An Appraisal of a Computer-Based Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Course for Nigerian English Teachers and Teacher-trainers

An Appraisal of a Computer-Based Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Course for Nigerian English Teachers and Teacher-trainers

Kehinde A. Ayoola (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-773-2.ch041
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

This chapter is a presentation of a continuing professional development (CPD) programme for English teachers and teacher-trainers in Nigeria using one of the states in Nigeria as a case study. It evaluates the effectiveness of the computer assisted programme, which was part sponsored by the British Council, and concludes that it did not achieve its desired objectives due to a number of reasons. For instance, it was observed that the course content was too loaded for a part-time course. Other reasons for the failure of the programme include absence of internet connectivity, low level of computer literacy, poor power supply and lack of commitment on the parts of both the trainees and the institutions they worked for. The chapter ends with suggestions on how the anomalies observed could be corrected so that computer resources could be used more effectively in the design and implementation of continuing professional development (CPD) programmes for English Language teachers and teacher-trainers in developing countries.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a term used worldwide to describe many in-service training programmes undertaken by professionals in several fields of human endeavour. It is often seen as an avenue to regularly improve and broaden knowledge and skills, and develop the qualities that are necessary for the execution of their professional duties. It is also about updating people and improving their confidence and competence in the work place. CPD courses, which in the past took the form of workshops, seminars and short courses, now include computer-assisted online courses for obvious reasons (Brown & MacIntyre, 1993).

Professional development could take many forms and shapes, which include single or multi-faceted programmes such as short courses & workshops offered after school, weekends and during holidays, is believed to help remove teachers' anxiety toward computers and enhance greater networking capacities using online technology. The current trend in educational reforms has led to the development of online professional development programs to foster teachers’ application of research-based strategies to improve their skills and capabilities.

The British Council in conjunction with the National Teacher Institute, Kaduna, Nigeria organized a computer-based distance learning program which was captioned Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme in Nigeria. The course was developed especially for Nigerian English teachers and teacher-trainers as a form of educational aid to the country. The course was expected to help improve the quality of English teacher-training which would ultimately rub off on the quality of English language teaching in the country.

Aside from strengthening cultural ties, understanding and trust between Britain and its erstwhile colonies, the British Council plays an important role in the sustenance of the English language as one of the great international languages of the time. This it does through rendering assistance in English language teaching, e-learning schemes such as ‘LearnEnglish Podcast’, exposing foreigners to job vacancies and training opportunities for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). It is pertinent to observe at this juncture that English is used as a second language in Nigeria. Being the country’s official language, the medium of secondary and tertiary education and the language of conducting business in Nigeria is English. The above and many more reasons make the language a vital tool of communication that must be mastered by all who wish to make headway both in Nigeria and the emerging global village.

The aim of this chapter is to present the implementation of the CPD programme in Nigeria, evaluate its effectiveness and make useful suggestions on the use of Computer-based continuing professional development courses in developing countries like Nigeria.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Computer Literacy: is the knowledge and ability to use computers efficiently. Computer literacy can also refer to the comfort level someone has with using computer programs and other applications that are associated with computers. Another valuable component of computer literacy is knowing how computers work and operate.

English as a Second Language (ESL): refers to English language learning in countries where English is the main and/or official language, and the student’s own native language (first language) is not English. ESL is used in most countries colonised by Great Britain in Asia and Africa. Nigeria is one of such countries. The variety of English spoken and written in these countries retain the structural features of the English used in English speaking countries such as the US and the UK, they have unique phonological and lexical features that distinguish them as serious varieties of English.

Developing Countries: is a term that is often used to refer to most countries in Africa and Asia that are still grappling with the challenges of modernisation. Such countries often exhibit low standards of democratic government, civil service, industrialisation and systems of law and order. Developing countries often score low on statistical indexes such as income per capita, gross domestic product (GDP), life expectancy and literacy rate.

Computer-Managed Instruction (CMI): refers to use of computers and software to manage the instructional process. Functions of CMI can include a management administration system designed to track students’ performance over a period of time, provide information concerning performance trends, record individual and group performance data, schedule training, and provide support for other training management functions.

Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI): is an interactive instructional technique whereby a computer is used to present the instructional material and monitor the learning that takes place. CAI uses a combination of text, graphics, sound and video in enhancing the learning process. The computer has many purposes in the classroom, and it can be utilized to help a student in all areas of the curriculum. CAI programmes use tutorials, drill and practice, simulation, and problem solving approaches to present topics and test the language learners understanding.

Language Teacher Education (LTE): is concerned with the professional development of language teachers. It is concerned with the social, political, and cultural factors that affect the teaching of specific languages. Its coverage include methodologies, curriculum development, syllabus design, material development and evaluation and testing, among others.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): is an in-service training programme designed to improve and broaden knowledge and update the skills of professionals in many modern day disciplines. CPD programmes, which could be organised for weekends and during holidays, are believed to help remove teachers’ anxiety toward computers and enhance greater networking capacities using online technology. The current trend in educational reforms has led to the development of online professional development programs to foster teachers’ application of research-based strategies to improve their skills and capabilities.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset