Abstract: The research study was carried out to examine Play And Language Development Of Pupils In Pre-Primary Schools In Etinan Local Government Area. A review of related literature was used as guided in establishing principles for the study. In other to achieve the objectives of this study, three research questions were raised to guide the study and two research hypotheses were raised to guide the study. A survey design was employed in carrying out the study. The population of the study consist of (69) respondent (23) public primary schools in Etinan Local Government Area. A total of all sixty nine (69) respondents were used for the study through purposive sampling techniques. “A questionnaire titles: play and language development questionnaire (PLDQ) was the main tools for data collection in the study.
The generated data was analyzed using Chi-Square. The result of the findings revealed that manipulative play techniques influence language development of pre-primary school pupils, also, that creative play techniques influence language development of pre-primary school pupils. Finally, the result from the finding revealed that dramatic play techniques influence language development of pre-primary school pupils.
Play And Language Development Of Pupils In Pre-Primary Schools In Etinan Local Government Area
1.1 Background to the study
A child however needs to be guided, and exposed to relevant experiences at the appropriate time in life moving from the simple to the complex. Ample literature with empirical findings demonstrated that there exist a strong casual relationship between foundation stage of education of young children and their social development and language competence in pre-primary and primary level. Biechler (2006) believes that early childhood education should be emphasized because of its nature in laying a solid foundation for the best time for learning. Hence early childhood period is the best time for learning and it is the most important period of one’s life and as such language development of the child should be inculcated using the appropriate teaching methodology of play.
Arnold (2004) supported that Early Childhood Care and Development is an investment that offers outstanding returns both in human and financial terms. This philosophical base for nursery education dovetails into the philosophy of Nigerian education which among other things,is based on educating and raising up the individual into a sound and effective citizen with equal educational opportunities for all and it is suggested that this should start from the cradle.
Language is defined by Judd (2008) cited in Makinde (2010) as a means of arousing and establishing associations which expands personal thinking so that the mental life of an individual becomes a part of mental life of a group. Play is a natural process of learning whereby children develop physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially through problem-solving and perseverance. It is a vehicle for building relationship through communication of thoughts, oral, written or through body movements. Language also helps to maintain and retain cultural heritages which protect self-identities.
It is in recognition of this that the Nigerian government considers language to be in the interest of national unity and stipulates that each child should learn one of the three major languages, other than his own mother tongue (FGN, 2004). Therefore, play and language development should be developed in children in the early years to promote social interaction, peaceful environment and national unity. This should be done using the pedagogic philosophy of play technique to supplement the social psychology of social interaction to yield the result of appropriate development in children in their early years. Children learn through dynamic social interaction with other adults and other children in their environment and develop their imaginations and creativity through play.
Akinbote (2010) supported that all aspects of a child’s growth and development particularly from birth till about six years is very crucial because this is when lifelong habits of thought, physical expression, social and emotional responsiveness are formulated. Merrel,Tymms and Jones (2007) found out that pupils who participate in a high quality early childhood education programme make better transition from home to school and from school to community and ultimately, gain lasting benefits as socially responsible adults; it helps children to learn; experiences in the early years of life are more influential on the development of the brain than at any other time in life. Early brain development has a profound impact on a person’s learning, social interaction, emotional maturity and language development and competence.
Children also learn how to be friendly, share and cooperate with others. They develop the ability to act with confidence and they gain independence. All these should be easily achieved with the proper play technique and communication skills that suit and interest the children. Hence pre-primary education is not a luxury but an avenue for helping children to have a holistic development that could have a lifelong impact on their social development is very crucial. Language learning in Children using Play Technique Ideology Early childhood education is underpinned by a long established ideology which emphasizes the central role of play in early learning and language development.
Children need to play and in doing so, communicate and reveal their ongoing needs, which then shape the curriculum of language offered. This is tailored to individual interest which the teacher supports, maintaining respect for the children’s intentions, hence a direct relationship between play and language learning is assumed. Play technique is considered to be an educationally powerful process that language learning will spontaneously occur even if an adult is not present.
1.2 Statement of the Problem.
Pre-primary schools play and language activities have an important role in the development of a child’s development, and communication skills through activities like singing games, poems, rhymes and role-plays. A healthy brain development depends on vigorous physical activities children engage in during the early years of childhood. However, expectations from parents and teachers on academic achievement lead teachers to push for more and more developmentally inappropriate academic programs in early childhood education (Raver, 2003). Researchers indicate that language development is influenced by social interactions and the kinds of play activities children use. An environment rich in language and literacy interactions full of opportunities to listen and use language constantly should be provided for children to explore.
Language skills are improved by outdoor play activities that are effectively learned through play. Moreover, at this very sensitive stage, there is a lot of rote learning with a central focus to the cognitive development of the child. The pressure to acquaint children with academic skills deprives them of playtime. During playtime when they should be out playing, they may be in class completing class work. Other reasons may range from lack of play materials, lack of good playgrounds, teachers’ incompetence on knowledge of play, and inadequate time allocated to play and lack of communication by the teachers in the school. It was on this problem stated above that the researcher was interested to investigate the effects of play on language on the development of pupils in pre-primary schools in Etinan Local Government Area.
1.3 The purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to examine play and language development of pupils in pre-primary schools in Etinan Local Government Area.
The study also sought to:
- examine the effect of manipulative play on language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area
- examine the effect of creative play on language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area
- examine the effect of dramatic play on language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area
Play And Language Development Of Pupils In Pre-Primary Schools In Etinan Local Government Area
1.4 Significance of the Study
Findings from this study will be useful to the Department of Early Childhood Care in planning how to equip pre-primary school teachers with appropriate skills and knowledge to use play as a teaching strategy.
The findings may also prompt formulation of refresher courses for pre-school teachers that may contribute useful knowledge on policy formulation for the teaching/learning of the young children.
The study will be of immense value to school administrators and teachers in ensuring that specific, relevant and adequate play materials are provided to pre-school children to enhance language skills development. The findings will be important to school administrators and pre-school teachers in ensuring that they provide adequate time for play.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- to what extent does manipulative play affects the language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area?
- to what extent does the creative play on language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area?
- to what extent does the dramatic play on language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area
1.6 research hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were raised to guide the study
- Manipulative play does not significantly influence the language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area
- creative play does not significantly influence the language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area
- dramatic play does not significantly influence the language development of pre-primary schools pupils in Etinan Local Government Area
1.7 limitations to the study
The major limitation of the study will be that of finance. Which might hamper the movement of the researcher to the schools in the study area?
1.8 Delimitation to the study
The study was delimited to play and language development of pupils in pre-primary schools in Etinan Local Government Area. Also the study was delimited to selected schools in Etinan Local government Area.
1.9 Definition of Key Terms
Development The action or process of developing or being developed
Influence Ability to persuade an individual to change his or her opinion
Language Any set of defined rules that can be used to convey thoughts, ideas and instructions.
Language skills Language abilities the child acquire in order to communicate
Language performance; This is the output or product of a language learning process usually given in series.
Language Acquisition Device; Is an inborn mechanism that enables children to infer linguistic rules from the languages children hear.
Language Acquisition; Process by which children acquire the capacity to perceive, produce and use words to understand and communicate.
Play Performing or doing an activity for pleasure enjoyment, or for amusement
Speaking skills; Ability to produce flexible, appropriate and indefinite number of utterances in particular language.
Skill Ability or talent or potential to perform tasks.