Interrogating the Teaching and Learning of English in Nigeria: Still in Search of an Enabling Principle
With the understanding that effective communication is the central goal in any second language situation, this paper examines how best to achieve this in the light of the current curriculum for the teaching of English in Nigeria. The way the English language is taught at all the levels of education in Nigeria leaves a lot to be desired, and therefore does not hold a promise of actualising the very end of language teaching and learning, which is the development of learners’ communicative competence. The teaching and learning of English in Nigeria today is largely grammar-based, so that learners only take grammar lessons, leaving out the colour of language, which is literature. If literature is the colour of its language, teaching any language without its literature is teaching a bleached language. Any teaching method that adopts this antiseptic learning of the target language may not achieve much, as literature presents the best examples or manifestations of language use, and would serve as a veritable point of encounter with the language. The position of this work is that the divorce between ‘language’ and ‘literature’ in our educational curriculum is an anathema.
Keywords: Second language teaching, communicative competence, teaching method(s), Grammar, English in Nigeria
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