It is important that every teacher that teaches Engliish language especially early years teachers should have an understanding of phonics. There was a post that went viral some weeks ago as regards children taught British accent/phonics paying so much for it.
Now the questions;
1) should teaching phonics/English diction be rule-out?
2) Would you consider part time or full time phonics/English diction teachers in your school?
3) As a school owner, would you train your full time teachers to grasp this skill if the part time teachers are expensive to maintain?
Your opinion is highly appreciated..
It’s a confusion out there!😔
Children are taught to speak in foreign accent all in the name of diction(choice of words)
It is so wrong wrong wrong because there will always be mother tongue interference! My advise is teach them the proper way of pronunciation instead of teaching them to speak through the nose. Truth is, they get confuse or better still embarrassed when communicating with the original language speakers. The American pronuciation of ‘a’ is totally different from the British so which one are we teaching our Nigerian children? Lets teach to ensure that dialogue occurs whenever they interact with others whether at home or away!
From platform 4
First and foremost, there is need to ask ourselves this important question;
“What exactly and specifically is/are d purpose(s) & objective(s) of this subject called DICTION? Having bn able to objectively and constructively enumerate it’s purpose, we’ll kn whether to continue it’s inclusion, stop it or train all early yr teachers it’s rudiments because when d purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is definitely inevitable. I av heard all manners of versions by different PHONIC/DICTION teachers, both self made and those who claim they were trained.
From platform 12
Truth be said, if you have to pronounce a word properly, you can not rule out the diction in it. Bcos its not our language n if we must speak to communicate well, we must use the right tonation. My candid opinion.
I also think dat phonics n diction is very vital in schools
I have been privileged to live in Europe n I received a lot of friends n families.
Some get intimated n frustrated during conversion bcos they couldn’t communicate well enough.
If you wish these children well
Teach them phonics n teach them well
My humble opinion, I sign ✍🏻 out.
From platform 9
I think schools are just playing to the demands of parents for this hype.
All over the world people in business and daily life speak with their native accent and they are understood
I teach in the UK ( having grown up in Nigeria) and in schools you find Polish, Canadian, Australian, Ghanaian etc teaching with their native accents coming through loud and clear and children as little as 3yo understand them perfectly
Teach to pronounce words accurately
Teach to communicate effectively
Teach phonics to empower children to decode words as beginner readers until most of the words are sight words.
from platform 1
I believe in teaching a child the proper way of pronouncing words. I believe in training the whole teachers on phonics instead of getting all these ones with fake accent that calls themselves phonics teacher.
From Platform 5
We need to have reports on a comparative study dome on pronunciation in a top former British to show us where we are missing it. I think we need to follow our National Policy(if we have one) so that we are sure that we are doing the right thing.
This call to teach diction in Schools requires total overhaul of the system.
Remember many of our teachers know nothing in this aspect, relying on those visiting tutors to teach is not 100% fruitfull always.
However, our tertiary institutions authorities can add this programme to their general papers (GNS).
School owners platform
I believe in a child knowing how to pronounce accurately and also know his/her tenses and it verb combination to speak correctly . Like someone pointed out, you hear different versions of diction from different Elocutionist.
From platform 10
After school what happens when the child gets home/church/mosque or visiting relatives? Lets stop decieving ourselves the environment and mother tongue determines how a child will speak. School owners spend wisely.
From platform 4
I do not totally agree with this statement of the environment and mother tongue determines how the child will speak eventually. I went to a school where diction was included in our curriculum… I can currently relate with an English native person without any language flaws and also with my my mother tongue without any shame… Same as my siblings … I am able to fit in whatever setting I find myself.. No setting is to advance to communicate and no setting is too undeveloped for me to connect also.
There should just be a clear and accurate communication of what English they are being taught… American or British …
Many have lost their jobs and many have lost better offers just because they were unable to say it right. Is just that school owner should trained their teachers to make the course effective.
American English has no standard rule, moreso we were colonised by British. thus, the clarion call for British English.
From platform 13.
I went to a school…… This is an example of environment. Mother tongue is also example of environment
From platform 11
I believe Phonics /diction should be taught in schools for the children and teachers should also be trained so they could carry on with what the elocutionist started. If you are able to get a professional in Phonics /diction you will love it by the time children start speaking right.
From platform 10.
