NWU PhD graduate looks at the English among Nigerian tertiary learners

A proud Remilkun Iyabo Adeyemi was awarded her PhD in English at the recent Autumn Graduation on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark.

Studying under the watchful eye of her promoter, Prof Bertus van Rooy, Nigerian born Adeyemi graduated with her thesis, A corpus-based analysis of cohesion in written English essays of Nigerian tertiary learners.

Her research investigated the extent and means by which Nigerian learners of English at tertiary level manage to achieve cohesion in their writing. To this end, she collected a corpus of 467 essays written by students at three different Nigerian universities. She then analysed all the dimensions that potentially contribute to achieve cohesion from the perspective of corpus linguistics. 

Her major findings were that Nigerian learners overuse additive and causal conjunctions as well as lexical repetition, but underuse adversative conjunctions. Consequently, in most other respects the Nigerian learners have mastered the resources required for coherent writing and performed in similar ways to the native-speaker control corpus. The study highlighted valuable pedagogical implications, which will contribute to teaching academic writing to Nigerian students. 

During the process, the relative lack of adequate treatment of resources in textbooks and course materials currently in use at Nigerian universities was uncovered. Examiners agreed that these findings from a corpus study is a healthy addition to current scholarship in the field, while the corpus itself is likewise an unprecedented, publicly available, learner corpus of Nigerian English that can be used as a basis for future research.

Remilkun Iyabo Adeyemi was born on 22 March 1980 in Offa, Nigeria. She completed the West African Examinations Council’s Senior School Certificate (equivalent to a South African Matric) in 1996. She completed a three-year teachers’ training programme in 1999 majoring in English, history, education and teaching practice at the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, Nigeria. In 2002, she enrolled at the University of Ilorin where she obtained a BEd in English (2005) and later an MA in English Language (2011) at the University of Nigeria.

Submitted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 14:51