Background of the Study

Teaching could be seen as a process of inculcating worthwhile knowledge by the teacher into the learner. This is to train the learner so that he or she can stand on his or her foot in the society. In teaching, three aspects are involved; they are the teacher, the learners and the learning materials. Theodore (2014) refers to it as the process of impacting knowledge and skills from a teacher to a learner. To him it encompasses the activities of educating or instructing. It is an act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. Ugwu and Eze (1999) are of the same opinion as they saw teaching as the act of educating, training and molding of   the character and attitude of an individual towards a desired goal.

Teaching cannot   take place without the participation of the different persons, the teacher who is a mature and experienced person that is capable of combining different skills, techniques, and strategies to impact knowledge to the immature individual who is at the help of the mature one to learn. In the light of this Aguokogbuo (2000) opines that teaching is a deliberate effort by a mature or experienced person to impart information, knowledge and skills to an immature person. The act of teaching is a highly skilled professional activity which involves curriculum design, exposition of information and knowledge through diversified teaching strategies and using of variety of instructional materials to get the message across to the learner. An acceptable teaching brings about learning.

Learning has been variously defined by various authors. It could be seen as acquiring information, knowledge and skills that will bring about a change in behaviour. The learner learns from a more experienced person. Kirkpatrick (1985) saw it as a knowledge gained from teaching. Nsude (1998) argued that learning is much more than that.  To her learning is a relatively permanent change in behaviour which occurs as a result of experience or some level of practice. It is worthy of note here that any learning that does not bring about a change in behaviour is not learning. This is because if any learning has taken place it is expected that it will influence the behaviour of the learner either positively or negatively. It is the outwardness of what is learnt that will help anybody around to know that learning has taken place. In our schools today learners learn different subjects taught by the teachers such as English language, mathematics, music etc which French language is one of them.

The teaching and learning of French language in English speaking Africa was not wide spread until 1960 when most African countries got their independence. It was not until around 1960 that Nigeria began to feel a great need for a change in the language teaching policy. Nigeria like other new independent African nations realized that they are surrounded by fellow Africans with whom they could not communicate due to language barrier.

It was during the colonial era that most of the communications between French speaking and English – speaking countries of Africa were channeled to the respective European capitals, thus creating a state of isolation between the two linguistic groups. Therefore a cultivation of the languages used by the groups in their interactions is necessary and French language is one of them.

Nigeria is an Anglophone country surrounded  by French speaking  nations such as; Niger in the north, Chad in the north-east,  Cameroon in east, Republique  du Benin in the West and then the Atlantic  ocean in the south. “So Nigeria can be described as a “Linguistic Island” surrounded by “French sees” (Offorma, 2009:13. To her there is need for neighbours to live harmonious with one another and this will be effective if the parties have a common    medium of communication. She opines that “the co-existence of Nigeria and these countries revolves around economic, political, social and cultural exchanges “ (Offorma, 2009:!3).

Ogah (1984) opined that after the independence, the new African nations reacted swiftly against this state of isolation of African Nations   from their neighbours because of the differences in their languages. The West African countries led the movement of technical co-operation African nations, the objective of which was to break the language barrier and within a few years, they were joined by the East African countries. In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (UAU) now African Union (AU) officially approved a policy in Addis Ababa which advocated French-English bilingualism for all African Countries.

Offorma (2009) expatiated on this by saying that “the  Addis-Ababa conference on Education and the Yaounde Conference of 1961 recommended that Anglophone African introduced  French language as a mandatory subject in her school system and Francophone African introduced  English as the second  European language as a means  of communication and understanding between the people of these two linguistics sectors”. That was important for African countries more so as no African language was developed to meet the purpose. The two most developed African languages are Hausa and  Swahili which are still regional language in west African and East   African respectively” (Offorma, 2009;14). It is based on this that Nigerian government declared in the National policy on Education (2004:10)

For smooth interaction with our neighbours, it is desirable for every Nigerian to speak French. Accordingly, French shall be the second official language in Nigeria and shall be compulsory in primary and junior secondary schools but non vocational elective at the senior secondary school.

Mbuko (2001) noted that there were about 4000 secondary schools in Nigeria that allowed the teaching and learning of French language in their schools including those of the private schools who even taught it at the primary school level.

In Enugu state French is taught to primary 4, 5 and 6 pupils as it is compulsory. This is important as one cannot engage in inter-regional and intra-African affaires without the knowledge of French. People complain that this language is difficult but notwithstanding the difficulty involved, it has numerous advantages.

There are many French establishment in Nigeria such as Peugeot Assembly of Nigeria (PAN), Michelin, Total, la Belief saving Nigeria  limited, banks like la Societe Generale, le Credit Lyonnais and (ECOBANK) Nigeria Public Limited  Company, a subsidiary  of ECO-Transitional incorporated. To be employed in one of these establishments, the knowledge of French language is required. French language is a diplomatic language. The air and marine transporters make use of it.

