Exploring the Articulation of Sentence-Stress among Teachers of English in Selected Nigerian Secondary Schools

Eunice Fajobi, Adenike Onadipe


A number of studies on Nigerian English intonation, of which sentence stress is a part, reveal that Nigerian English is devoid of accentuation; it is generally spoken with tone. Even at that, none of these studies has analyzed how teachers of English in Nigeria articulate or utilize sentence stress in speech, whether consciously or unconsciously. This present study focuses, therefore, on the performance of secondary school English teachers in the use of sentence stress for effective communication. Analysis of 24 (12 short and 12 long) elicited English sentences uttered by 32 secondary school English teachers in Lagos State of Nigeria reveal a performance of only 27% correct accentuation and 73% incorrect accentuation. The study concludes that secondary school teachers of English in Nigeria have not adequately mastered the art of accenting the right words in sentences to accurately generate the intended meaning. The study recommends that intensive trainings be organized for teachers of English, thereby creating awareness of the need to treat sentence stress not only as a mere English Language classroom topic, but also as an effective tool of oral communication beyond the shores of Nigeria. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v8n3p166


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