Article Usage in ESL Classroom Written Texts: A Focus on Nigerian Senior Secondary Schools

Destiny Idegbekwe, Omo Ikosomi


The use of articles or the article system is one feature of English grammar that has been reported to cause most learners enormous difficulties; particularly, of course, those whose native languages do not use articles like most Nigerian languages. In the light of this, the study investigated the type of errors in the text of these second language learners. The data used for this study were collected from eighty final year students of Demonstration Secondary, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, Rivers State, Nigeria. The students were given an essay with the topic: The Places I would Like to Visit and why or The Impact of Technology in the 21st Century to write on. In all, 80 scripts were analyzed, 55 of the students wrote on the first topic while the remaining 25 wrote on the second topic. Among the 80 scripts read, 65 of them had deficiency in the use of articles. 25 sentences out of the 65 scripts were selected for analysis through a random sampling technique. The study presents as part of its findings that most second language learners prioritize communication before or against grammaticality in the use of articles and that one cannot rule out the influence of pidgin and many of the Nigerian languages on the competence of these learners on the use of articles.

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