THE CHALLENGES OF TEACHING AND LEARNING THE ENGLISH STRESS IN ESL CLASSROOM: THE CASE OF NIGERIA

J. Akindele

Osun State University (NIGERIA)
Nigeria is a multilingual nation where over five hundred and seventy languages have been attested, and these languages are not mutually intelligible. Most Nigerian languages are also tonal. Studies have shown that Nigerian English prosodies differ remarkable from the Standard. One of such differences is remarkably in the placement of stress by Nigerian English speakers. This difference could however be as a result of the fact that native speakers of English acquires stress placement on the English words naturally while the Nigerian speakers, as second language users, learn the rules of applying stress correctly on English words in the classroom setting. Scholars have also observed that the inability of most Nigerians in placing stress correctly on English words have brought about the spoken English of most Nigerians becoming unintelligible especially to native speakers of English. This study attempts to investigate the challenges of teaching the English stress in ESL classroom and also suggest possible solutions that can help to improve the teaching and the use of stress in Nigeria, in order to improve on Nigerian English intelligibility nationally and significantly internationally.