Against a background of the persistent irony of teaching and examining oral English on paper and boards in Nigerian schools, Oladele Saheed has just completed a comprehensive lesson plan on his recently launched ‘Remedial English Pronunciation Software’ from Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1 to Senior Secondary School (SSS) 3. The software, which first went through a preliminary assessment by a seven-man committee set up by the Department of Basic and Secondary Education of the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja has been recommended as instructional material in Oral English by Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).
The author sees the NERDC recommendation and the advisory roles of Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, Emeritus Professor Ben Elugbe, Professor Francis Egbokhare and Professor Clement Kolawole as his sources of encouragement to make the software more curriculum and user friendly. His vision to put an end to the irony of teaching oral English on paper and boards in Nigerian schools and to set the stage for ideal practical Oral English examination in the year 2020 does not only form the basis of REP-Software creation but also its latest comprehensive lesson plan.
The software is a licensed audio-visual interactive educational material which offers Standard British Pronunciation with explanations, gives an alert for every inaccurate pronunciation on Frequently Mispronounced English Words and helps users record their own pronunciation for comparison with the Received Pronunciation (RP).
The plan covers vowels, consonants, silent letters, English past tense and regular plural markers, prefixes and affixes, linking-r and other related elements, syllable stress, English tongue twisters, rhymes, emphatic stress and intonation with copious examples. It divides ten teaching weeks per term into five lesson weeks and five practical weeks; one period per week. In addition to the class-based teacher-student one-on-one drilling in each practical week period, it gives room for regular independent practice by each student through its Assignment and Tongue twister of the Week with the aid of REP-Software recording facility.
Oladele Saheed is now set in Abuja to submit official copies of the plan to the Federal Ministry of Education, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Nigerian Teachers’ Institute (NTI), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and Universal Basic Education Council (UBEC).
In this age of technology, the emergence of REP-Software as a reference material and self-practice tool in oral English is belated. For almost two decades of teaching and examining oral English on paper and boards in Nigerian schools, this is the beginning of the end.