Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Sharon Elliott


English language mastery is important to the academic achievement of high school students in Nigeria. As the official language of instruction in multi linguistic Nigerian schools, proficiency in English language is essential for the academic success of students in high schools. The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between English language test scores among Nigerian high school students and teacher beliefs about language teaching and their classroom practices. Three research questions and associated hypotheses were addressed in this study. A total of 23 teachers, one from each high school in the Government District of Nigeria, participated in this study. The teachers completed three surveys, a demographic survey, Teacher Beliefs, and Teacher Practices. The teachers also provide the scores of their students on the practice English proficiency test that students complete prior to taking the West African School Certificate exams. The relationships between teacher beliefs and practices, teacher beliefs and their students' test scores, and teacher practices and their students' test scores were not statistically significant. These findings may indicate that the students did not try to do well on the exam because they perceived it was not important. Teachers may need additional professional development to incorporate strategies that have been found useful for English language learners. The teachers may have lacked the necessary supplies (books, etc.) needed to teach English effectively. Additional research is needed to determine what is contributing to the poor performance on the English proficiency exam.