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    THE ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS OF STUDENTS ABOUT

    THE STUDY OF ENGLISH GRAMMAR: THE CASE OF

    SELECTED SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN

    NORTHERN REGION

    BY

    AKURUGU, BRIGANDI MICHAEL

    A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH.

    KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND

    TECHNOLOGY, (KNUST)

    IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR

    THE DEGREE

    OF

    PHILOSOPHY OF DOCTORATE (PHD)

    FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, COLLEGE OF APPLIED

    SCIENCES.

    NOVEMBER, 2010.

    Copyright

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    DECLARATION

    I hereby declare that this submission is my own work towards the PhD in English,

    and that, to the best of my knowledge, it contains no material previously published

    by another person nor material which has been accepted for the award of any other

    degree of the University, except where due acknowledgement has been made in the

    text.

    Akurugu, Michael Brigandi, (20034060) .............................. .......................

    Student Name & ID Signature Date

    Certified by:

    ................................................................ ................................ .......................

    Supervisors Name Signature Date

    Certified by:

    ............................................................. .............................. .......................

    Head of Dept. Name Signature Date

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    DEDICATION

    This work is dedicated to all Senior High School students in Ghana; that they may

    read and respond appropriately in order to improve upon their use of English.

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    ABSTRACT

    The poor quality of English, both spoken and written, of Ghanaians in general, and of

    our students in particular, has become a source of worry to many well meaning

    educationists, parents and the general public. Several reasons have been given for the

    falling standards. Included among them are reading habits, poor teaching, inadequate

    library facilities, decline in the teaching of grammar and the de-emphasis of the

    mother tongue as the medium of instruction. There are those who believe that the use

    of the mother tongue at the basic level of education helps the learner to relate similar

    grammatical concepts in the L1 to those of the English Language.

    Much as the aforementioned could be said to be accountable, there is a fundamental

    phenomenon that acts as the underlying cause of the problem. The role that

    perception and attitude of the learners plays in the acquisition of skills in English has,

    over the years, been terribly ignored. The perception of students, teachers, policy

    makers, and the larger community, which includes parents, has played a considerable

    role in bringing about the fall in the standard of English. This study investigates the

    extent to which the fall in the standards of English could be attributed to attitudes and

    perceptions. The study has revealed that a serious disconnection exists between the

    needs of students and the solutions that are being used to raise the standard of

    English Language among learners. The study also reveals that, in most cases,

    parents, teachers and policymakers cannot escape blame for the problem either for

    their action or inaction regarding the promotion of the learning of the language.

    Though the study may have identified other reasons for the decline in the standards

    of English, the study focuses, to a large extent, on the very attitude and perception of

    the learner. It has suggested ways of developing positive perceptions and attitudes

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    towards the language. These suggestions include sound approaches to the teaching

    and learning of the language. The approach is carved in a manner that would make

    English more attractive to learners thus leading to attitudinal and perceptual change,

    which in turn would lead to enhanced performance of learners in English.

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Title page.......................................................................................................................i

    Declaration...................................................................................................................ii

    Dedication...................................................................................................................iii

    Abstract.......................................................................................................................iv

    Table of Contents........................................................................................................vi

    List of tables................................................................................................................ix

    List of Figures..............................................................................................................x

    List of Pictures............................................................................................................xi

    Acknowledgement......................................................................................................xii

    Thematic Diagram.....................................................................................................xiii

    INTRODUCTION

    i. Background to the study........................................................................................1

    iv The Research Problem...........................................................................................6

    v. Hypothesis of the Study.........................................................................................8

    vii Aims and Objectives of the Study.........................................................................8

    ix. Scope of the study................................................................................................10

    x. Significance of the Study.....................................................................................11

    CHAPTER ONE:

    1.0 Exploration of Basic Concepts...........................................................................12

    1.1 Related Definitions...............................................................................................12

    1.4.0 The Concept of Perception................................................................................14

    1.4.2 Perception as Information process.....................................................................16

    1.4.4 Implication on the learning of English...............................................................21

    1.5.0 The Concept of Attitude....................................................................................26

    1.5.2 Theories of Attitude Formation and Change.....................................................30

    CHAPTER TWO:

    2.0 Review of Related Literature & Overview of the teaching of Grammar..............44

    2.1.0 Prescriptive and Descriptive Grammar as Methods of Teaching English.........51

    2..3.0 Motivation........................................................................................................73

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    2.4.0 Poor National language Policy..........................................................................75

    2.6.0 Disparities Between Target Language and the Local Languages......................78

    2.8.0 Nature of the Target Language (English)..........................................................83

    2.9.1 Nature of Tense and Aspect...............................................................................85

    2.9.2 Tense and Aspect as a Source of Confusion.....................................................88

    2.9.4 Concord as Source of Confusion to learners......................................................91

    2.9.5 Problems with the use of Prepositions and prepositional Phrases.....................92

    2.9.6 The Use of Auxiliaries.......................................................................................93

    CHAPTER THREE:

    3.0 Research Approach & Conceptual Analysis of the Study...............................95

    3.2.0 Research Design................................................................................................95

    3.3.0 Background study of the Selected Area (Northern Region)..............................97

    3.4.0 The Research Process........................................................................................99

    3.4.1 Sampling............................................................................................................99

    3.6.0 Instruments for Data Collection................................