By Evans Daniel Oliha
Essentials of English language is fundamental to any user of English language and its relevance cannot be over emphasized. The question that may readily come to mind is, ‘what is the purpose of this course to a teacher.’ It is important to note that at any level of language usage, especially in Nigeria, English language serves as a bridge between different ethnic groups and languages. For a teacher and potential future leader, the need to have a good command of English language has become paramount than ever.
Any user of English must be conversant with the various rules of grarnmar in order to communicate effectively. A teacher or writer should be able to carry his/her pupils/students along at all cost, this can only be possible only when there is a good command of English language or any language in use. Thus the use of English is paramount to alert the trainees on the need to mind their usage of the language for the purpose of making desirable impart.
The subject before us is important;
- To help teachers to be conscious on how they speak or write.
- To help teachers compel their reading speed and comprehension rate and to eliminate any faulty reading habit they may have.
iii. To equip teachers with different techniques of note taking and outline drawing for a lesson or other purposes.
- To equip teachers with adequate knowledge on language usage in their various field of study.
ROLES OF ENGLISH IN NIGREIA.
In Nigeria the use of English language is vast. English is used as language of international communication. It is used in different official domain, as a medium of instruction from primary to tertiary level of education. All internal and external examinations are written in English except Language subjects such as French, Hausa, and Yoruba etc. English is the language of mass media, business transactions as well as science & technology. It is also used in the religious domain.
THE ROLE OF ENGLISH IN OUR SCHOOLS.
It is the language of unity in the sense that it bridges different tongues and eliminates confusion that would have arisen from language barrier. A teacher who has a good command of English language receives adequate attention from the students/pupils. So for the purpose of making a desirable impart and wider coverage, a teacher should have good command of English.
TOOLS FOR LANGUAGE ANALYSIS
A major tool useful in language analysis is the part of speech. Basically, there are eight parts of speech in English i.e nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, preposition, conjunction, interjection etc. As simple as this may sound, many teachers are still struggling with domesticating the parts of speech. Let me save you the stress of thinking by taking you through them over again. And for the students reading this now, you will be a wise student if you internalize them into your long term memory.
1, NOUN: Nouns are words that can be recognized through their forms, functions and preposition in a sentence. They are commonly the names of persons, animals, places, states, qualities, concepts and other things. They often serve as objects, subjects, complements and as parts of idiomatic expressions. We have countable and uncountable nouns, you get their plurals by adding‘s’ or ‘es’. Some are irregular in nature. The regular nouns carry s or es to their base. Example of irregular nouns are man-men, lady-ladies, criterion-criteria, appendix-appendices, knife-knives, child-children, stimulus-stimuli, medium-media, mouse-mice. For uncountable nouns, some are concrete, some are abstract. Concrete means you can touch it and feel it. Examples include: bread, butter, milk, rice, moisture, dust etc.
Abstract uncountable nouns include: adolescent, agriculture, behaviour, furniture, patient, music, photography. Some nouns are generally uncountable but may be counted e.g food-foods, liquid-liquids, soup-soups. For the uncountable abstract noun that may be counted with different types: disease – diseases.
- Fathers are expected to give advice to their sons- CORRECT.
Fathers are expected to give advices to their sons- WRONG
- The cook did not provide enough cutleries- WRONG
The cook did not provide enough cutlery – CORRECT
- PRONOUN-: They are words used in place of nouns or a noun phrase.
They are used with reference to person, animals or things. There are six types of pronoun.
- Personal pronoun e.g I, You, He, We, they etc
- Demonstrative pronoun- this, that, these, those.
- Indefinite pronoun- anyone, someone, anybody, somebody.
- Possessive pronoun- My, Your, Our, Their
- Reflexive pronoun- myself, themselves, himself, ourselves etc.
- Relative pronoun- who, whom, which etc.
- Though they are brother and sister, they do not love themselves. (WRONG). Though they are brother and sister, they do not love each other (CORRECT).
- It was a most horrible accident I have never seen such before. (WRONG).
It was a most horrible accident I have never seen such an accident before. (CORRECT). Such does not stand alone except supported by a noun, except when such comes before the verb to be.
- Adjective-: This describes or gives more details about a noun, e.g. The new house. They are sometimes used after a linking verb such as ‘is’. The boy is good. Examples-: careful, wonderful, useless, helpless, heroic, barbaric, national, personal, positive, executive, sensitive. Adjective can be used after a noun and they are used after certain pronoun. E.g
- The person responsible
- Something good
- He is always making insulting remark (correct)
He is always making insultive remarks (wrong)
- She wanted to establish special hospital for the blind, (correct)
She wanted to establish a special hospital for the blinds, (wrong)
Other adjectives in the same group as the blind, the poor, the rich, the young, the homeless, the deaf, the unemployed, the wise etc. the rules for their use are:
- They have plural meanings
- They can be preceded by THE but not ‘a’ or ‘an’ and they cannot take s.
- ADVERBS: They are element that can qualify a verb, an adjective or other adverbs. In English they take the ‘ly’ form. You add ‘ly’ to adjectives, though there are some without ‘ly’. Others are suddenly, beautifully etc.
Adverbs are mobile in sentences, you can find them anywhere in a sentence. E.g
- I occasionally go to the museum
- I go to the museum occasionally
Adverbs can be classified info place, time, manner, reason, etc. Examples
- John has been avoiding the teacher for some time.
- John has been avoiding the teacher lately, (correct).
- I haven’t visited the museum of recent (wrong)
- 1 haven’t visited the museum recently (correct).
- VERB: They are those grammatical elements which may function as predicates in a sentence. For a word to be a verb, it will fit into a class. E.g work-works-working-worked – worked. Teach-teaches-teaching-taught-taught
Regular verbs have four inflectional forms
Work- works – working – worked
Teach – teaches – teaching – taught – taught
Irregular verbs have five inflectional forms e.g
Write – writes — writing — wrote — written.
Some verbs have three inflectional forms e.g
Put – puts – putting
They are helping verbs: They help the main verbs. Major auxiliary verbs in English, the verb (to be) are, I were, was etc.
The second one *to have*- (have, had, has). The personal pronoun go with are, we/they, while I take ain and he/she, it goes with is,
- I – 1st person singular
- You – 2nd person singular
- He/she/it – 3rd person singular
- We – 1 st person plural
- You – 2nd person
- They – 3rd person
He cast his vote in favour of the motion (correct)
He casted his vote in favour of the motion (wrong)
Other words like cast- cast, split-split, hit-hit, cut – cut.
They are the elements which are usually unchanging in form and may be followed by a noun, noun phrase, personal pronoun or a noun substitute. E.g of, by, for, an, it, is, on, with, above, about, after, behind, beneath, beyond, inside, into, under apart, beside etc.
PREPOSITION + NOUN = Prepositional phrase. Many student live in their hostel beside second gate..
- On the long run, you will find that buying cheap clothes is a false economy (wrong).
- In the long ran, you will find that buying cheap clothes is a false economy (correct)
- CONJUCTION: – it is an un-inflected word employed to link some words or part of a sentence. There are two main classes of CONJUNCTION.
- Coordinating conjunctions: It is introduced by, but, and, or, nor. E.g He visited our house but refused to have dinner with us.
- Subordinating conjunctions: These are introduced by when, if, because, although, while, etc
Although John passed with distinction, he was not satisfied.
INTERJECTION:-It is a short sound word or phrase spoken suddenly to express an emotion. It is sometimes as exclamation and usually followed by exclamation mark. What! You mean it! Wahoo!
Mr. Oliha Daniel is the director GLOBAL NETWORK OF TRAINED LEADERS GNTL