Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Markus Berndt


Nigerian stakeholders are concerned with the continuous low scores of final-year senior secondary school students (FYSSS) in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Studies have shown that limited proficiency in English among FYSSS is the cause of low scores on the WASSCE. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to investigate the relationship between English proficiency and academic achievement among FYSSS as measured by the WASSCE. The theoretical framework for the study was Cummins's theory of second language acquisition to address the distinction between conversational language and academic language. Archival data from 225 FYSSS were collected from 2 secondary schools in Nigeria. Results of linear regression analyses showed a strong positive relationship between FYSSS English proficiency and 4 WASSCE subjects (English, biology, government, and mathematics). Findings may be used to develop strategies to improve English proficiency of FYSSS which will allow them to succeed in all subject areas and to amend the school language policy in the Nigerian education sector.