Eyisi harps on communicative competence in English

By Sunday Adama

A former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC), Academics, and Director, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Joy Eyisi said migrants should hone their communicative competence in English so as to avoid global embarrassment.

"To ameliorate the challenges of migration, so that we do not encounter frustrations and humiliations,  we need to develop our communicative competence in English, and using the native speakers' variety of the language as a standard would save you from global embarrassment," Prof. Eyisi said.

Eyisi stated this while presenting a paper at NOUN's Centre of  Excellence in Migration and Global Studies (CEMGS), on Wednesday, 3rd November, 2021.

While speaking on the topic: "Language and Migration - The Place of Communicative Competence in English", the Professor of English said," communicative competence means a language user's grammatical knowledge of syntax, morphology, phonology and other related issues, including the social knowledge about why, how, where and when to use utterances appropriately, for effective understanding."

"Put differently,  communicative competence is the ability to use language correctly and appropriately to accomplish communicative goals," she added.

Speaking further, the erudite scholar said, "human beings are migratory species. We are always on the move, from one country to another, seeking new and better livelihoods or any other business."

"In our resolutions to migrate, it is important that we, naturally, invest in ourselves, the most important skills of success necessary in any part of the world. One of such skills is communication skill. We must hone our communication skills, both in speech and in writing," she emphasised.

Speaking on the importance of understanding in communication, Eyisi said "the essence of communication is for us to understand the speaker or writer and for them to understand us when we speak or write."

"We must improve our communication competence in English so that we can overcome language difficulties, surmount linguistics  obstacles and accelerate successfully in our migration opportunity anywhere in the world," she added.

Explaining why migrants must develop the communicative competence in English, Eyisi said English is a world language and it is important for international migration as well as the most popular means of information dissemination among others.

Prof. Eyisi, while correcting some common errors in grammatical expression said that "ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important life skills we should learn. It is the key to success in every life endeavour, migration inclusive. "

"Indeed, migrants consistently realise that communication skills are basic requirements for stupendous success in their new environment. As a result, migration success depends on the effectiveness of our communication skill.

"We must use, improve, and demonstrate our communication skills not only in our interpersonal relationships but also in order to be competitive when looking for new jobs as migrants in a new society," she added.

According to her, communication skills for success in migration includes: Emotional Intelligence, cohesion and clarity, friendliness, confidence, empathy and respect.

Others are: Listening, open-mindedness, asking good questions, body language, communication channel and feedback.