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TEACHERS AND MASTERY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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Mastery of English Language by educators is a sacrosanct factor in the making of good teachers and any academic setting; particularly in a country like Nigeria that has English Language as her official language. Going by the words of Conlin-Herman,
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  TEACHERS AND MASTERY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE BY ORODIRAN KOLA FRANCIS Presented at the Lord’s Schools Annual Staff Seminar on the 25th of April, 2017 @ Lord’s Schools, Abojupa Scheme, Ilora, Oyo State, Nigeria.    INTRODUCTION Mastery of English Language by educators is a sacrosanct factor in the making of good teachers and any academic setting; particularly in a country like Nigeria that has English Language as her official language. Going by the words of Conlin- Herman, ‘Learning to use language effective ly will help you to become the creator of your environment instead of its creature’. On this, it is  believed that mastery of the prestigious language by teachers irrespective of their areas of specialization will undoubtedly make them beings of confidence at any gathering, asset to selves and to their place(s) of primary assignment. Also, the above assertion could promote the standard of any pedagogical setting that recruits such faculty into her staff strength. It is on the above premise that this discourse shall focus on the following: 1.   Who is a Teacher? 2.   Concord. 3.   Question- tags. 4.   Wrong and Correct Everyday Expressions. 5.   How to adopt a report and adjourn a meeting formally. WHO IS A TEACHER? Wikipedia defines a teacher as ‘a person who helps others to acquire  knowledge, competences or values’. Joe Waldron in another view defines teachers as ‘enthusiastic beings who  are delighted in sharing what they have learned’. In the view of the presenter, a good teacher is an individual who is filled with the love of knowledge acquisition and the zeal to contribute to the development of others. CONCORD This is the logical agreement between the subject and the verb in a sentence. It forms the basis of achieving coherence in speech and writing skills. It is believed that for any individual to be a good speaker of English language, he/ she must possess adequate knowledge of concord rules.  For clarity of this topic, it is important to identify the singular and plural verbs as presented  below: Singular verbs: is, was, has, sings Plural verbs: are, were, have. Sing CONCORD RULES 1.   When two subjects are joined  by ‘and’ a plural verb is required.  I.   Tunde and my brother are here.  II.   Our teacher and my father were there yesterday.  III.   Biodun and Tobi are in the same class.   2.   When two subjects are joined by either/or, neither/nor, or, nor, the verb is to agree with the nearer subject.  I.   Either the head teachers or the Proprietress is to do it.  II.    Neither the teachers nor the SS 3 class has come for the presentation.  III.   The young boys or their father is ready to speak.  IV.   The Lord’s Secondary School or the two principals have  taken another decision.   3.   When ‘every’ or    ‘each’ is used to modify two subjects joined by ‘and’, a singular verb is required.  I.   Every prefect and class captain is  to write for the Proprietress.  II.   Each SS class student and teacher has  been mandated to monitor all the JSS classes.   4.   When subjects are joined with words such as : together with, as well as, with, in line with, in addition to, etc, their verbs are to agree with the first subject.  I.   My father with three young teachers is in the  principal’s office.  II.   The proprietor’s office together with all the buses was painted yesterday.  III.   The computer laboratories as well as the proprietor’s lodge are yet to be renovated.  5.   When an indefinite pronoun is used as the subject of a sentence, a singular is required.  I.    Nobody seems to understand me.  II.    Nothing was reserved for you.  III.   Something needs to be done.  IV.   Everything is under control.   6.   When two related subjects are joined by ‘and’, a singular subject will be required.  I.   Law and order has  been thrown to the wind.  II.   A solicitor and advocate has  just arrived for your case.  III.   My principal and pastor speaks  good English.  IV.   Rice and beans is  my favourite dish.  V.   My father and PTA chairman is here.   7.   When a subject appears to be plural in form but singular in meaning; a singular verb will be required and vice-versa.  I.   The news is  to be broadcast live tomorrow.  II.   Physics does  not relate to Civics.  III.   The equipment used by my friend is  very expensive.   IV.   The dutiful nurses is   likely to be the title of Dr. Felicia’s next literature te xt.   8.   When a collective noun is used as the subject of a sentence, a singular verb is required. I.   The band is  ready to play today. II.   The congregation has  agreed to support the new clergy man. III.   My team was  the first team that arrived camp for the training. 9. In a construction with two subjects where one is affirmative and the other is negative, the verb is to agree with the positive. I.   The children, not their members were present.  II.   Your textbook, not the notebooks was stolen from my lock. III.    Not the students but the class captain has been rewarded. 10.   When subjects are formed with relative pronouns, the verbs should agree with the antecedents of the relative pronouns. I.   She is one the girls who sweep  the class every day. II.   One of the officers who train  us has  been transferred. III.   The buses which were bought last week has been distributed. 11.   When a subject is formed with the phrase “the number of”, a singular verb is to be used while a plural verb would be required if a subject is formed with the phrase “a number of”.  I.   The number of operations has increased. II.   A number of issues were discussed at the meeting. III.   The number of guests we have today is encouraging. 12.   When a collective adjective is used as the subject of a sentence, a plural verb is required. I.   The ugly are now organised. II.   The aged have decided on what to do. III.   The young were allowed to present yesterday. QUESTION TAG A question-tag is a question added to a declarative sentence; usually the verb and the pronoun used as the subject at the end of the clause to verify clarity of the expression. There are rules guiding the appropriate usage of question-tags. They are given below:   When a clause is affirmative, its tag will be negative and vice-versa. 1.   We came yesterday, didn’t we?  2.   He did it, didn’t he?  
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