Language educators urge governments to improve qualifications of teachers

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By Ngozi Nwankwo

International Association of Language Educators, IALE, has urged governments to take action to enhance the qualifications of language teachers.

The call came at the conclusion of the association’s 3rd biennial National Conference and capacity building for language teachers, held at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Professor David Olugbade Fakeye, the President of IALE, emphasized the importance of language teachers acquiring further education to enhance their content knowledge and pedagogical skills. The association believes that improving the qualifications of language teachers will contribute to the overall quality of education.

During the conference, participants engaged in extensive academic discussions and deliberations. Keynote speaker Professor Peter Barasa, Vice Chancellor of Allupe University in Kenya, and lead paper presenter Oba Professor S.A. Amuseghan, the Kalasuwe of Apoi Kingdom in Ondo State, provided valuable insights. Through plenary sessions, language educators in Nigeria made several observations and recommendations.

One of the key recommendations put forth by the conference was the implementation of a bilingual/multilingual medium of instruction policy. This policy aims to create a more inclusive learning environment, considering the multicultural nature of classrooms today.

The conference also stressed the importance of language teachers attending conferences, workshops, and seminars to improve their classroom experiences and teaching skills.

The use of emerging technologies, such as the internet, was highlighted as a beneficial tool for language teachers to enhance their teaching methods. Additionally, literature teachers were encouraged to organize reading clubs and embrace reading programmes to complement classroom teaching.

Also, the conference emphasised the need for language teachers to pay attention to factors like teacher-student interaction, pedagogical practices, motivation, demographic variables, and cultural sensitivity to promote positive and inclusive language learning classrooms.

Among other demands include examination bodies like the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) to appropriately examine the oral aspect of the English Language or rename the English Language examination paper to “Alternative to Test of Orals.”

Utilizing the Language of Immediate Environment to facilitate a smooth transition from home to school.

The conference recommended giving more attention to the teaching of French Language to provide students with wider international opportunities.

IALE reiterated its commitment to accommodating major specialist languages, including French, Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa, in addition to English, in its operations and conferences.

Meanwhile, the conference attendees praised IALE for organizing a crucial event and selecting a theme that facilitated comprehensive discussions on blind spots in language and literature education.

The recommendations and resolutions put forth by the conference aim to improve the quality of language education and empower language teachers to make a positive impact in their classrooms.