Use of Study Groups and Study Skills Training on Study Habits and Achievements in English Comprehension
The rationale for embarking on this study was to find out if training students on study skills would have any effects on the students study habits and achievements in English Comprehension. The subjects involved in the research study were 288 Form 3 students, made-up of 144 boys and 144 girls drawn randomly from three types of school (all male, all female and co-educational) in Lagos State. The instruments used in the research study included a series of English comprehension tests, a personal information questionnaire, and the Study Habits Inventory (SHI). The general null hypothesis tested for the study habits was that the school type, the study group, the treatment/no treatment and their various interaction would have no effect on study habits. This general hypothesis was further split into 7 specific hypotheses. This was similarly done for the second dependent variable of Achievement in English Comprehension. The research design was generally the experimental/control, pre-test-treatment-posttest design for which only the experimental group was exposed to the study skills training treatment for 8 weeks. The pre and post-test scores obtained for SHI were subjected to 2x3x3 Ancova analysis. This was similarly done for the second dependent variable of Achievement in English Comprehension. Of the 7 specific hypotheses tested for the SHI, one (Ho2) was rejected at P<0.01 level. The other 6 were accepted at both levels. Two of the hypotheses tested for English Comprehension were rejected at P<0.01 level and two at P<0.05 level only. The other three were accepted at both levels - P<0.05 and P<0.01. The treatment/no treatment variable was found to have a significant effect for both study and English Comprehension. This points to the effectiveness of the study skills course. The analysis of the students' home study conditions elimitates it as an effective extraneous variable in confounding this work. From the research, it was found that significant positive gains were made by students in the treatment group in all the study groups for each of the two dependent variables. The most effective study group was found to be that formed on the basis of sociometry. This went to emphasise that self-imposed tasks are better achieved than when tasks are imposed from outside. In the light of these findings, a number of recommendations were made including the need to encourage students to use the SQ3R study technique when studying. It was suggested that if the recommendations were adopted, failure rate and drop-out in schools would be very much reduced.