EFFECT OF EXPOSURE TO FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION
This study focussed on the Effect of Ex posure to Figurative Language on Senior Secondary School Students’ Achievement in English Reading Comprehension in Awka Education Zone of Anambra State. Three research questions and six null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study engaged quasi-experimental research design, otherwise known as pretest-posttest non-equivalent control group design involving two intact classes from each of the randomly selected schools. Two hundred and ninety-nine (299) Senior Secondary Class Two Students, comprising males and females exclusively from four schools located in urban and rural areas of the Education Zone served as subjects in the study. The experimental group was made up of one hundred and fifty two (152) students, comprising 43 males and 47 females from urban; 26 males and 36 females from rural schools. In the control group of (147) students, 47 males and 45 females were from urban, and 25 males and 30 females were from rural. Each of the intact classes in each of the schools selected for the study through simple random sampling was also randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The instrument for data collection was the English Language Reading Comprehension Achievement Test (ERCAT) based on two reading prose passages. Five different lesson plans for the two groups with the same instructional objectives and questions but different teaching strategies were developed. Two reading passages one for pretest and the other for posttest were used for the assessment. An internal consistency reliability estimate of each of the reading passages was calculated using Cronbach Alpha at .84 and .91 for the pretest and posttest respectively. Kendall’s Coefficient of Concordance (W)Test was used to determine inter-rater reliability which yielded .51. Data obtained were calculated using mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while the Analysis of Covariancre (ANCOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The results of the study indicated that the strategy of exposure to figurative language significantly enhanced achievement in reading comprehension more than the conventional method. Gender had no significant influence on the students’ achievement while location significantly did. The interaction effect of gender and instructional strategy was not significant but there was significant interaction effect of instructional strategy and location. Again, the interaction effect of gender, location and instructional strategy was not significant. Following discussion on findings, the educational implications of the study were posited and recommendations made. Among others, English Language teachers should adopt the exposure strategy to figurative expressions as added alternative to the conventional method of vocabulary learning in reading comprehension. A stronger reading foundation should be laid right from pre-nursery to junior secondary school during which learners engage in extensive reading for more exposure to figurative expressions embedded in texts. The limitations of the study and suggestions for further research were given.