English is a second language, not a foreign language in Nigeria

English is a second language, not a foreign language in Nigeria

Are you among the many Nigerians who feel speaking or writing the English language correctly is not necessary because it is a foreign language? If you are, please get a seat.
English is a SECOND LANGUAGE, not a FOREIGN LANGUAGE in Nigeria. And there is a sharp dichotomy between a second language and a foreign language. 

Unlike a foreign language, a second language is useful domestically. In other words, the English language is useful in Nigeria. It is not just the official language of Nigeria but also a lingua franca in Nigeria. It is an official language because it is the language that is approved by the Nigerian government, taught in schools, and used in legal or official documents.  A lingua franca is a common language used as a medium of communication by people whose native languages are different. And it is quite obvious that the English language is doing well in this regard. 

We learn a second language for two main reasons: instrumental reason and integrative reason.

The instrumental reason has to do with learning the second language for education and to secure a job. Now ask yourself. Will you be given a job in Nigeria if you are unable to speak and write English correctly? The English language is seen as an instrument for learning and acquiring the required competence to secure a job. 

The integrative reason has to do with learning the second language to fuse into the social and cultural life patterns of the native speakers. In other words, we the English language to be fully acculturated into the behavioural patterns and attitudes of the native speakers. 

However, as stated in paragraph three, a foreign language is not useful domestically. It is only useful outside the country for a specific purpose. For instance, a Nigerian student in Spain must learn Spanish to be able to socialise and set along educationally. An Igbo trader who goes regularly to France to transact business would have to learn and speak French for the purpose of business transaction. It is different from learning the English language in Nigeria because the English language is useful domestically. 

Therefore, stop saying “English is a foreign language in Nigeria." The earlier you know that English is a second language in Nigeria, the better for you.
5 Ways to Overcome Public Speaking Fears

5 Ways to Overcome Public Speaking Fears

The fear of public speaking has ruined the opportunities of many people. In this lesson, we present five effective ways to overcome public speaking fears!

How To Acknowledge a Writer Whose Post You Copied and Posted on Your Facebook Wall

How To Acknowledge a Writer Whose Post You Copied and Posted on Your Facebook Wall

How To Acknowledge a Writer Whose Post You Copied and Pasted on Your Facebook Wall
Ideally, when someone makes a post which interests you and you feel your friends need to read it too, you are expected to share it on your wall. You don't even need any permission to do that. It is not also wrong to copy and paste the post on your wall if you so choose. But when you do, IT IS WRONG not to credit the post to the author. Below are examples of the proper ways to acknowledge the author:

1. At the top:

✓ Itse De wrote (or writes)

✓ As copied from Itse De

✓ The post below is authored by Itse De

✓ As written by Itse De

2. Beneath the post:

✓ Written by Itse De

✓ © Itse De

✓ Credit: Itse De

✓ Author: Itse De

You may choose any of the methods above. Editing the author's name out of a post is not only wrong but also stealing.

Writing "Copied" without stating who you copied from, especially when you know the author, is witchcraft. It is also wrong, for instance, to simply write ITSE  beneath the post. Write the name in full because there are many Itsedes in Nigeria. To stretch this, writing the name in full, as a way of tag, without showing any sign that the tagged individual is the author, is a thieving way to claim the work because your audience may think you are simply drawing the individual's attention. Let there be a pointer showing the author. If the author's name isn't good enough to appear on your wall, don't copy his work.  

Friends, copying a post and editing a name out of it even when the name is clearly written beneath it is not proper. 

Let's change this attitude!

© Barr. Itsede K. Okhai
The Effects of Coronavirus on Education in Nigeria: The Negative and Positive

The Effects of Coronavirus on Education in Nigeria: The Negative and Positive

The Effects of Coronavirus on Education in Nigeria: The Negative and Positive
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had serious global impact on human life as we know it. Virtually nothing is the same as no sphere of society and human interaction has escaped the direct or ripple effect of the novel coronavirus; from healthcare to aviation to food production and security; from arts to sports to banking to manufacturing to event planning/management and on to education and whatnot. All sectors of life across countries have obviously been affected in one way or the other, and our nation Nigeria is not left out.
Annoying Facts about Studying English in School

Annoying Facts about Studying English in School

Annoying Facts about Studying English in School
Is studying English in school fun? You on the other side of the intellectual/professional divide, have you ever paused to ask yourself this question? Have you? Well, let’s see some annoying facts about studying English, and you’d answer that for yourself.

Contrary to popular opinion, English studies is a really taxing discipline to delve into. The journey comes with a lot of literary texts, academic papers and other inexhaustible materials to read. The tight corner is the limited time available for students within a semester to digest all of these materials. Can you imagine being obligated to study up to 20 or 35 literary texts for only one course? As if that is not enough, the last straw that usually breaks the camel’s back is the tying of these texts together in examination questions. This always spells doom for students who may not have read all recommended texts for the course. The workload is usually massive.

Another annoying fact is that one can work very hard and still fail. One can write so well in examinations and still not succeed. English Studies is not for hard workers. It’s for smart workers. The quality of one’s study technique would determine how each semester goes.

