One of Bilingualism as a Determinant of Academic Success Among Babcock University High School Students

INTRODUCTION 

Background to the Study

Academics and being successful at it, is one of the many ways one can get ahead in today’s modern society.   Educators around the world seek out new ways to help students succeed academically. Through the years’ various scholars and researchers have proposed different theories on how a student can succeed academically. These theories have shaped numerous educational models around the world. Yet, even with the abundance of resources, many students still struggle to make the minimum requirements to pass in their schools. Due to this fact research is continually on going to make the above statement not to be a reality. This research aims to look at just one factor, bilingualism, and how it impacts a student’s academic success.

There are numerous reasons why academic success is important. An outstanding reason, is based on the verity that it helps students to prepare for future careers. It enables students to have an edge in the job market. For students seeking to enter more competitive fields, such as the field of medicine, being successful academically is crucial. Adults who are academically successful and with high levels of education are more likely to be employed, have stable employment, have more employment opportunities than those with less education and earn higher salaries, are more likely to have health insurance, are less dependent on social assistance, are less likely to engage in criminal activity, are more active as citizens and charitable volunteers and are healthier and happier (Regier, 2011).

Academic success can play a key role in a student’s feeling of self-worth. Those who do better academically tend to have higher self-esteem, than those who do not. Healthy self-esteem is vital to dedication to academic success. If a student comes to with feelings of low self-worth it will affect the student’s performance in class. The student is not likely to answer questions when it is asked by the teacher and the student may sit in the back of class in order to be ‘hidden’ from the teacher. This is at times, may be caused by the fact that the student is not doing well academically, but if this same student was doing better academically, it could increase the student’s self-esteem.

Academic success is important in producing good citizens of the society. According to (Regier, 2011), academic achievement is important for the successful development of young people in society. Students who do well in school are better able to make the transition into adulthood and to achieve occupational and economic success. These students will go to be productive members of the society.

In forming the mind of a student, academic success is important. Students learn different skills that will help them throughout their lifetime. Learning critical thinking skills will help students dissect the world around. A background in history, may be explanation to current events happening in the society. Given the specialization required for many jobs these days, young people who are entering the job market do need a substantial base of knowledge and, in many cases, specialized skills (Regier, 2011).

A study conducted by (Ozzie, 1976), revealed some students view on academic success.

Academic Success as Means to End

Good grades help you make it in later life.

Grades are important in getting into college.

You can’t get ahead without a good education.

If you do poorly in school you won’t have anything.

A good education will help you make it in life.

Individual Freedom of Choice

This is what I want to do.

It is none of your business what I do.

School and grades are my bag.

You have what you want. I have what I want.

Poor grades are for those who want them.

You have a right to your opinion.

The opinions above the significance of academic success to the different students. It shows that students truly wish to do well in school. Some students find it easy to succeed academically and other struggle with it. Educators take it upon themselves to make sure those who are not succeeding academically get the adequate help and instruction they need. They relentlessly look for new information and ideas to help their students achieve academic success.

Bilingualism is not a new phenomenon as various studies have concluded that more than half of the world’s population is bilingual (Harding and Riley, 1986). Bilingualism, simply put, is the ability to speak or understand two languages. Bilingualism is an optional obligatory means for efficient two-way communication between two or more different ‘worlds’ using two different linguistic systems (Overbeke, 1972, citied Harding and Riley, 1986). The term itself can refer to an indivual or society. Some other terms that often come up in the study of bilingualism are, monolingualism, and multilingualism. Monolingualism is the ability to speak only one language. Multilingualism refers to the ability to speak more than two languages. Many people are able to learn bits and pieces of different languages in their life time but that does not make them bilingual.

