A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE ON ENGLISH LANGUAGE PEDAGOGY IN DIGITAL AGE: A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA
The spread of English as an international language and the emergence of the Internet as a fast communication channel are dual issues that define English Language Teaching in a globalised and digital age. Since its conception, the Internet has revolutionised the ways of human communication as well as English language learning in a global context. The use of Internet in the English language pedagogy is a novel tradition in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. In Nigerian socio-cultural setting, the use of ICT in the teaching and learning of English as a second language has become common place. Teachers of English as a second language in Nigeria have commenced the act of updating their knowledge in computer literacy. However, the implications of this powerful force are yet to be fully recognised and realised in education and teacher education. Teachers of English language as well as learners of the language today, need a new set of critical and interpretative skills. This study discusses the impacts and the implications of the Internet on English language learning as well as the need for new frameworks for teaching English language in a digital age. The theoretical framework for this study is Canale’s (1983) concept of “communicative teaching”. The choice of this theory is based on the fact that teaching a language requires taking the students into an environment they can easily employ the target language in a real life situation. Data for this study were generated from textbooks, peer-reviewed journals, newspapers, seminar paper presentations, and internet materials. The study reveals that all over the world, the use of information and communication technology is changing the face of teaching, learning and research. Thus, the dynamic of globalisation, and information and communication technologies on our economic, social, education, and cultural life, though offering novel opportunities, pose challenges to the dispensation of education in the current times. The study concludes that there is need to help teachers develop the appropriate skills, knowledge, attitudes, and perspectives to teach English in the light of digital age. To prepare this new generation of teachers, we need a teacher education system that is not only globally but also technologically compliant.
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