Alabi Taofeek Olanrewaju

Department Of General Studies

The Federal Polytechnic

Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria


This paper considers deficiency in the use of English for communicative purposes by second language learners as responsible for unemployment in Nigeria. It reinforces the fact that English serves as the official language in Nigeria’s ESL environment and as such necessary for all formal transactions. Using Dell Hymes theory of Communicative Competence as our theoretical guide, the paper observes that many youths are unemployed today because of their deficiency in the use of English. They lack the pre-requisite English language skills required to succeed in formal contexts such as government or private organization. This deficiency may, however, be traced to the problems of teaching and learning communicative skills of English in Nigerian schools. To overcome this challenge, the paper recommends an integrated teaching of the four skills of English via a task-based instruction (TBI) method in our schools. There is the need for paradigm shift in teaching of English language from emphasis on mastering of only the linguistic rules to improving learner’s overall communicative abilities. It is only in doing so that learners of English in Nigeria’s L2 environment can acquire and maximally utilize communicative skills of English for employment opportunities both nationally and internationally.

Key words: Second language (L2); language skills; Communicative competence; curriculum; unemployment


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Developing Learners’ Communicative Language Skills in English as Panacea for Unemployment in Nigeria