Confronting the Challenges of Teaching English Language as a Second Language in Nigeria


In this paper the author focuses on the challenges of teaching English language as a second language in a multilingual society like Nigeria. Even though English Language is the language of instruction in the Nigerian educational system and has been so from colonial times, the teaching of English to students for whom it is a second language continues to pose enormous challenges to teachers. Perhaps a major evidence of this challenge is the high failure rate of students in the school certificate examination for English Language nationwide and also the inability of these students to communicate properly using the language. The author investigates the factors that underlie this failure and how these connect to the weakness of pedagogy. Some of these factors reveal the impact of mother tongue and the collapse of educational training institutions in producing the right calibre of teachers, among others. He concludes by giving suggestions on the way out of the quagmire, one of which is the need for professional development of teachers of the language. Key words: English as a Second Language, teaching, challenges