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PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT OF ORAL ENGLISH IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Language is a human activity and the development of the individual depends on its usage. Ajikobi (1997) explained that one notable function of language is the record of observations, incidents and processes. Language, he continued, has also been considered as production and integral part of culture. It reflects the culture of people concerned and their world view. Language serves as a means through which people living together structure and organise their experiences. It makes the human society what it is as it plays a leading role in the cultural orientation of a person in the socio-cultural group he belongs (Anasiudu, 2002). As an important communication symbol, language permeates all aspects of man’s interrelationships. This could be in the aspect of verbalization or gesticulations. Thus for man to communicate effectively within the mechanics of human enterprise, he has to learn those rubrics of the language of communication within his environment. In Nigeria today, it is estimated that there are about 400 languages (Agheyesi and Bamgbose in Ufomata, 1995). In spite of those languages in Nigeria, the colonization of Nigeria by the British brought an added language, the English Language. Achebe as noted in Ogbuehi (2001) observes that the English Language gave the multi-ethnic and the multilingual groups in Nigeria, a language with which to talk to one another. Today, the English language though a foreign language, has been domesticated in the midst of so many languages in Nigeria and assumes the position of a second 2 language (Anyanwu and Otagburuagu, 2005). It is indispensable in so many fields. Newspapers are produced in it. Parliamentary debates are held in it. Scientific thoughts and historical investigations are carried out through the instrumentality of the language. Poetry, drama and prose find their expressions in English. For all these reasons and more, one can refer to it as one of the linguistic properties of Nigerians, not a foreign language. In Nigeria, anybody who speaks English fluently and correctly is referred to as learned, well bred and modest. And Kachru in Ufomata (1990) claims that, Competence in English and the use of this language signify a transmutation: an added potential for material and social gain and advantages. One sees this attitude in what the symbol stands for; English is considered a symbol of modernisation, and an extra arm for success and mobility in culturally and linguistically complex and pluralistic society.pp2 The use of English in national functions has made it spread more than any of the indigenous languages in the country; hence, its place in the national policy on education. The social and integrative roles it plays in Nigeria have made it assume an undisputable position in Nigeria educational system. Baldeh (1990:3) re-affirms this when he says that, The English language was thus institutionalized as the language of the government, education, commerce, industry, law and administration. Thus to obtain a lucrative job in the public sector, a pass in English Language Examination was a necessary pre-requisite, to be educated in the eyes of many is to be versed in English language. 3 It is because of these roles that are being played by the subject that made the Nigerian educational system adopt it as a school subject. The aim is to help students acquire the basic elements and skills in the language and also to educate them on the easy, coherent and fully articulate method of communication in the language.

Statement of the Problem

In spite of the fact that both oral and written English are important in the mastery of English language, it seems that more emphasis is placed on the teaching of written than oral English. NERDC Project (1986:ix) supports this opinion when it observes that currently, very little teaching goes on in the name of oral English at secondary school level in Nigeria. Many authors like Obanya (1981), and Vallete (1980) are of the opinion that oral English is haphazardly taught in secondary schools. What appears more disturbing, according to Oderinde in Uzo (1995) is that many teachers of oral English seem to have limited knowledge and prerequisite requirement for oral English. Similarly, WAEC Chief Examiner’s Report (1989) indicates that an area that records the highest degree of poor performance in WAEC English Examination is the oral English. Further, the issue of ineffective communication in English as prevalent in the in-school and secondary school leavers is apparent in our society.

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Step 1: make payment of N2,000 to the below bank details


NAME:                       TITUS AYANI SOLA
BANK:                       FIRST BANK PLC
ACCT NO:                  3111741042
ACCOUNT TYPE:       SAVINGS
AMOUNT:                  N2000

NAME:                       TITUS AYANI SOLA


BANK:                       GTB BANK
ACCT NO:                  0262412831
ACCOUNT TYPE:       SAVINGS

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Updated: 9th May 2019 — 4:43 pm

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