Phonics births proper and right enunciation of English words. Phonics is broad, it cuts into other aspects of English language(phonology/phonetics). We are so busy trying to make children have good grammatical structure but fail to recognise the aspect of them enunciating the words used in building these structures. If you’re a phonics teacher and you feel it’s all about a-z, blending two,three letter sounds, then you’re so totally wrong. The challenge is that most people do not have an idea of what all these entail. From the point you start using sounds to form words, you are expected to stick to that particular way of pronouncing that exact word and using it same way in a sentence. This stuff is deep. For me, I feel all teacher should get trained or get a full time phonics teacher in the school. Train the others and there should be a standard way of speaking English language in the school. I studied Yoruba language during my secondary school days. Trust me you cannot do without the accent mark(amin Ohun). So why would we want to rule out English language? If you speak any language, speak it right..
Word choice and expression as well as expert control of gesture and voice is very important in speaking.
Both teachers and pupils should be taught proper pronunciation of words and intonation in speech. It is not the art of singing making sentences but pronouncing words correctly with the right tone. Every school should build this in their curriculum
👍Phonics is really key for children especially in their formative age because it helps them with their reading. And also believe strongly that if phonics is well taught especially the digraphs such as ( th,ch, sh etc) children will also pronounce words correctly and it will help them to speak well
From platform 12
Sorry I came in late, but I must say the notion is not true. What will a school owner do to teachers who are not serious in Phonics training? I asked this because I’ve been training my teachers but they don’t show interest, they don’t use it, even on days of training some give excuses. I also have a friend teaching in one of the big schools in Badagry ( I don’t want mention name ) she told me how most of them escape their Phonics training, which I’ve one day being in their training for perfection and I saw for myself. So I asked again what will you do to them who doesn’t use it for their pupils?
As a British Native in Nigeria, consulting for schools and States, I will humbly give my opinion, focusing solely on the points in the above chat.
1) No, I don’t believe it should be ruled out. English is the number one language in the world, and the ability to communicate it effectively is highly important. We should have in mind that these children could be found in different parts of the world tomorrow. Our duty is to teach them not only for Nigeria, but for the world at large. Diction really does have an influence in their spoken English, many parents and schools have testified to that.
Phonics is different from ‘diction’. Phonics teaches one how to read, whilst ‘diction’ looks at correct vocabulary usage, grammar and pronunciation, to name a few.
2) Having professionals in a school to effectively teach a subject that may not be a teachers specialilty in the school, is important. This will ensure pupils benefit, whilst ensuring the schools standard is not compromised. If, as a school owner, you don’t feel you have teachers who can competently and confidently teach diction, depending on your desired results that is, it maybe better to involve a specialist. If you can employ a full-time teacher of this subject, do, as pupils need consistent reminding and encouraging in this language development.
3) In my experience many school owners are sometimes reluctant to pay for professional diction training most of the time, with justified reasons. However, to get results, all teachers need to be trained and have a commitment towards this language development so impact can be felt, whether there be a part-time diction teacher on ground or not. Training for teachers could not be a one off, but ‘regular’ training with assessments. Diction needs the collaborative effort of everyone. Teachers, parents and school owners all have their part to play, in ensuring progress is attained and maintained.
From platform 4
U are very correct, my neighbour’s children attend Caleb international, after the good English in the school when they come back home,u will not hear a single phonetic English from their conversion, what u will hear is rubbish English, because of environment, and people around them.
From platform 4
👏👏👏👏. In essence, our children do not need to talk like white children!! Thank you. We need phonics and not diction.
I was taught diction in primary school simply by listening to conversations between British citizens, recorded on what you would call cd today. Yet a lot of us don’t talk like British children. The intonation prevalent in a child’s environment is decisive and not the fake intonations of diction teachers raised in Nigeria
From platform 12
The world is dynamic, we must continue to improve, if not one is left behind. Correct pronunciation is correct pronunciation. Every language is a system of communication. Therefore there are rules. The fact that second language speakers break the rules and they understand themselves and even correct themselves wrongly doesn’t make it right. To speak good English language, one needs to understand the rules of articulation, word stress, sentence stress, intonation and grammar. It is embarrassing for a teacher to transfer bad pronunciation to pupils.
From platform 12
Please answer these following questions just for our learning.
I will put my answers as well. Kindly add yours if contrary and give reasons.
1. Is diction taught in any class in the UK for children with English as their second language?
No. If you know any school or any country please inform us.
2. Should we not thrive for our teachers to speak plain nice English in our schools?
Yes. That’s how children and all staff get to build a culture of speaking properly.