So Nigeria needs French language not only to communicate with her Francophone neighbours but also to communicate with other nations of the world. It is also seen as a language used in business and working places. It is a living and modern language. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) records that French language is one of the principal world language used for communication. This is why after independence in Nigeria,  efforts were made and are still being made to train French  language teachers to teach the language in primary and secondary schools and other schools of higher education.

Some colleges of education admit even students who have no pre-knowledge of French language to train as future French language teachers to see if there will be enough teachers of French to help educate the people in the language. It is because of the importance of this language, that undergraduate French language students are made to undergo compulsory one year abroad programme in order to improve on their proficiency. Of course, it is not possible for all Nigerians to learn to speak French but it is necessary that as many Nigerians as possible should know how to speak and write sound French language.

The possibility of this depends on the number of students that are willing to study French language at higher level (at least above the junior secondary school level).Unfortunately, practical evidence shows that at the senior secondary school where French is made elective, many students drop from French in Junior West School Examination, now Basic Education Certification Examinations. They attribute their drop-out from French to the difficulty of the language and ignorance of what job opportunities that a graduate of French language has. The researcher is of the opinion that poor teaching and dearth of French language resources in the schools could cause students to drop from French language classes. This is because if the teacher is not the master of his or her subject, it becomes difficult for the students to understand what he or she is teaching and this makes them to opt for another subject. Also when these students seek for the resources such as textbooks, radio set, tapes and others that will help them learn, they will always find out that they are costly. They may not also find them in schools as most school libraries do not have current books. For instance the “On y va!” textbooks that is being used in Secondary Schools can be seen in very few schools libraries while other still have France Afrique and the likes. In most of those schools language laboratories are nowhere to be found and these make it difficult for the students of French to learn. As a result of this, some drop-out from French language classes. Teachers of French language in basic level must be aware of the use of some strategies to deliver their lessons and make their lessons interesting to the learners. Strategy is a plan that is intended to achieve a particular purpose. It can also be seen as a process of planning something or putting a plan into operation in a skillful way.

Statement of the Problem

Today, the heavy drop-out of pupils from French language classes after the first three years of exposure to the language has been a concern. The teachers only discover that most of the students have opted for other subjects. Very often the performance of pupils is the reflection of their teachers’ ability to demonstrate skills, knowledge and competences on the use of different strategies for teaching and learning as required in a given school subject.

The report of the Chief Examiners of Junior West African School certificate Examination, now Basic Education Certification Examination over the years showed that the performance of the student in French language is poor. For instance in 2010 only 42.82 percent passed French also in 2011 and 2013 33.36% and 51.55% respectively passed French. From this report one will now see that there is generally poor performance of students in French Basic Education Certification Examinations which may be as a result of strategies used by the teachers.

Therefore, the problem of this study is, what Problems Hindering The Effective Teaching Of French Language In Primary Schools?



The major aim of the study is to examine Problems Hindering The Effective Teaching Of French Language In Primary Schools. Other specific objectives of the study include;

  1. To determine the importance of teaching French language in Nigerian schools.
  2. To determine the factors militating against effective development of French language in Nigeria.
  3. To recommend ways of ensuring effective teaching and learning of French language in Nigeria.


  1. What is the importance of teaching French language in Nigerian schools?
  2. What are the factors militating against effective development of French language in Nigeria?
  3. What are the ways of ensuring effective teaching and learning of French language in Nigeria?


Significance of the Study:

This research work is focused on identifying those strategies that teachers and learners of French used in teaching and learning of French language. Those that will benefit from this research work include: teachers, students, workshop organizers, curriculum planners, course book writers, teachers’ trainers and government

The result of this study will help teachers in the field to improve on their teaching skills and methods. As different strategies for teaching and learning of French will be discovered, it will help the teachers to plan their lessons properly and make use of appropriate strategies to deliver their lessons. It will also make them to allow active participation of students as the teachers will only be seen as facilitators of learning.


The result of this study will also help the curriculum planners to know which strategies are appropriate to be used in teaching a particular topic, so that they will be included in French   curriculum planning.

It will also help the government in formulating and executing educational policies involving French language. The study will be a guide for achieving the objectives of teaching and learning of French language according to the National Policy on Education.

Scope of the Study

This Study Was Carried Out In Northern Nigeria . The Content Is Limited To Finding Out Problems Hindering The Effective Teaching Of French Language In Primary Schools.


Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

  • Get Full Work -N4000
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  • This topic contains:
  • Chapter 1-5
  • Abstract
  • References
  • Appendix/If applicable