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It is observed that quite a number of adults are unable to learn a second language apart from their mother tongue. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the reasons behind the poor or no acquisition of Second Language in adults. We have, therefore, collected our data through questionnaire and employed descriptive statistics, using single percentage in tabular form, bar charts and histograms to analyse our data. The major findings are that 18(30%) of our respondents agreed that they do not think they can learn the English language; implies that majority of our respondents have a negative attitude towards the English language and this inhibits learning and that 54(90%) of the respondents agreed that they prefer their native languages to English. This shows that there is cultural bias and as far as 90% of our respondents are concerned. This is also an inhibitor to learning the English language. Recommendations have also been given to assist learners learn better given the factors discovered to inhibit this learning.






Learning a second language for an adult is a demanding task but attainable. This research is meant to expose those reasons why adults find it difficult to learn a second language. Very few of a vast number of people who have difficulty in acquiring a second language know the reasons behind their little or no acquisition of the target language; this is the major reason for attempting this research. The researcher’s interest in the field of language acquisition is also a propelling force for attempting this research.


One of the major aims of this research work is to analyse the reasons behind the little or no acquisition of second language in adults. Another objective of this laudable research is to make a reader understand how he/she can learn a second language better. This research also intends to compliment other researchers’ efforts in the field of language acquisition and to fill in gaps where they have left vacuums.

1.2       SCOPE OF STUDY

Taking into consideration the vastness of the proposed topic, it will only be appropriate to streamline this research work to two theories which have perspectives of language acquisition focusing on variables that can either improve or impair second language learning in adults. These variables would be considered thoroughly as this research progresses.


This study is justified because it is discovered that Language does far more than just enable people to communicate with each other; it helps foster unity and peace among its speakers. Language is an important identity marker which gives a sense of belonging. In a multilingual setting like Nigeria people seem to be more ‘at home’ with people of the same language with them. Learning a second language therefore is an important strategy responsible for unity in any nation.

This work is also justified by its intention to resolve issues of language policy that are dependent on a knowledge of how second languages are learned. Due to several arguments and vastness that abound in the field of second language acquisition, this research is therefore justified by its intention to break fresh grounds in the subject matter.


The researcher will attempt to employ the method of information gathering from relevant sources. The researcher will read materials, journals, articles, etc. and critical writings on the basic ideologies of second language acquisition.

An instrument of information gathering will be the questionnaire. We shall use two or multiple-choice questions and counter-check questions to check the consistence in the answers given by the respondents in the Section B of our questionnaire. The questions are formed to address issues relating to second language acquisition.

However, sixty copies of questionnaire shall be generated and administered to students to low income staff (cleaners, messengers, gardeners, etc) of the University of Ilorin as well as other people like traders, market women and food sellers within the University of Ilorin community who hitherto should have learned the English language by virtue of their stay on the University Campus and linguistic interactions with those who are proficient in English because they within our purview of knowledge are best recipients of the questionnaire. The questionnaire is made up of personal variables include the respondents’ semi-demographical characteristics such as sex, age and educational qualification; and the measured variable, which include the research questions and a select set of lexical items which were to test the recipients’ knowledge of the plural forms and tenses of the English language.

Furthermore, our data shall be analysed by employing descriptive statistics, using the graphical form of presentation such as single percentage in tabular form, bar charts and histograms. We have chosen this statistical approach for our data analysis for an easy tabulation and summarization of our data and to produce a simple and watertight data presentation and analysis without losing the basics and the essentials.



1.5       SUMMARY

We have thus far given the general background to this research. We began by giving the introduction to this study. We next stated the aims and objectives and thereafter gave the justification to this study. We have also considered the scope of study of this research. We have taken some time to discuss how our data shall be gathered and analysed. In the next chapter, we intend to briefly evaluate some relevant literatures to this study.



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