3. Do majority of diction teachers pronounce words incorrectly?
Yes. A lot of them.
4. Is the teaching of diction’s written sounds -/dg/ a waste of time in the children’s learning at Primary level? Yes, did Diction teachers learn them when they were in the Primary or University?
5. Should we not focus on speaking properly and writing properly as a nation? Yes. Social media shows that a lot of educators lack the ability to write simple sentences.
6. Should most diction teacher be full time English teachers in schools?
Yes. It will be a plus if the speak well and can teach English excellently. It will be better for all of us. They will get to spend more time with the children and then the children can learn properly by association rather than cramming. However, this is rare.
7. Should Diction teachers stop teaching children how to speak through their noses in a musical way but how to pronounce words properly leading to excellent speech.
Yes. Stop🎵Good morning ma! We’re happy to meet you ma. God bless you.🎵
It is unnatural. We are Africans and should speak English with no ringing tone and pronounce our African names properly not like most Internet, Radio and TV journalist of today.
We lack the Sienna All Well Browns, John Momohs, Cyril Stobers and Late Yinka Craig, my wonderful personality mum Ruth Benemensia Opia- who I was privileged to teach her son over 15 years ago. She will come into school and speak the most incredible pidgin English. ” Teacher……… ” . And in another breath the most impeccable English I have ever heard.
Those are strong linguists.. I can’t even point out any communicator except for Maupe Ogun and few others.
Not even the actors and actresses.
These old veteran broadcasters were taught by teachers who spoke very well. Even if they learnt diction not in the musical way we do now adays.
8. Do they teach Diction in very big and excellent schools in Nigeria? No, because their teachers speak very well.
9. Do our children that go abroad understand rules of articulation, word stress, sentence stress, intonation before gaining a British or American accent? No, it is by relationship.
10. What is the solution to this Diction problem?
You! Educator reading this and have refused to improve your spoken and written English. Allowing school owners to employ Diction teachers.
My summation is don’t employ teachers that don’t speak well.. Teachers that speak flat in your school. If you do – put it as a to do for the teachers to improve.
My 3 year old son speaks with a nice british accent – he learnt it through Peppa pig and I encourage him by responding in same way not a musical way.
Language is a way of life.
It’s better we build up excellent children that can speak clearly, boldly and nicely.
Clearly- good reasoning
Boldly- good public speaking
Nicely- good grammar, natural and nice to here words with little or no grammatical errors. It became unpleasant when your speaking Phoneee with lots of bullets. Also not children that will cram their speeches like the announcers at the Murtala Mohammed Airport.Lol!
Well-done!!!!!! Abi Obasanya for the insights. However, we should be mindful of diction teachers wko speak through their nose in a bid to sound like the native speakers.
From platform 1
The most annoying part of this yearnings for proper diction in our schools which cannot be overemphasized is the cosmetic part of it. You find out that often times the pupils only speak the diction for school’s presentations and in their regular day to day conversation, they speak the crude accent again.
But another major challenge is the lack of continuity because once the specialist instructor leaves, the resident teaching faculty are not ready to support the development. They are most guilty and you wonder how on earth they find their way into a school environment by the terrible English they speak with all sorts of mother tongue accent.
Diction is taught in UK schools. Again diction encompasses a range of concepts
We teach phonics to build reading skills.
We teach grammar- word usage and structure
We teach spelling and Vocabulary development
We give ample opportunities for speaking through class projects, whole school assemblies, project presentation
Children who speak English as an Additional Language get targeted intervention sessions to boost their grasp of the English language- again phonics, speaking, reading, listening etc
I’m not a full time English teacher- I’m a primary school teacher and we teach ALL the subjects because we receive ongoing training toward our continuing professional development.
Teaching of phonetic symbols in primary school is definitely a No No
Singing or speaking through the nose isn’t teaching diction in any way.
May the Lord help us in Nigeria
From platform 1
I will reiterate and say I’ve had the opportunity of working and teaching in both primary and secondary schools in the UK and teachers come in all shapes and “accents” ( yes teachers with their mother tongue).
Children understand them clearly because these teachers say the words correctly not with any fake accent
All these accent based teaching will fly out of the window when you meet an Irish or Scottish person who’s speaking this same English and your face will be like 😳😳😳😳 what are you saying sir?