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In most countries where many languages are spoken, there is a noticeable inequality between the language communities: one is socially, economically, or politically dominated by the other (de Gruyter, 1987). Most of the time this is a result of conquest or migration. With the colonization of Nigeria, by European, the English language was introduced, and soon became the dominant language for social and official interaction. If the dominated group does not give up its language, but continues to use it in daily life, in the home and among friends, the language may acquire regular function in the community as a mark of informality (de Gruyter, 1987). This made many homes in Nigeria to become bilingual. Yet in recent times, many young Nigerians today are not able to speak or understand their native language. This is because, many parents refuse to teach their children their native languages, hence many young Nigerians today can speak English fluently, but have little or no fluency in any other language. According to report by the Vanguard News Paper Online, The Linguistic Association of Nigeria (LAN) said unless proactive steps were taken, more than 50 minority languages in the country might become extinct in a few years.

The educational system in the country is not making situation any better. Indigenous languages are being taught as a ‘subject’ in school, with little emphasis placed on importance. This has reached the extent that a student failing the subject ‘Igbo’ in the WASSCE parents or teachers might not reprimand the student, but if the student were to fail English or any other core subjects, then the serious reprimanding would take place. Simply meaning that, English is viewed as more important than the indigenous languages. A student can successfully enter university having failed an indigenous language exam, but passed the English exam.

The views like the ones mentioned above follow along the lines of scholars who postulated that bilingualism was ‘bad for you’.  Scholars like, Saer (1923), posited that bilingualism was detrimental to the child’s cognitive ability. These positions discouraged bilingualism as a result many children growing up in that era were not encouraged to learn more than one language. Some researches went so far, to state: “we are monolingual creatures and it would be against our nature to learn and speak another language” – seemingly influenced by ideology (Smart Words).

While other scholars like Pearl and Lambert (1962) conducted studies which should bilingual students outperforming their monolingual counterparts (Pearl and Lambert, 1962, cited in Harding and Riley, 1986, p.68). The different views led to different educational theories. Studies like these proved that bilingualism could aid a student’s intellectual development, thus proving the effectiveness of bilingualism and its relation to academic success.

Numerous studies have been conducted on bilingualism, and academic success as separate variables, but few researchers have looked into the relationship between the two in Nigeria. This research aims identify the effect bilingualism has on academic success, in a bid to help students understand the role of bilingualism in relation to their academic success.

Statement of the Problem

The dilemma being faced is that, many students are struggling to succeed academically. There are varying factors as to why the above statement is true, but the fact still stands, and the situation needs to improve. According to the Punch Newspaper Online, in 2018 out of the 11,307 students that sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, between January 29 and February 12, 2018, only 1, 937 passed the minimum of credits in five subjects and above. This means that only 17.3 percent of the candidates passed while about 83 percent of students failed. This result is quite alarming! The result of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination was not any more promising with only 25 percent of candidates scoring above 200 (Wahab, 2018). It is also forlorn to note that Nigeria has the largest number of children in the world who are not being educated, the government has said (BBC News, 2017).

There are many more distressing statistics, and this research is aiming to find what role bilingualism plays in the academic success of a student.

Objectives of Study

The objectives of this study will be enumerated below

  1. To discover if bilingualism has any effect on cognitive ability
  2. To determine if there is a significant relationship between bilingualism and academic success

Research Questions

  1. Can bilingualism significantly affect academic success?
  2. Will bilingualism have a significant relationship with academic success?

Research Hypothesis

  1. Bilingualism will not significantly affect academic success.
  2. Bilingualism will not have a significant relationship with academic success.

 Significance of Study

This study is aimed to benefit teachers, students, educators and parents, in Nigeria. Students all around the country are struggling academically and they ever searching for ways to do better in school. There are many factors that have been studied to improve the conditions of education in Nigeria.  This study will enable the stated groups to understand what academic success entails and how bilingualism affects its results, and from the results make the proper implementation and corrections. It will bring a new light to the area of bilingualism and academic success, an area that has not been looked into so much in the context of Nigeria.

Operational Definition of Terms

Bilingualism can be defined as the ability of an individual to understand and converse in two languages with native-like fluency.

Academic Success can be defined as a student achieving minimum or anything above the required educational standards set by an institution.

Monolingual can be defined as the ability of an individual to understand only one language with native-like fluency