Deriving meaning from poems that seem meaningless to you is another really annoying experience that English students face. The poem analysis process and methods aren’t the favourite part of the work for many students. Overtime, it has been observed that a larger percentage of students wish they could do away with this third genre of literature. The ability to accurately identify and deal with lots of symbols and images hidden in literary works that many people can’t see is a requirement. As a student of English, a closed mind would drown you. There are really no formulae here so one has to be open-minded and thorough. Sometimes, it feels like being trapped in the bramble, trying to find one’s way out. This is the lowest point for most English students.

It is also a very annoying fact that rapt payment of attention to details, smartness, proactiveness and the likes are requirements. Non-negotiable. These are attributes that many people build consciously under hard weather but English students have just little or even no time to build. The need for these attributes becomes clear to students immediately they take up the course and if they are not able to settle in on time, they start on a faulty foundation.

Furthermore, studying certain strange and overwhelming courses can also be truly frustrating. Few of these generally dreaded courses include: Chaucer to Milton, Neo-classical to Present, Advanced English Syntax, Advanced Phonology, etc. The syntax tree diagram and Noam Chomsky’s TGG are a matter for another day.

The oral English/transcription dilemma is another huge and annoying one for students of English. While this is an integral part of the study, many students are usually frustrated by it. Meanwhile, learning oral English or transcribing does not necessarily guaranty a change of accent. That demands even more serious personal work on the part of the student.

Another angle is that as an English scholar, conversations with some persons become irritating as you tend to pay more attention to their errors. This interrupts the flow of information and it’s usually involuntary.

As an English scholar, you suddenly possess some form of linguistic super powers. People expect you to automatically know every word and its meaning, synonyms, antonyms and all. High demand is placed on you, especially in a setting like ours where English is a second language and a lot of persons are only trying to get along with peripheral knowledge of the language and its rules, in a bid to communicate across language barrier points. Errors from English scholars become forbidden; a taboo.

Last but not the least, no one really rejoices in English department until results are actually out. This is one part that cuts across all levels and cadres of students in the department. English can shock you. So, everyone keeps calm until they are sure of where they stand at every point in time. This is another annoying fact about studying English. Although not much is said about it in linguistic scholarly circles, every English scholar goes through this.
5 Reasons Why Most English Undergraduates Graduate with Low Grades Despite Studying Hard

5 Reasons Why Most English Undergraduates Graduate with Low Grades Despite Studying Hard

It is always shocking to see English students graduate with poor grades despite working indefatigably to earn good grades. As regards this issue, it's never a good idea to blame their lecturers because the fault is entirely that of the students.

Studying English in any Nigerian university requires smartness. The slogan is WORK SMART, not work hard. Unlike the smart ones, those who worked hard made the following errors:

1. They were busy trying to read all literary texts given to them.

What makes you think you can read over 60 literary texts given to you by your lecturers in 12 or 13 weeks without having problems in your language courses? Time will definitely fail you!

If you must succeed in English department, you must know what text to read. Read some, and get detailed summaries (online) for others. Summaries do us a lot of good.

2. They fail to present their essays properly

In English department, proper presentation of materials when answering a question is necessary for passing. You may get the correct answer to a question, but if your answer is not articulated, you may not get full marks.

In other words, you must be a good writer to earn good grades in English department. This is one thing you must learn to do effortlessly.

ALSO READ: How To Calculate Your GPA and CGPA in a 5-Point Grading System

3. They didn't study with open minds

Many English students study with closed minds. An open mind is needed to succeed in the department. The course needs one's mind to be open, flexible and creative.

Don't be too comfortable with your own knowledge or with what your lecturer has taught you in class. Get novel ideas from people, go beyond classroom lectures to know more, and creatively merge these ideas to form unique contents.

4. They failed to pay attention to details

70% of English lecturers indirectly tell their students in lecture rooms the type of questions they should expect in their exams and how to answer them. It takes only a smart student to understand such implicit message and prepare ahead of time.

If you are not smart enough to understand this message, you should be wise enough to ask your senior colleagues about how your lecturers operate their likes and dislikes with regard to exams.

5. They studied without past questions

Many English students prepare for a course without making reference its past questions. Take it or leave it, past questions are beautiful guides. They prepare your mind on what to expect in a particular course, especially when that course is being taught by the same lecturer.

After reading for a particular course, try to answer the past questions of that course until you are satisfied. You will be happy to see your pen move with ease on your paper should any of these past questions appear in an exam.

One of the annoying facts of studying English in school is making a poor grade in a course you feel you have written well.

Don't you think one of the aforementioned reasons is the cause? I graduated with a CGPA of 4.08 from the Department of English and Literary Studies, Niger Delta University. I won't say I worked hard; I worked smart instead.

I urge you to work smart too. Understand the English department, and you shall prosper!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Staying in School Hostels
How To Calculate Your GPA and CGPA in a 5-Point Grading System

How To Calculate Your GPA and CGPA in a 5-Point Grading System

How To Calculate Your GPA and CGPA
The release of examination results is one of the most important school moments, especially as it concerns the Nigerian academic system and the way in which it works. As a student who is determined and has plans for unfettered academic excellence and a great future cum career in your chosen discipline, you must be interested in how your Grade Point Average (GPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) are calculated per time.

