Language scholar urges lawyers to interpret the law in simple English

Professor Adeleke Fakoya delivering his lecture at the Lagos State University on Tuesday, 30th October, 2018

A Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Lagos State University (LASU), Adeleke Fakoya has challenged lawyers to interpret the law using simple English expressions.

He also stated that it has now become paramount for every teacher to be taught continuously irrespective of whether they are lecturers and professors.

This was disclosed at the Lagos State University (LASU) 68th Inaugural Lecture titled “What does this blabber want to say”.

According to him, research has shown that the teachers have teaching disabilities and their students, learning disabilities.

Fakoya noted that these disabilities have made comprehension difficult for both speakers and listeners.

During his lecture, he said self-development in English language should become an obsession for everyone.

“Nigerians need to read novels and other materials published by native speakers of the English language as well as listen to the news in standard, native-speakers variety.

“To improve your written and spoken English, read at least one novel a month. Ensure that the novel is written by a model user of English, possibly a native speaker of the language,” he said.

Professor Adeleke Fakoya delivering the 68th Inaugural Lecture at the Lagos State University on Tuesday, 30th October, 2018

The professor however urged government at all levels to employ qualified and highly informed personnel in the training of teachers who will in turn pass on the acquired knowledge to their students.

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He advised the government to unify the public system across the country so that teachers could have an elevated sense of belonging , improved self-esteem and consequently higher productivity.

Fakoya also urged lawyers and other legal practitioners to endeavour to speak and write plain English rather than blabbing.

This, according to him, makes the interpretation of the law difficult for the citizens.

“The position of many distinguished linguists is that plain language be encouraged to ease communication among participants at talk.

“In relations to law, this requirement can never be exaggerated. If our lawyers speak and write plain English, the law comes closer to the citizens and obedience and compliance become easier ,” he said.

In addition, the linguist call on the parent to encourage their children to speak their native tongue so that the identity would not be lost.

LASU Vice Chancellor who presided over the event, Olanrewaju Fagbohun described the inaugural lecture as top notch, noting that the university was proud of the lecturer as his presentation showed that he is a scholar of distinction.

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