Teaching Spoken English in the ODL System in Nigeria: Challenges and Strategies for Improvement
The Spoken English course is a vital component of the B.A. English language programme in many Open and Distance Learning institutions in Nigeria. The course provides the base for growth in other courses related to grammar, reading and writing abilities. As learning and applying the skills of spoken English are so closely related, the ODL classroom should be a place where the use of spoken language is sensitively supported and where active listening is developed and valued. The act of speaking enables students to make connections between what they know and what they are learning, and listening helps them to acquire knowledge and explore ideas. Although many students have mastered basic listening and speaking skills, some students are much more effective in their spoken communication than others. And those who are more effective communicators experience more success in school and in other areas of their lives. Indeed, the skills that can make the difference between minimal and effective communication in spoken English can be taught, practiced, and improved.