Singular-Plural Distinction in Izon and its Influence on the Teaching/Learning of Plural Formation in English

Uriel Okunrinmeta

Abstract


This study examines singular-plural distinction processes in Izon and highlights the difficulties these may pose to
the teaching and learning of plural formation in English so as to suggest ways in which teachers can design an
effective teaching method to tackle the perceived difficulties. The study, which made use of 100 subjects of an
average age of eleven years drawn from the Arogbo-Izon community of Ondo State, Nigeria, reveals that Izon
inhibits the learning of plural formation in English as the majority of the subjects exhibit the influence of the aplurality
marker and the reflexive pronoun formation process in Izon thereby pluralizing all English nouns
through the addition of -s and deriving the reflexive pronoun (their selfs or their selves) through the addition of
self to the possessive form of the pronoun (their) as against the object form (them) preferred in English. To
ensure that the subjects are assisted to overcome these difficulties, the study employs a ten-step contrastive
approach which proves very effective as the subjects’ performances, after the application of the method, recorded
a tremendous rise in the percentage of correct responses from 26 per cent to 94 per cent (plural formation in
nouns) and from 46 per cent to 100 per cent (plural formation in pronouns). The method is, therefore,
recommended for the teaching of English in the Izon communities in Nigeria and in other similar ESL situations
both within and outside Nigeria.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/jel.v2n2p126

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Journal of Education and Learning   ISSN 1927-5250 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5269 (Online)

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