Learning Strategies and Academic Performance of Pupils in English Language

Learning Strategies and Academic Performance of Pupils in English Language
Learning Strategies and Academic Performance of Pupils in English Language

Abstract: This study investigated Learning Strategies and Academic Performance of Pupils in English Language. The study was conducted in Etinan Local Government Area. A simple survey design research method was adopted. 100 senior primary five pupils were randomly selected from four primary schools, 50 male and 50 female. Three research questions and three null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Two instruments, namely: Learning strategy classification Questionnaire (L.S.C.Q) and Pupils English Achievement Test (P.E.A.T) were used to collect data for the study.

The data selected were analyzed using Pearson product moment correlation method (P.P.M.C). The result revealed that there was a significant relationship between the academic performance of pupils using deep learning strategy, surface learning strategy and strategic learning strategy. Similarly, significant relationships were observed in the academic performance of male and female students using deep, surface and strategic learning strategies respectively. Based on the findings of this study it was recommended among others, that pupils should be encouraged to embrace learning strategies that would enhance good academic performance in schools.

Learning Strategies and Academic Performance of Pupils in English Language



1.1 Background to the Study

It is known that processes vary from person to person due to the presence of biological and psychological differences. Pack (2004) opined that more than three fifth of a person’s learning strategies is biologically imposed, and that each person is born with certain tendencies toward particular strategy, but these biologically or inherited characteristics are influence by culture, personal experiences, maturity level and development.

Gohdes (2005) held that most teachers teach the way they were taught. This might have caused the frustration of a good number of learners as they witness that, their performance is not accounted for by many teachers. The case is more serious in a context where pupils come from diverse educational experiences and with different cultural backgrounds. A fundamental concern is for education to establish a base for pupils to develop life-long learning skills, analytical thinking, and the ability to work in terms.

To achieve this, education should move away from procedural tasks and memorizing of professional standards to a more conceptual and analytic form of learning based on systematic learning strategies (Beattie, Collins and Mclnnes, 2011).

Learning is a wonderful idea by which an individual must engage his or herself to achieve a common goal. Most importantly, earlier research found that learning approaches adopted by pupils are related to their academic performance, in particularly evidence from a number of prior studies found that pupils who adopt deep (active) and strategic (achieving) approaches to learning have higher academic performance, while pupils who adopt surface approach have lower performance (Booth, Lucvett and Miadenovic, 2008).

Biggs and Moore (2002) identified three approaches to learning used by secondary and tertiary school students. These are: Deep (active), surface (Passive) and Strategic (Achieving) approaches. Deep (active) learning strategy (approach) is a “Complex Personal development process in valuing the change of perceptions, learning habits and epistemological beliefs” (Wingate, 2007).

It is also about meaningful engagement in task, focusing on underlying meanings, main ideas, themes and principles, refining that knowledge across contexts 9Biggs and Tang, 2007). According to Protheroe, (2002) pointed out the following benefits of deep (active) learning strategies.

  1. Pupils are more likely to access their own prior knowledge, which is a key to learning.
  2. Pupils are more likely to find personally meaningful problem solutions or interpretation and receive more frequent and more immediate feedback.
  3. Endeavour to understand materials by themselves.

The above benefits make deep (active) learners significant. Surface (Passive) learning Strategy is about achieving course requirements with the minimum of effort, the term” cutting corners” and “sweeping under the carpet”  convey the idea, the job appears to have been done properly descriptions of surface learning highlighted reproduction of content (root learning) rather than seeking meaning.

Surface learning strategies is a learning strategy that has to do with treating the course as in related bits of knowledge, routinely memorizing facts and carrying out procedures, focusing narrowing on the minimum syllabus requirements, seeing little value or meaning in either course or set tasks, studying without reflecting on either purpose or strategy and feeling undue presume and anxiety about work (Entwistle and Peterson 2004).  Surface approaches to learning are considered, in the main, to be ineffectual and commonly associated with poor academic performance. However, some surface approaches to having a place in certain areas of study such as languages (Biggs and Tong 2007).

A strategic approach to studying is referred to as an achieving approach (Biggs and Tong, 2007), and is about “putting effort into organized studying”. Entwigtle and Peterson, 2004, opine that with an intention of fulfilling assessment requirements while enhancing self esteem through competition (Burton 2009).

It is characterized by organized study, time management, pupils monitoring their own effectiveness and motivation for achievement (Mclune and Entwistle, 2000). In the school system, the level of achievement of the pupils is to a great extent influenced by individual learning strategies. Also, pupils who engage on deep (active) learning strategy may end up performing well in schools.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Pupils have different learning strategies but they are being treated equally. This has made them find their study less interesting. Consequently learners with special learning abilities perform poorly in their course of study. Reasons for poor academic performance of pupils have tended to concentrate on what teachers do or do not in the classroom as well as institutional factors while pupils learning strategies receive little attention. The problem of this study is therefore, to investigate the learning strategies used by Primary pupils in their study of English and whether such learning strategies are in any way related to their academic performance.

Learning Strategies and Academic Performance of Pupils in English Language

1.3 Purpose of the Study

          The aim of this study is to examine learning strategies and their influence on academic performance of English pupils in primary schools: significantly, the study intend to;

  1. Determine the significant relationship between Deep (active) Learning strategy and pupils academic performance in English Language in Etinan Local Government Area.
  2. Determine the significant relationship between surface (passive) learning strategy and pupils’ academic performance in English language in Etinan Local Government Area.
  3. Examine the significant relationship between strategic (achieving) learning strategy and pupils’ academic performance in English language in Etinan Local Government Area.
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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.