Beyond being interested in the how, you must understand it for yourself so as to follow up closely whenever results show up. This is very crucial because errors of omission have been made in the past as well as other wrong calculations that have passed unnoticed to the detriment of the concerned student(s). In the light of these, every dogged student must be on the watch in his or her own best interest.

On the other hand, knowing how to calculate these vital figures makes you set clear academic goals which are SMART (specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and time-bound). So, follow closely as we take you through this seemingly impenetrable bramble! In a 5-point grading system, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 and F=0.

Having the foregoing in mind, another vital information you must have handy is the unit of each course for the semester as well as the total units of all courses taken in the particular semester under review. The units for various courses depend on the department that offers them. Take for instance, a student of a certain department (let’s call the student Tonye) takes five courses of 3 units each in a semester. That brings us to a total of 15 course units for the semester.

If A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 and F=0 and Tonye scores A, B, C, D and E grades respectively in the five courses for the first semester, this means that Tonye gets 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 as the allocated points for the grades obtained. Each point is multiplied by the designated 3 units for each course and the results are added. That is 5x3=15, 4x3=12, 3x3=9, 2x3=6 and 1x3=3; the total of which is 45 points. In order to determine the resultant GPA for the first semester, therefore, Tonye divides the 45 points by 15 (the total course units). This gives him a total of 3.00 as his first semester GPA.

Furthermore, to determine his CPGA at the end of the academic session, Tonye has to do the same calculation with this second semester grades and total course units as earlier explained.

However, for the second semester, given that A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 and F=0, Tonye then earns B, C, A, D and A grades respectively in the five courses taken, this means that he gets 4, 3, 5, 2 and 5 respectively as the allocated points for the grades. Each point is multiplied by the designated 3 units for each course and the results are added. That is 4x3=12, 3x3=9, 5x3=15, 2x3=6 and 5x3=15; the total of which is 57 points. In order to determine the resultant GPA for the second semester, therefore, Tonye divides the 57 points by 15 (the total course units). This gives him a total of 3.80 as his second semester GPA.

At the end of the academic year, for Tonye’s CGPA to be determined, he adds the first and second semester GPAs and divides the answer by 2. That means 3.00 + 3.80 = 6.80.

Then, 6.80 / 2 = 3.40 where 3.40 becomes Tonye’s CGPA for the academic year under review.

With this simple formula at each student’s fingertips, just like Tonye, these calculations can be done seamlessly, taking into cognizance all salient factors like the number of courses taken for the semester and the points awarded for each grade obtained, units of each course offered by the department, as well as the total number of units.
How To Fix “Invalid Channel” Error on GOtv

How To Fix “Invalid Channel” Error on GOtv

Aside from the usual E16 error which displays on your screen, “invalid channel” error is an evitable error that frustrates most GOtv subscribers. It is an unexpected error, that is, it just happens. And most times we don't know how to fix it because we can't trace its cause. If you always see this error on your screen anytime you click on a particular channel, especially the one you love to watch, follow the steps below to fix it.

How To Fix “Invalid Channel” Error on GOtv

1. While your GOtv decoder is switched on, click on the MENU button on your GOtv remote.

2. Scroll down to INFORMATION CENTRAL.

3. Click OK. 
How To Fix “Invalid Channel” Error on GOtv

4. Click on the INFO button on your GOtv remote.

5. Click on number 7 on your GOtv remote. Your TV screen will automatically go blank. Don't be scared.
How To Fix “Invalid Channel” Error on GOtv
6. Allow your decoder to reboot.

7. Check the channels that had such error for confirmation afterwards.

8. Enjoy yourself. 
The Difference between Half-brother and Stepbrother

The Difference between Half-brother and Stepbrother

If you think your half-brother is your stepbrother, pay rapt attention. These words are often used interchangeably, especially by second learners of English. But I am happy because this illustrative article will put an end to the misuse of these words.

Your half-brother is not your stepbrother. The son of either your biological father or mother is your half-brother, not your stepbrother.

Your stepbrother is not your parents’ son. If, for example, your father gets married to another woman who already has a son outside, that son is your stepbrother, not your half-brother.

In a nutshell, you and your half-brother are related by blood whereas you and your stepbrother are related by marriage. 
The Difference between “GOAT” and  “Goat” in Sports

The Difference between “GOAT” and “Goat” in Sports

the difference between GOAT and Goat in sports

This lesson will be illustrative for easy comprehension. The difference between “GOAT” (in capital letters) and “Goat” (in small letters) in sports is one that is not known to many. Thus people, especially football fans, abuse these words on a daily basis.

If, for example, Messi is the greatest of all time, say: Messi is the GOAT (all in capital letters). This simply means Messi has performed better than anyone else ever.

GOAT is an acronym for Greatest Of All Time. And it used to describe the person who has performed better than anyone else ever, especially in a sport.

However, if Messi caused his team’s failure or defeat, refer to him as “goat” (in small letters); e.g., Messi’s error made him the goat (not GOAT) of last night’s game.