Adedayo Ademipada is not just an author of books but a researcher and elegant scholar of the English language, particularly on phonics, with special inclination in domestication of phonics in Nigerian schools. So far, he has written 13 books varying from nursery to secondary schools and even for teachers in colleges of education.
“As a result of my interest in academics, I did my personal research, moving to private and public schools to observe the way the children are been taught, especially in English language. It was then I realized that something was different in the normal way things should be done,” he begins on challenges of phonics-education.
When teaching them capital letters and small letters now to be known as letter names and letter sounds respectively, I saw that the way they were being taught was different from the current trends, which prompted him to observe the structure. I took my time to go back and did research for Nine years.
“When I came up with the books, it is worth celebrating and to reflect who we are and to enable parents relax their minds on the wellness of their children therefrom. Most of our parents were taught with these alphabets to be known as small and capital letters. Now phonics has taken over everything, but my concern is that we should as a nation not following the white man’s pattern as espoused in “s a t p i n” model from United Kingdom. As Nigerians after over 5 decades of our independence from the colonial masters, we can has a matter of necessity come up with an home grown model,” says the don.
The author believes that deep research of continuing nature must evolve on phonics-education in Nigeria. I have taken upon myself to do something that will reflect our identity, so that things will go down well for our benefit using Lagos State as a case study.
It is important at this stage to enjoin the Lagos State Government to partner with me, because the project is beyond me. What I have done so far can be measured in terms of books and charts on phonics. There is no single chart on phonics that reflects our identity as Nigerians. I hereby call on the curriculum department of the Ministry of Education in Lagos State to set the pace in this novel area going by my research.
The Author has written 13 books for Nursery and Primary without leaving out their teachers. He explains, “I did that as a result of love that I have for Nigerian children.” What’s more, with the new charts he has prepared, he intends to broaden phonics-education in the country.
“What I have done is to enable the Nigerian child to write better with the already established pattern we are used to in contra distinction with the foreign pattern in use in most of the established private schools without recourse to the curriculum department for endorsement on the handwriting pattern (works) handed over to the schools. If my submission is strictly adhered to it will enable them to speak properly and be able to write with ease using our own traditional HANDWRITING unlike using cursive handwriting given to us by foreign authors,” he says.
What makes his works distinct from others? The lecturer offers, “What makes my books distinct is tailored in the already made Alphabetical orders we have, starting from small letters now to be referred as letter sounds a to z, capital letters now to be referred to as letter names A to Z and finally the 16 (digraphs) that makes phonics to be highly robust and irresistible as spelt out below:
Sh, ch, ng, er, ue, oi, ou, th/th, oo, OO, ie, ee, or, ar, oa, ai
For in-depth understanding and meaningful appreciation of my point, it must be stated for the records that the old teachers and virtually everybody are used to these handwriting pattern only that the pronunciation aspect is what government should embark upon by using media houses as a platform to reach millions of Lagosians/Nigerians so that everybody will be informed on the newest trends of teaching and learning of phonics in the Nursery Education department.
Ademipada doesn’t leave anyone in doubt on the significance of having phonics in the educational curriculum. “Phonics is the mandatory, foundational step for every child towards reading, writing effectively and efficiently in order to achieve his/her goal of becoming a better and total child. Moreover, the importance of teaching phonics has made it easier for the pupils to decode letters easily, into their respective sounds, a skill that is essential for them to read unfamiliar words by themselves unaided.”
This decoding ability, he says, is a crucial element in reading successfully. “My view as an English teacher is that phonics is the best way of teaching a child to grasp any letter sound easily along with any object that matches it. But, on the subject of handwriting, I would strongly suggest that Lagos State Government should maintain the initial alphabetical order of English language and incorporate the additional 16 characters (digraphs).
“Also, the alphabetical characters should be stated out, so that many teachers and students of any discipline that have passed through the university or college of education would have been familiar with the latest trends here posited and the knowledge acquired overtime would be beneficial to the pupils and, indeed, the larger community for a more vivacious and salutary impartation of knowledge,” he submits.