n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Language and political awareness project in ESL teaching for the development of Nigerian youth to engender social change

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



The need for training the African youth to take up responsibilities of breaking social, political and economic challenges of development has undergone many theoretical and experimental stages of discourse amongst scholars of varied backgrounds. Despite this, very little attention has been paid to the development of a second language learning and teaching model that caters for the need for language of education to create "critical language awareness" potentials in school children. This paper, using ideas from Norman Fairclough's (2001, 193) theory of critical language awareness, an aspect of critical discourse analysis (CDA), examines the possibilities of teaching English as a second language to Nigerian youths with the aim of developing critical social awareness. The theory, as applied in this paper, reveals that the teaching of English in Nigerian schools should consider the incorporation into the language curriculum ideas that encourage the development of mental models of using language to engender a political order that attends to basic human needs. The data analysed in this paper to show that the English language must be taught to ensure youth development for the benefit of African sociopolitical growth are drawn from Wole Soyinka's non-fictional texts, especially (Soyinka, 2006). The paper reports that the first generation of post-independence politicians have failed to create the political environment that provides basic amenities for human development. Therefore, the youth have the responsibility of engendering a new society. To achieve the new society, language teaching must be designed to make school children sensitive to filling human needs.

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