LANGUAGE EXPERT RECOMMENDS USE OF MULTIMEDIA RESOURCES FOR TEACHING OF ENGLISH
For effective teaching of English language at all levels of education ,a language expert and Professor of English at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile Ife has recommended the use of multimedia resources for teaching. Professor Rotimi Taiwo gave the advice at the 14th edition of the English Language Teaching Training Conference, ELTT organized by the National Association of Teachers and Researchers in English as a Second Language held at the T.I Auditorium of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA .In a keynote address titled, “Academic and Professional Communication in Digital Age”, Professor Taiwo advocated the use of multimedia resources to impact knowledge. Taiwo said before the age of technology, academics and professionals have been transmitting information through the existing traditional media, but in the digital age it has become necessary for them to adapt communication choices that fit into the demands of the new media. He added that in this sense, rhetorical style should reflect digital composition technology by exploring the creation of texts which persuasively incorporate multimodal resources, linguistic and audio-visuals.
Professor Taiwo said academic communication takes place in an academic context where activities such as teaching, conference presentation, seminars, workshops, tutorials and other forms communication involve presenting ideas effectively in a scholastic environment. The don said communication technology has changed the communication land scape, creating more interactive and dynamic ways of communicating and called on many academic institutions to desist from treating online journals with a lot of suspicion. According to him for academic communication to receive a boost in the digital age, it must go online and receive the benefits of meaningful feedback from readers. He said the information age has thrown up a lot of ideas into the academic space, for students and academic professionals, and to keep up with the volume of information online, academic scholars require a high level of mental agility that includes the ability for critical thinking, curiosity, imagination, collaboration and adaptability. Professor Taiwo stated that research shows that fewer students read the traditional text while the number who compose post and read original materials online are quite large. He said academic communication stands to benefit immensely from the new technology of the digital age as they can aid the effective dissemination of academic research outfits.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape in his address described the English language as Nigeria’s official language which is widely accepted as language of education, trade and religion and official transactions. He said, in every tertiary institution in Nigeria, English language has been built into the curriculum of all first year students. Professor Fuwape said there must be regular training and retraining of English language teachers at all levels so that all can conform to global best practices. This he said will enhance better teaching and certainly better learning of the subject. He said FUTA ranks among the best Universities of Technology in Nigeria and has also produced graduates who can competently and confidently compete with their contemporaries globally.
The Head of Department of General Studies (GNS) and National President, National Association of Teachers and Researchers in English as a second language (NATRESL), Professor Titi Fola-Adebayo said FUTA is a connected University and a top ranking University of Technology. In Nigeria, Professor Fola-Adebayo said communication whether in academic or professional contexts plays a dominant role in contemporary life. She said the increase dominance of English as the world’s leading medium of international professional communication impacts heavily on the teaching of English, particularly in second language situation. Professor Adebayo emphasized that digital age is characterized by a shift from traditional industry to an economy based on information technology with English as the international language of interaction. She stated that benefits of digitalized learning abound and they include pedagogic richness, accessibility to knowledge, social interaction, learner control and choice, cost effectiveness, improved learning outcomes for students, reinforcement of students learning autonomy, reflective thinking and powers of research.
The conference was attended by language experts and teachers of English from higher institutions across the country.