Or if you come across someone from Liverpool and you can hardly make out what he/she is saying though it’s this same English
Teach to read fluently and articulate correctly
Teach to communicate effectively
Teach to build confidence
The British won’t make any attempt to speak like us why now force our kids to speak exactly like them.
My take here is our schools should focus on correct pronunciation and use of words rather than emphasizing on accent.
What we are invariably doing is focusing on accent rather than the real thing.
When will the Nigeria educational system change if all we do is copy what works for others and not asking ourselves if it aligns with our system.
From platform 2
I don’t see it as that, the thing is, once you’ve decided to adopt their language, it is binding on you to speak it exactly like the native speakers, if you are not ready to speak exactly like them, why don’t you drop their language completely and concentrate on yours?
From platform 14
Exactly!!! Diction is not taught in UK schools as phonetic symbols and a separate class but part of the Literacy class. However, through all your listed activities. Singing and or speaking through nose isn’t diction.
From platform 1
Diction is embedded in the literacy lessons taught. From phonics to readers theatre to drama to whole school assembly and other presentations.
The idea of pronouncing words correctly and articulating is embedded in the whole literacy curriculum and instruction starts from Reception class where children’s phonological and phonemic awareness is developed through rich literacy lessons
From platform 1
Superficiality is the root cause of the mess in our system.
Come to think of it, if we focus 90% of our time on accent rather Than keeping the main thing main, are we considering environmental factors that aids a child’s spoken English?
Hardly will a child sustain the accent being taught in school in an environment where all they do is speak in the native language.
For example over here in the north, you cannot stop the family of a typical northern from speaking hausa. They won’t irrespective of the height of spoken English. These are vital factors to consider
Adopting a native language isn’t an option, but the key thing here is teach children the right pronunciation of words and how to read.
From platform 2
Is anyone really thinking about China as an example. They don’t even teach in English, yet they still compete favourably in the global economy.
Why are the Chinese where they are today? Simply because they know what and who they stand for. Do we know what we stand for?
From platform 2
We must remember what the lingua franca of that country is.
Since Nigeria has adopted English as ours, then it’s imperative that we MUST speak right.
Note the emphasis and now your definition of ‘right’ is another point for debate.
There are disadvantages of not learning a universal language such as English.
If youve worked with some Chinese people you will find out that it’s very hard to communicate with them. Those that can speak and up leading by interpreting to others. This doesn’t bring ease of business. We are actually not against speaking English. It’s teaching of Diction instead of embedding Diction in the day to day English classes.
From platform 1
Not only Chinese maam. As a teacher I sometimes find it hard to help some of my student’s parents because they don’t speak English at all.
It just makes communicating difficult especially where the student in question is struggling academically
From platform 1
If we all clamour for right pronunciations, ask yourself this question;
*how do you know which is rightly pronounced?
I do not advice that diction be taught as a separate subject, it should be part of English language. I said this earlier, when you teach phonics, you’re actually helping the child pronounce words accurately. I’ve stopped so many diction teachers from using the phonetic symbols for children in early years to age seven. They(children) really can’t fathom the whole symbol thing. This is a language we are adopting, you don’t learn one part and leave the rest. Do we have French speakers here, ask such individual what he/she learnt and you’ll hear that the pronunciation was really stressed while learning.
I’m a speech instructor and that has made me go as far as understanding the major challenges we have here. Many schools that have Nigerian/British curriculum don’t even use the British grammar nor spellings in their day to day teachings/conversations.
When you use or spell words like learned,color, busy,apartment, garbage and many other words like that,they are American vocabularies. Yet, we think we are using the British curriculum. What is worth doing well is worth doing well.
I know our so called diction teachers aren’t making this easy for us, I won’t blame them. Some of them haven’t been involved in a school system to understand what is really needed or expected from them.
My advice to school owners;
1) Have a good oral communication structure in your school from greetings to asking for permission.
2) learn the right pronounciations of sounds especially to those teaching phonics. e.g th, sh, a sounds…
3) Get the right pronounciations of all the subjects taught.
4) common things(fruits,animals) should be enunciated well.
Do all of these, encourage students and staff to use them in their daily conversations – accent or diction will become easy for the children as well as the teachers. This thing is very easy and I must say it’s deliberate.
Tom SamuelI wish to acknowledge great contributions made by members of the groups since the topics was thrown up for discussion. But my own believe about diction or not is why imbibing our children with what isn’t ours while we have gradually derail from what is ours.Most advance nation lay emphasis on developing their local languages after which foreign languages are introduced. Their usage of their local language is premise on enhancing effective learning. Despite the introduction of diction and phonics in our schools,the students performance keep getting abysmal by the year in public examination. I think it’s time we prepare our students to solve our national challenges rather than making them for what isn’t real about the country they found themselves.
