This study sought to examine the effect of peer tutoring on performance in essay writing of primary six pupils in Ughelli South Education zone of Delta State. The population of the study comprised of 3843 primary school pupils in Ughelli South Education zone. The sample size was 160 respondents using multi stage sampling technique. The study adopted quasi-experimental design. The instrument for the study was Essay Writing Achievement Test (EWAT). The instrument was validated by three experts from the faculty of Education University of Nigeria Nsukka. Data collected were analyzed using mean, standard deviation, while hypothesis were tested using one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-test statistic. The findings of the study revealed that pupils taught English language essay writing using peer tutoring had a higher gain score than those group of pupils taught English language essay writing using conventional method. The male pupils achieved higher in English language essay writing when taught using peer tutoring. Also, in the peer tutoring group pupils in urban school had a higher mean score than those in rural schools. Based on this findings the following recommendation were made; English language teachers should endeavour to teach English language generally using peer tutoring method; the government and professional associations should organize conferences and in service training to inform and train English language teacher on the use of peer tutoring method. The teacher training institution should restructure their programme to include peer tutoring in teaching subjects: The curriculum planners should incorporate peer tutoring method in teacher education programme.

Background of the Study
Human Language is a unique communication system that is learned instead of biologically inherited. Symbols are sounds or things which have meaning given to them by the users. Originally, the meaning is arbitrarily assigned. Language enables man to communicate in infinite number and variety of messages, meanings, intention, thoughts, requests and items of information (Uzoegwu, 2010). Language is a human activity and aids in the development of the record of observation, incidents and processes. Language, according to Uzoegwu has also been considered as an integral part of culture. It reflects the culture of the people concerned and their world view. Language serves as a means through which people living together structure and organize their experiences. It make the human society what it is as it plays leading role in the cultural orientation of the person in the socio-cultural group he belongs and which English Language is one of such languages (Kalu, 2002). English Language is a set of codes of arbitrary vocal symbols and signs for communication in a speech community. By these definitions, it is a peculiar possession of human beings who have conventionalized utterances that are accepted consciously as a means of communication.

English Language has played major roles in Nigeria which could be seen in areas of education, government, business, commerce, mass media and most internal and external communications. English Language is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca. It is an official language of almost 60 sovereign states, the most commonly spoken language in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. It is also, a widely spoken language in countries in the Caribbean, Africa and southeast Asia. It is the third most common native language in the world, after Mandarin and Spanish. It is widely learned as a second language and is an official language of the United Nations, of the European Union and of many other world and regional international organizations.

English has developed over the course of more than 1,400 years. The earliest forms of English, a set of Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the fifth century, are called Old English. Middle English began in the late 11th century with the Norman conquest of England. Early Modern English began in the late 15th century with the introduction of the printing press to London and the Great Vowel Shift. Through the worldwide influence of the British Empire, Modern English spread around the world from the 17th to mid-20th centuries. Through newspapers, books, the telegraph, the telephone, phonograph records, radio, satellite television and the Internet, as well as the emergence of the United States as a global superpower, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions and in professional contexts such as science.

As important as English Language is parents, guardians, teachers, and the society have been lamenting over the poor performance of primary six pupils in the subject. Many factors may have been seen as the causes of pupils’ poor performance. The researcher observed that in Ughelli, Urhobo language is the medium of communication. These children who transit from the home to the school, their thought process is in the language of the immediate environment and thereby this makes it difficult for them to write simple essay in English Language .The situation is worse as pupils cannot construct one single error free sentence which has made them lose interest in the subject during teaching and learning. The methodology used to impart the knowledge could be faulty as teachers only read lesson notes and copy on the chalkboard for pupils to copy in their notebooks. Good teaching results in good learning and a good teacher is one who has the attribute for teaching, possesses expert knowledge of his subject area as well as sound methodology to impart the knowledge yet the absence of these pose a serious problems in the area.

Also, there could be other factors involved. Some of these factors which may be responsible are insufficient qualified teachers, inadequate equipment and instructional materials, lack of appropriate methods for teaching the subject among others. As a result of these prevailing factors that may be responsible for pupils poor performance in English Language in the area of study, the researcher is interested in finding possible solutions to ameliorate the situation at hand. Pupils who transit from primary to secondary school become deficient, lack competence and skills in the use of the English Language. This could be because of the faulty foundation of acquiring proper skills in English Language at the primary school educational level.

For effective learning of English Language to take place, Okpako (2008) suggests the adoption of a suitable instructional approach, maintaining that teachers are under intense pressure to cover the curriculum and get pupils ready for examinations. This makes teaching of English Language inadequate as special approaches needed for teaching topics are over looked even when English Language is stressed as the medium of instruction in the National Policy on Education (NPE). The National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria,2004) states that throughout early childhood, pre-primary education and the first three years of primary education, the medium of instruction must be taught in the mother tongue or language of the immediate community (section 14 (b), 19(e)) and stressed that English Language should be taught as a subject. The language of immediate community refers to any of the 521 local languages that have been identified in Nigeria. From the forth year of primary school education, English Language shall progressively be used as a medium of instruction (Euron Monitor International, 2010).

Primary education is described as education given in institutions for children aged 6 - 11 plus. It is the foundation of the entire education system (NPE 2004). Since the rest of the education system is built upon it, the primary education level is regarded as the foundation and key to the success or failure of the whole education system. Its objectives include inculcating permanent literacy, numeracy and the ability to communicate effectively, laying of a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking, to promote patriotism, fairness, understanding and national unity. Others are to instill morals and values in the child, develop in the child the ability to adapt to his changing environment, giving the child opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable him to function effectively in the society within the limit of his capacity and providing basic tools for further educational advancement including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality.

Inspite of the above objectives, primary six pupils are yet to attain efficiency and literacy in English Language. Primary school pupils, according to Suskin (2009) are children who develop and become more independent of the influence of parents on the school. In line with Scaping (2006), the nature of primary school pupils is obvious in terms of what they value when making choices . Primary education is that which offers pupils opportunity to design or form the habit of reflective thinking about their lives and their environment generally. As this foundation is being laid, the pupils are provided a basis for questioning the validity of most inevitable presumption and mysteries about life which surround the stories which were told at home.

In the primary school, English Language is employed as the medium of instruction from primary four, such that when they are in primary six they are expected to have mastered English Language skills especially in the area of writing but worries still abound as pupils poor performance increase. Eda (2012) observes that the poor performance of pupils in English Language could be connected to their inability to write effectively as these translate to poor performance of pupils in both internal and external examinations. It is therefore evident that achieving proficiency in English Language has been difficult. Moreover, it is even more worrisome to continue because any further education is forgone due to the poor performance as English Language is a core subject for educational advancement.

According to Okpako (2005) essay writing has always held a hallowed place in most examinations and always carries substantial amount of marks. From this point of view, the time spent in paying close attention to essay writing is not unjustified. Polio (2003), in cognizance of the task involved in teaching essay writing, points out that in essay writing, the sentences must be guided by the language teacher.

Failure of pupils to write good essay in the views of Eze (2010) has been attributed to negligence. Eze observed that writing as one of the language skills has been neglected. Essay writing is aimed at achieving a technique of.....

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