Sharpening written, spoken communications’ skills with new book, English For All Purposes
The authors of English For All Purposes: A Hands-on Guide for Excellence in the Use of English must have studied the Nigerian environment closely in its use of English language, the country’s lingua franca, and noted its obvious shortcomings. This is what has informed their approach in bringing out a book that comprehensively deals with various aspects and usages in the application of English, both in written and spoken forms, but particularly the written.
In fact, the authors – Prof. Joy Eyisi, Chinonso Okolo and Joseph Onwe – all seasoned teachers of the subject at various levels of education, have approached the use of English in its varied areas of in discourse situations. What they have done with this volume, 525 pages, is to compress into it English, as it is used in various fields of human endeavours, as well as its associated, appropriate registers.
So, apart from ‘Part One: Basic Grammar’ that deals with the basics rules of English, as would be taught to primary and secondary school pupils and students, which is the foundational basis of the language, the authors take their studies farther afield to more specialised environments of English usage. Such areas include articles and creative writing, advertisements, notices and manifesto writing, good curriculum vitae or resume writing, writing a proposal and minutes of meeting writing.
Also, they have provided a wide range of registers or vocabularies for some specialised fields such as the military, architecture, aviation, religion, fishing, photography, maritime, advertising, journalism, law and order, medical science, government and more. Eyisi et al have kept tab of neologisms that have entered the language in recent times, especially with the advent of social media or the internet generally and have brought their readers up to speed on many new words and the environments in which they can be used.
In English For All Purposes, Eyisi et al have produced a compendium that is admirable and comprehensive in all forms. For students of the language, the handbook will provide a quick reference material and serve as a refreshening tool to jog the memory about some intricate Quirk and Greenbaum university English and other texts. For the non-student of the language, English For All Purposes is a welcome text to overcome the challenge of limited skill in the language and the brushing up needed for better performance. For the teacher also, the book offers a concise way of impacting knowledge of the subject to students with ease, as the ample examples and exercises aid further understanding.
English For All Purposes takes off with the basics of grammar, which include the major Parts of Speech – nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives and the minor Parts of Speech – pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions and provides their various manifestations and how they should be used. Thereafter, it proceeds to the application of these elements of the language in the actual writing processes from which the book widens the scope to the usages of the language in wider environments after the classroom section that part one deals with.
Eyisi et al deserves praise for their comprehensive, painstaking work. With a flagging rate in the proficiency in the use of English in Nigeria among students and a large member of the public, English For All Purposes proves a timely book that will come to the rescue of many. The ready, silly excuse that ‘English is not my language’ isn’t just tenable anymore, especially as proficiency in Nigerian mother tongues has become worse among Nigerians. This is where Eyisi et al’s English For All Purposes becomes a handy lifeline for those struggling to get a foothold on the language that has come to define how Nigerians talk to each other!
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