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    Wednesday, January 17, 2024

    Communicative Competence in English Affects Education Standards –LASU Prof. Osoba

    A Professor of Stylistics, Lagos State University, LASU, Prof. Gabriel Osoba, has said the standard of education can be negatively affected by the low standard of communicative competence in English, the language of instruction in schools.

    He has, therefore, suggested that those teaching and instructing students should not shy away from raising their level of competence in the language.

    Osoba stated this while delivering the 94th inaugural lecture of the university titled, “What God has brought together… Language and literature at the altar of stylistics”.

    With English as the language of instruction, Osoba suggested that universities should embark on what he called English for Academic Staff training, as the quality of memos, letters and releases from organisations determines the impression people would have of such organisations.

    “When we talk of the falling standard of education, it is not really that educational standards are falling like the Nigerian Naira. Rather, the standard of education is really increasing with with amazing knowledge, especially in science and technology.

    “What is really happening is the lowering standard of communicative competence in English. It is hereby suggested that the Department of English not only provide services to students, but also to staff.”

    He recalled that some years ago, the Department of English in the university went to town to help train civil servants in Lagos State, and “the quality of the use of English by participants was enhanced.”

    On whether there are differences between language and literature, Osoba posited that they were two different sides of the same coin.

    “Both language and literature are products of and for society and need each other, not only to function but to thrive. Language is the prime tool of literature.

    “Put in another way, literature is indisputably, creative use of language. Thus, literature is in language and language is in literature.

    “Literature in the specialized sense is commonly refereed to as the ‘work of the creative imagination including poetry, drama and fiction in which the use of special devices such as metaphor, simile, oxymoron, pun heighten the communication and aesthetic effect.

    “Literature in this sense is a creative reflection or refraction of life and has three main genres: prose, poetry and drama.”

    Osoba, who has carried out an extensive stylistic analyses on Prof. Niyi Osundare’s works, among others, described Osundare’s works as readable and accessible to a wide gamut of audience.

    “Whichever way the debate goes, my stand is that Osundare’s poetry is largely accessible.

    “Anyone who has obtained an SSCE or GCE O/L pass in English Language can read and understand his poems without the intervention of a ‘midwife’,” he noted.

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