The Meaning of Prayer to Children: Evidence from Selected Denominations in Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria (Published)
Prayer, the art of talking with God, is an activity that Christian children are regularly involved in. This study examined the meaning of prayer to children, and the differences in the meaning of prayer based on denomination, age and gender. This research was a qualitative study which employed a phenomenological design. Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development are the major theories guiding this study. Data collection methods consisted of a semi structured interview, through observations, uncompleted sentences, picture reading and letter writing. The respondents consisted of forty (40) children, ten (10) from each of the four (4) denominations: Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Catholic Church in Nigeria (CCN), Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry (MFM) and the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC). Denominations were chosen for their varied prayer practices. The respondents were grouped into two: older children aged 11-12 and younger children 7-8. Data was analysed using NVivo 11 Pro for Windows. This study revealed that the significance or meaning of prayer for younger and older children is talking to God whom they believe has the power to answer their prayers; however, He can only do this when they pray. Also it is a sequence of powerful words/phrases that they formed or set recited (known of by heart) and said (verbally and in their minds), and actions/activities that were done at a certain time or locations. The children mentioned the significance of prayer as connected to Christianity. Prayer was the very essence of life and of Christianity. According to the children, without prayer, life would be meaningless and a prayer-less Christian is a pretender. Thereby, showing once again that children get their significance or meaning of prayer from within the society they live Prayer is caught and prayer is taught, parents and denominations should be careful what they teach formally or informally to children.
Keywords: Christ Apostolic Church, Conversation, Denomination, God, Jesus, Mary, Mind, children, key, prayer, set- recited prayers, verbally
Pragmatics in the Classroom (Published)
Structured and systematic study of pragmatics in linguistics has assumed a central dimension since the middle of the century to meet the new vistas opened up for investigation in the field. Pragmatics as language in use views its study from the context-based perspective by real people in real situations, whether spoken or written within a political, social, cultural or religious melieu. But poor pragmatic knowledge, as often observed in ESL learners in discursive events has been unequivocally been devastating as, for example, when such errors are seen as insult on the participant, not grammatical resulting from the learning process. This paper aims at lucidly elucidating the need for pragmatic instructions in the classroom. It also examines pragmatics in actual language use by exemplifying with scalar implicature and the cooperative principles whose firm knowledge all over the world has enhanced communicative events as reality.
Keywords: Conversation, Cooperative Principles, Pragmatics, scalar implicature
Style of Nigerian English Conversation: A Discourse-Stylistic Analysis of a Natural Conversation (Published)
The study entitled ‘Style of Nigerian English conversation: a discourse- stylistic analysis of a natural conversation is a linguistic stylistic analysis of educated Nigerian English conversation. The study following the example of Davy and crystal (1969) was aimed at identifying the common features of conversation in educated Nigerian English in relation to the linguistic features of conversational English. Our findings showed that Nigerian English conversation has the features of inexplicitness of expressions, randomness of subject- matter and general lack of planning;, normal non-fluency and gap-fillers; the use of in-group slang and abbreviations known to participants; extreme informality, etc. In specific terms, Nigerian English conversation closely approximates the Standard English conversation in terms of its style and interactive qualities as a language in use in social contexts. The study discovered, that, Nigerian English conversation, apart from the common core – features which it shares with the general conversational English, has some indexical markers which locate it in its socio-cultural and sociolinguistic context as English as a second language
Keywords: Conversation, Discourse-Stylistics, Nigerian English, Style
EFL PRESENTATIONS- INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF CONFIDENCE AND EXPERIENCE (Published)
In the majority of EFL curricula, students are required to give presentations in the target language. Although fluency might cause difficulty in presenting in English, other factors have shown to affect the students’ performances. This study investigates the effect of confidence on the students’ daily use of English generally, and during presentations more precisely. The study analyses questionnaires distributed to 156 students that aim at motivation, confidence and the amount of FL use. In addition, 36 students participated in group interviews to discuss the problems they face during presentations and the issues that they fear. After analyzing the findings and comments provided by interviews and questionnaires, the researchers found that the lack of confidence causes an enhancement in language mistakes. It was also found that the main reason behind the lack of confidence in presenting in English, among other reasons, was the lack of experience and practice. Hence, this paper recommends practice and constant encouragement by the teacher to improve EFL students’ presentations.
Keywords: Conversation, EFL, English language teaching, Fluency, confidence, practice
COMMUNICATIVE ACTIVITIES: ISSUES ON PRE, DURING, AND POST CHALLENGES IN SOUTH KOREA’S ENGLISH EDUCATION (Published)
This paper determined 128 Korean university students’ language potentials on “pre,” “during,” and “post” communicative activities. Their strengths and weaknesses in the communicative challenges were investigated; particularly, their weaknesses in the three stages were determined in terms of rank of difficulty and frequency of attitude toward the activities. In the exploratory-quantitative-exploratory research method with qualitative perspectives, the findings were concluded: Not all were challenged in pre, during, and post communicative activities. Parents, English language environment, teaching approaches, and bad timing may be the culprit why students’ motivation, interest, and proficiencies were in bad shape. Students’ learning styles, strategies, and attitudes were also affected due to the difficulties of communicative challenges and lack of support system. Lack of support system can be characterized with lack of the proper language proficiency assessment on where to place the students in class and how much time to be allotted for each class. The students from the 22 departments attended an English class for only an hour and fifty minutes per week. With the conditions mentioned above, the students could hardly develop communicative skills because they were not able to manage learning meaningfully. Deeper insights on these three stages (such as pre, during, and post) would add literature to address students’ real needs and teacher’s issues on sense of commitment in the English language education. The rank of difficulty on communicative activities in each stage would provide the support system (which involves TESOL practitioners, teachers, curriculum developers, researchers, and even students) priorities on what, how, and when to implement communicative challenges. By evaluating every angle of these current data would help the support system design or develop teaching techniques, result-oriented materials, and interactive activities to accommodate the priorities. Thus, the ranks of difficulty in communicative activities as well as the rank and frequency of attitude towards these activities will serve as a basis for conducting further investigation or similar studies to fulfill the support system’s objectives.
Keywords: Communicative Activities, Communicative Competence, Conversation, Conversation Theory, Teachers' and Learners' roles in the classroom, Willingness to Communicate (WTC)