Despite all our opinions we should not forget that Yoruba Language is now compulsory for admission in Lagos.
From platform 7
Add that to the fact that not every indigenous British accent, is proper.
Some accents are looked down upon even in the British home country, yet they come to our shores and we swoon over them just because they sound foreign.
Even when they’re gutterish and are NOT polished in the true sense.
Hear a Mandela speak
A Saduana of Sokoto
Ojukwu, etc, speak the English Language.
You can pretty much hear their native twang but they sound highly polished and most importantly, educated.
Not that sing song practice we seem to favour on our shores.
From Mrs Ndidi Olamide
Sincerely speaking, I have followed this discussion with kin interest and have come to a conclusion that the sch owner are not happy paying for phonics n diction. I have been privileged to teach in Schs where the children pay for phonics sch owners wldn’t pay the instructors.
I went to the sch of Language n Communication and I know what it is to teach diction. I have had Schs consult n contact me for diction but they wldn’t pay the right price, n they want you to teach like a professional. The truth is, you will never get such services.
There’re diction teachers good at what they do.
Pls pay the right price n you will get the right ppl to teach n influence your pupils.
I can’t imagine you paying a speech instructor #300 per child for a whole term while you took #1500 from the parents for each child.
That is unfair. You pay cheap, you give cheap!
From platform 9
British accent/American accent and all. Whatsoever it’s being called. Have we all listened to BBC or CNN? Do we all hear the way they read their news? They use what we call the RECIEVED PRONUNCIATION. The speaking/listening content of English language In our curriculum actually has a root from the Received Pronunciation. The RP is the standard British English that’s formal and used around the world if we all want to enunciate our words accurately. Please, we all should go read that. Yes, I also advocate that we shouldn’t forget our native languages. But let’s not forget English is a medium of communication in our schools. So, if we talk about English language, let’s not delve into our native languages. Even in our native languages, we dare not mispronounce the words thereby making us look like an outcast. Yoruba for example has its own rules to pronunciations, Ibibio and igbo too. So why is English language a problem? So long you’re a teacher, you communicate using English language, get it right.. Thank you..
Some letters such as ‘t, o, r, sh, ch, th and a’ changes in rapid speech because of mother tongue. It is these rapid speeches some children are taught as diction in Nigerian schools today. Bucket is now buckit, markit, wara and so on.
In some part of Great Britain you will hear e.g. ‘ battle field’ and another part will say ‘ba o field’.
I leave outside the shores of Africa at the moment
I have never used an interpreter or sign language to communicate at anytime this is because to me it is water not wara, international not inernational! The most important thing is that a dialogue has occur.
I advocate for that we target proper way of pronuciation and not what we hear in rapid speech.
From platform 4
What is diction?
The effectiveness and degree of clarity of word choice, and presentation of said words
Once we have mother tongue interference in out articulation of English words we have jeopardized clarity and effectiveness.
If you must speak then speak well. Children in Nigerian school and all of are non natives so some level of training is required.
In to fair and square we all so not have training so what’s the issue with a trained teacher doing his or her job. ?
Dress I will admire you, speak and I will rate you.
We + the children we teach need to do more than just believing we are Nigerian so be lay backs when proper diction is concern.
Enough of using the mother tongue as excuse
How does sound when you are to ch and u sh….church/ shurch
Issue + izzue.
There skills to correct these confusions if not we wouldn’t be perceived as intelligent speakers.
I am personally distracted with bad accents and grammatical blunders.
So schools should encourage all teachers, owners inclusive to speak properly and I bet your children will be tops👍🏻.
From platform 4
Number 7 gave me goose pimples especially @ Ruth our dear broadcaster, number 8 true ….they all speak well in those schools. Number 9 👍.number 10 …..yes I am an advocate for that , we should stop employing teachers that can’t speak well, in fact you hv no business being a teacher if your spoken English is horrible, what are you going to teach!! .. I am recently encouraging my teachers to start reading, pick a novel and read, it helps improve diction. Also watch programs where they speak good English. ……not Nollywood movies. ..I even recommended Tinsel, cos they have good diction in that drama. It is indeed better we build up excellent children that can speak clearly ,boldly and nicely.