A call has gone to the relevant authorities to ensure that only professionals are engaged in the teaching of English language in the nation’s educational institutions, to achieve the desired goals of studying the subject.

Some of the participants at the conference with Dr. (Mrs.) Helen Bodunde (4th Left) and Prof. (Mrs.) Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale (4th Right).

Some of the participants at the conference with Dr. (Mrs.) Helen Bodunde (4th Left) and Prof. (Mrs.) Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale (4th Right).

This was the position of teachers and researchers of English language, under the aegis of the National Association of Teachers and Researchers in English as a Second Language (NATRESL), in a communiqué issued after its 10th Annual Conference, held recently at the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State.

The 9-point communiqué, jointly signed by Dr. Helen Bodunde, the new President of NATRESL and Dr. Remi Aduradola, Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee; who are both members of staff of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, enjoined teachers to identify with the digital culture of the 21st century. They further advised the exploration of the unique offers for effective teaching and learning of all aspects of the English language and Literature-in-English components, as well as the emerging, modern and innovative methods of teaching and research such as interactive, integrative and collaborative efforts, which they believed should be encouraged, adopted and promoted by institutions, governmental bodies and philanthropists.

“Existing governmental policies on education as they relate to teacher and learner development should be revisited especially at the secondary and tertiary levels of implementation. The use of non-professional hands in the teaching of English language/Literature at the secondary and tertiary levels of education should be avoided. Also, professional teachers should be regularly exposed to in-service training, seminars and conferences for improvement and updating of knowledge on innovative strategies for the 21st century classroom”, NATRESL stated.

The teachers and researchers observed that parents’ activities at home and in their wards’ schools can play a significant role in the educational success and achievements of their children, as they charged parents and guardians to put in more efforts to undertake concerted supervision in the language and educational development of their wards to complement teachers’ efforts in the classroom.

To maintain high standards, teachers in primary and secondary schools should endeavour to create time on the school curriculum and subject time-table for pupils/students to watch educational television and participate in selected radio programmes and also be willing to shift ground from conservative research approaches to empirical data-based researches by adopting innovative classroom approaches to promoting blended learning.

The Association recommended that reading culture should be promoted in Nigerian primary and secondary schools through the establishment of reading clubs, functional literary and debating societies.

The theme of the Conference was English Language Teaching And 21st Century Teacher Competencies and had a total of 74 participants drawn from schools and tertiary institutions from different parts of Nigeria, during which over 50 research papers were presented during the opening and plenary sessions.