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● who makes the decisions about what you should teach and about what goes into the English exams your students take?
In my own context, the decision should be taught and what goes into the English exams lies with the government under the federal ministry ofeducation. They come up with a unified curriculum which is being adopted by both private and public schools under the supervision of the ministry. Schools that fail to go by the curriculum are sometimes penalised. Therefore, if must make any changes, it has to thorough the government and the ministry of education.3 May 2021 at 12:22 am in reply to: Discussion 5.2 – Problems of public belief about English #5434
In the Nigerian context, the following are the problems with people’sbelieves about standard English:
The attachment of social prestige to standard English (British or American)
Judging literacy based on one’s proficiency in the standard English.
Recognition of one standard (British) English as the official language.
Proffering solutions to this will start from value reorientation, followed by massive advocacy in support of other forms of Englishes through the use of decision makers and influencers.
The policies to relax the standard English norms in my country has a lot of hurdle to scale as the form English in which these policies will be formed are standard English base.. It is then safe to say that a revolution will work best in this context.3 May 2021 at 12:00 am in reply to: Reflection 5.2 – Sharing Changing Englishes ideas with colleagues #5432
When it comes to changing peoples perception about Englishes, a radical change will be quite difficult. Therefore actions that spur gradual change will be instrumental. This actions may include advocacy, engaging key stakeholders in the language teaching and learningsectors, proposing and implementing policies towards the desired change.
Personally, being a member of a network of linguist and language teachers, I will leverage on the expertise of my network towards creating awareness, doing research and drafting policy documents towards changing peoples perception about Englishes.
The varieties of Englishes in my class is as many as the diversity of the background of students in my class. However, most of my students opine that they would love to speak English like I do which in itself is not the standard English.
As linguist and a teacher, I try to strike the balance between the monolithic way of teaching (for testing purposes) and the plurilithic way of teaching (to improve their general proficiency).
After all, I am a follower of descriptive grammar.
The conflict arises when its time to test learners that are taught in a plurilithic way. Do we test each learner based on the form of Englishes they’ve learnt, or do we use a monolithic testing system for plurilithic learners(which will be unfair)? There are no doubts that the former will require more time and resources and the latter will not do justice to testing the learner’s knowledge of the language. It is therefore safe to strike the balance by adopting both monolithic and plurilithic ways of learning andteaching in a monolithic system of testing.
- This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by Abdulsalam Aderibigbe.
As much as I try to help my students through the use of resources that promotes monolithic views of the English language (for standard test purposes), I also make use of resources that promotes the prulithic views through the use of literary text, movies and music that portrays different culture and different forms of Englishes based on the author’s background.1 May 2021 at 4:00 pm in reply to: Reflection 4.1 – Talking to students about English(ee), learning/teaching it #5424
The British and the American English are largely recognized as the standard form of English , they are therefore use in test in determining learners proficiency in Nigeria’s educational settings. Students also recognize this to be true. Introducing other forms Englishes to them sounds awkward to them even though they subconsciously use other forms of Englishes.
As a linguist and an English language teacher in Nigeria, I believe Winddowson definition of “proficiency” is relative based on the environment of the language learner. To some, it would mean the ability to read, write, speak and understand a target language which may be at the beginner’s level, intermediate or advance. To other’s it may mean some partial command of the target language which are largely characterized by the influence of the L1 or other languages in the learners environment.
In my own opinion, if we must maintain the true nature of proficiency, we must stick to the former as it is difficult to determine the level of ones mastery of the language if we go by the latter.
In Nigeria, the English only policy largely influences it’s plurilithic nature as it supports teaching and learning only one (standard) form of English. However, this varies based on the institution and the functions English language perform in such institutions.
In some private schools in Nigeria, it is prohibited to speak vernacular in the school environment. Vernacular meaning every other languages except English. This implies that English language is been used as a medium of instruction as well as been taught as a subject. On the other hand, in public schools, the use of the learner’s L1 is been encouraged both as a medium of instruction and as a means of learning English language itself.
Also, parents often see English language as a language of prestige thereby encouraging their children to improve their proficiency in English by prohibiting them or limiting their use of other languages (including their mother tongue). However, as awareness is been created on the importance of mother tongue/ indigenous languages, this view is gradually changing.1 May 2021 at 2:50 pm in reply to: Discussion 3.2 – Factors that shape the learning of English #5421
Yes, quite a long and comprehensive list of factors that influences English language learning. The admin has also highlighted some factors that are quite peculiar in my community here in Nigeria.
Some other factors that I think influences English language learning in my community includes:
1. Purpose of learning: some learners learn English language for career advancement while others sees it as an opportunity to improve social prestige. These to a large extent influences the pace of learning and the form of English that is been learnt.
2.Environment: the contents been drawn from the learners environment largely influences their output.1 May 2021 at 1:50 pm in reply to: Discussion 3.1 – Places & Contexts of English Exposure #5420
As a teacher and an advanced learner of English some places where I and my students experience English includes:
1. Entertainment platforms such as music, movies and comedy.
2. Religious events which includes religious talks and preaching.
3. Social gatherings
4. Civic engagement and community development settings. E.t.c
Considering US English or UK English as a lingual franca portray more of linguistic imperialism than it does in determining a form of English however, in terms of evaluation and standardized testing, it is important to focus on varieties that are well documented and regularized variety. This will help ensure equality amongst learners from diverse background.
The L1 of a language learner is highly instrumental in learning L2. Translanguaging facilitate easy transition between L1 and L2. Translanguaging in the classroom is important in facilitating easy transfer of knowledge of a subject as it is in English language learning class. The students often understand concepts better in their L1 than they do in their L2.
On the other hand, translanguaging also brings about varieties of English language due to constant switching between English language and the L1 and vice versa.
As a Nigerian, I live in the outer circle of the classification of English. The Nigerian English in itself varies according to the social, cultural and linguistic background of the speaker. The British English however, largely serve as the standard for correctness. As a linguist who received training in British English, I am more conscious of the influence of my native language on the form of English I speak. Despite this, I still switch based on the context of usage.
Some examples include:
1. Drop- to alight from a bus or car
2. Chop- to eat/ to win
3. Short Knickers- shorts
4. Wiwi- to urinate
5. Barbing salon- Baber’s shop e.t.c.