Paper Title
Critical Appraisal of the ‘Use of English’ Language Curricula as Used in Tertiary Educational Institutions in Enugu State, Nigeria
Author
Ojel Clara Anidi, Ph.D, Ifeyinwa Carolyn Anibueze, Ph.D & Fabian Obinna Amuta
Section
Arts, Language, and Communication
Abstract

This papercritically appraised the ‘Use of English’ language curricula, as used in tertiary educational institutions in Enugu State, Nigeria. The motivation for the research is the general report that the majority of Nigerian undergraduates and graduates exhibit poor proficiency in English language, a situation which a number of writers attribute to the curricula being used in the teaching and learning of the subject at the different levels of education in Nigeria. As teachers of English language at the tertiary level of education in Nigeria, the researchers were, thus, interested in carrying out this research, at their own level/ area of practice, to determine the adequacy or otherwise of the curricula, as used, in attending to the students’ needs. The research objectives, specifically, were to determine: the core contents, the appropriateness of the teaching methods, the teachers’, and the learners’ perceptions of the implementation of the ‘Use of English’ language curricula in the institutions studied. Descriptive survey method was used for the study. The findings revealed the adequacy of the curricula in most of the tested items. The only areasof inadequacyin the curricula, and which is quite significant, include insufficiency ofpractical communication activities/ skills, lack of the use of ICTand language laboratoriesin the teaching of the courses, extra-large classes and excessive workloads of lecturers in some institutions. Recommendations are therefore made along these lines.

Keywords
English language, ‘Use of English’ curricula, teaching methods,perceptions of curriculum implementation, Nigerian tertiary educational institutions

Introduction

Background of the Study

Matters relating to the teaching and learning of English language in the Nigerian schools are crucial, not only because of the prominent roles the English language plays in Nigeria, but also because the language is a fundamental requirement for education and career development, in the twenty-first century global world. Writers such asAnidi (2018), Le (2016), Bamgbose (2001), and Dabalon, Oni, and Adekola (2000) maintain that proficiency in English language and communication is imperative for an individual’s career growth and economic competitiveness in an increasingly globalised world.Anidi (2018), for instance, citing U.S. Department of Labor, buttresses thatorganisations often lose money due to poor communication, and so they seek people who can follow and give instructions, listen accurately, provide useful feedback, get along with coworkers and customers, network, provide serviceable information, work well in teams, and creatively and critically solve problems and present ideas in an understandable manner.

 

Again, English is a useful global language which ensures mutual intelligibility among its adherents in the world. It is estimated that about one billion people use and speak the English language across the nations of the world (Otagburuagu, Anidi, Ogayi, Kadiri, &Nnamani, 2016). English is the official language for more than 70 countries of the world (Nnadi, 2015, Adewunmi, 2012). Adewunmi (2012), citing Asoba, further asserts that-

It is evident that one out of five of the world’s population speak English to some level of competence and the demand for the other four fifths is increasing on a daily basis as it is the language of books, newspapers, airports and air traffic control, international business and academic conferences, science, technology, sports, international competitions, pop music and advertising. It is true that over two third of the world’s scientists read in English. Third quarter of the world’s mail is written in English; while 80% of the world’s electronically stored information is done in English. Of the estimated 40 million users of the internet, the majority of its users communicate in English (p. 2).

For these reasons, a high premium is placed on the acquisition of the English language in most countries of the world, including Nigeria. In Nigeria, English language is a compulsory subject taught at all the levels of the Nigerian primary and secondary schools, and at the foundation levels of the tertiary education. The ‘Use of English’ courses are the compulsory English language courses done at the foundation level or first year of study in the Nigerian tertiary institutions. The question, however, is: Are Nigerian undergraduates and youths faring well in their learning and use of the English language?

 

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