Distinctive Effect of Role Play Instructional Method and Gender on English Language Skills’ Acquisition of Secondary School Students in Awka Education Zone

Victoria Chidiebele Udenwa, Lilian-Rita Akudolu


This study investigated the distinctive effect of role play instructional method and gender on English language skills’ acquisition of secondary school students in Awka Education Zone, Nigeria. Two research questions guided the study and two hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The design of the study was quasi experimental design involving 2x2 factorial designs. The population of the study consisted of 4,024 SS2 students in the 62 public secondary schools in the education zone. Out of this, a sample of 180 students made up of 93 females and 87 males were drawn from four intact classes of the selected schools. Multi- stage sampling procedure of stratified and simple random techniques were used to select two Local Government Areas from the five Local Government Areas that made up the education zone, out of which four schools comprising two female and two male schools were selected. The instrument for data collection was English Language Skills Acquisition Test (ELSAT). It was validated by three experts from Faculty of Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka along with two seasoned English language teachers from the secondary schools who are experts in the field. The reliability of the instrument was ascertained using Kendal-W for essay/letter writing type questions which yielded acceptable intra reliability indexes of 0.97 for comprehension, 0.90 for essay/letter writing and 0.81 for summary and inter reliability indexes of 0.92, 0.90 and 0.82 respectively. Cronbach Alpha was used for multiple choice and oral/speaking questions which yielded reliability indexes of 9.7 for multiple choice questions and 7.6 for oral/speaking test. Data collected was analyzed using mean and standard deviation while Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the hypotheses. The findings of the study revealed among others that students in experimental group who were taught English language using role play instructional method acquired the language skills more than those in the control group who were taught with traditional lecture method. The findings further indicated that both male and female in the experimental group had great improvement in their language skills acquisition though the female students outperformed the male students after the experiment. This showed that gender is a significant factor in students’ acquisition of English language skills when role play instructional method is used. Based on the findings, it was recommended that English language teachers in the secondary schools should be encouraged and empowered to adopt the use of role play instructional method in the teaching and learning of English language as it has been discovered to be an effective means of improving students’ acquisition of language skills.


Language; Skills acquisition; Role play; Gender; Conventional lecture method

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12513


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