1.1 Background of the Stud
The English language is not indigenous to Nigeria. Yet, it is studied and used in Nigeria more actively than most of the indigenous languages. The English language is Nigeria’s second language but many parents prefer their children speaking English to their indigenous languages. In some primary schools, English is used as the medium of communication. Whoever speaks indigenous languages is made to pay some money or is severely punished.
In some secondary schools, the same thing is observed. Nigerian tertiary institutions are not left out in the wide spread use of English. The work places cannot but be mentioned. Our aged parents who are half-educated or did not attend any school still hunger and thirst for the English language.
No wonder, Bamgbose (1971) asserts, “Of all heritage left behind in Nigeria by the British at the end of the colonial administration, probably none is more important than the English language”.
If this is the case, the Nigerian users of English should aim at pronouncing English words in a way that brings out their messages best without altering the language to the extent that its value as a medium of communication will be lost. Where this foundation is laid is in the lower levels of education; nursery, primary and post primary schools.
Hence, as important as it is, the English language teaching and learning in Nigerian secondary schools should not be handled lightly. The teaching and learning of the English language here does not only refer to grammar but also oral English.
Iyiola, (2010) affirms, “To say that the English of Nigerians is appalling is to state the obvious. This is so because over the years, attention has not been paid to the teaching of the speech sounds of English in schools… He further observes, however the emphasis in recent times on the phonic method of teaching English at the primary school level, and the inclusion of an oral English component in the SSCE syllabus is an indication of a renewed interest in correct pronunciation”
Onuigbo (1996:103) writes, “ Oral English as a component of the language scheme in the secondary schools, is a very welcome development, a positive development which will not only give rise to good speech habits but will also affect the written form of the language for the better”
To Omosowone and Akindolire (2003:126), “Oral English is now an integral and essential part of the English language syllabus that also carries reasonable mark in the school Certificate Examination. Oral English is integrated in the school curriculum, not only for the purpose of examination but also, to teach students how to speak English language correctly and meaningfully for effective communication”
Meanwhile, Ukwuegbu, Okoro, Idris, Okebukola, Owokade and Okebukola (2002:185) write, “The senior secondary school oral English paper has become an important aspect of the English language examination”. They further say, “You should also know that beyond learning oral English for the purpose of passing your examination, you need it to be a better listener and communicator”.According to Ogunsanwo, Duruaku, Ezechukwu and Nwachukwu (2003:241)
“Since speech is used more in every language than other forms, it is necessary that learners of a language become quite familiar with the correct speech forms of the language. Unlike the old system under which oral English was an optional paper and carried no credit in the
School Certificate Examination, the present system provides appropriately for Oral English as a necessary part of the English language syllabus and one that earns credit in the Senior School Certification Examination. Accordingly, in the teaching of the English language, proper attention to speech behaviour in English has become absolutely necessary.
Statement of the Problem
Information and Communication Technology is no longer a new development in the lives of Nigerians. A great measure of ICT awareness is created both within and outside institutions of learning. The indispensable role of ICT in teaching and learning of language studies especially the oral aspect is richly acknowledged but learners are yet to benefit fully from this.
The Federal Government of Nigeria is aware of the importance of ICT in
Education and therefore states as follows:
To achieve the policy objectives of education, government shall provide appropriate information and communication facilities (ICT) to ensure that the benefits of the united library permeate all levels of education in Nigeria (NPE, 2004:52)
Policy makers and educators are aware of the need for the use of ICT as procedural strategy in language teaching and learning but little studies have been carried out in this respect. This project provides the necessary information to fill the gap with reference to the benefits of ICT in the teaching and learning of Oral English in secondary schools