Linguistic Context as Explicators: A Study of ‘Fill in The Gaps’ Exercises in Selected Nigerian Senior Secondary English Textbooks (Published)
This study examines the ways in which the linguistic context helps the Senior Secondary School Students to unravel the missing words in the ‘fill up the gap’ exercises in their English textbooks. The aim of the study is to uncover the extent to which the linguistic context helps the students in arriving at the correct vocabulary to be used in the exercises. Applying the context theory as proposed by van Dijk (2008) as the theoretical framework, the study examined two Nigerian Senior Secondary English language textbooks namely The Intensive English for Senior Secondary Schools and Round up English. For the analysis, 10 different exercises were selected, 5 from each of the textbooks and used as data. At the end, the investigation reveals that apart from the knowledge of vocabularies which the students have, the other co-text words and/or phrases surrounding the gap to be filled in the incomplete sentences used as exercises in the textbooks play key roles in ensuring that students arrive at the correct answers. The study also reveals that the chances are high that the writers of these texts deliberately create enabling linguistic context in order to cushion the shock of the missing words in the exercise.
Assessment of the Problems of Teaching English Language at Junior Secondary Schools in Katsina State, Nigeria (Published)
Teaching English as a second language is not as easy as some think. In this study, an attempt is made to identify the problems militating against successfull teaching of English language at junior secondary schools in Katsina State, Nigeria. The problems are categorised as psychological, linguistic and pedagogical. The method used in the study is the descriptive survey design. Sixty Eight public, private and community schools across the educational zones were used, involving 210 teachers and 384 students. Two sets of questionnairs, one for teachers and the other for students were used to collect data. The data collected was analysed by means of frequency counts and percentage. Bar charts were also used for further clarity of the results obtained. The findings revealed that pedagogical problems were at the top in militating against successfull teaching of English at the targetted schools. However, among the three types of schools used in the study, problems identified are more pronounced in public schools. The implecation of the findings is that, since the aural – oral skills are the backbone of the English language, a language used as the medium of instruction in all schools, the whole education system is at threat. Among the solutions offered is that Government should review upward, the current minimum teaching qualification and as an interim measure, intensify effort to provide teachers with lower qualifications the necessary linguistic background and skills for efficient teaching of the two skills. This is necessary because NCE as a teaching qualification has deteriorated beyond imagination.
This paper aims to explore and raise awareness of the significance of content schema as an essential component of language acquisition, principally illustrating its potent value in L2 reading comprehension. All good readers have enhanced schematic knowledge that helps them in comprehending not only texts, but lexis plus contextual information without difficulty. Activating students’ schemata helps them to become metacognitive, however, the role and importance of schemata in language acquisition has fairly remained a derelict aspect with regards to second language learning and teaching; this study therefore seeks to highlight the same for facilitating a much needed understanding required to devise and put into practice an easily adaptable way of learning and instructing possibly in L2 reading. The study may possibly pave the way for further research in the area.
Style is an important aspect of literary analysis of text. The manipulation of words by a writer creates a distinct style through which he/she reaches out to the audience. A literary stylistic analysis of Niyi Osundare’s “Blues for the New Senate King” is carried out in order to demonstrate to the readers that a poet can deploy language to achieve satirical effect. To achieve this, lexico-syntactic patterns, graphological devices, phonological and morphological choices of the poet are stylistically analysed, using the approach that describes style as the linguistic choice of a writer. The paper found out that each of the linguistic choices has identifiable function that is performed in the poem. It is concluded that these linguistic elements contribute meaningfully to the overall message of the poem which satirizes the ignominious manner in which the Nigerian Senate President assumed the leadership of the upper chamber of legislature in Nigeria for the 8th Assembly.
Paradigm Shifts in the Yoruba Anthroponyms: A Critical Discourse Analysis on Yoruba Reincanated-Child`s Names (Published)
The main thrust of the paper is the illumination of the interactions between the language use and the Yoruba cultural anthropology as attested to by a set of Yoruba names known as the àbíkú (reincarnated child`s) names. The names are considered as registers because they aptly identify discourse that occurs in particular recurrent situations within the contexts of the people’s social experience and beliefs. The factors that make the usage of these names to become atrophied are identified to illustrate the paradigm shifts in the people`s cultural anthropology. In doing this, the sociolinguistic values of Yoruba names are expatiated and categorized to elicit the contemporary perception of the names. The study found that àbíkú names stand out linguo-culturally in Yoruba onomastics and are significantly complex to be merely positioned within either the purview of core linguistics or socio-religious perspectives alone as their expositions also include anthropological identities and situational parameters of variation. Among other things, this verbal text provides unique opportunities for the people to externalize social- psychology to capture the name giver`s emotions and in the process, aptly casts identifiable marks on the bearer, thus stratifying the society in a way. Conclusively it is contended that this brand of name-words represent the signposts which encode the social perceptions on certain individuals and episodes of enduring identities in the past which have now been regrettably eroded and debased by critical waves of the so-called modernity.