The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, has stressed the need for classrooms to be information and communication technology-compliant, in order to meet the needs of lecturers and students, for effective teaching and learning. He made this observation at the 13th Annual Conference and Workshop of the National Association of Teachers and Researchers in English as a Second Language (NATRESL), held recently in FUNAAB.
Speaking on the relationship between ICTs and the teaching of English language, Professor Enikuomehin stated that, "Since English is a global language, it is expected that students, and more importantly, teachers of English, would have adequate competence in its use. Here at FUNAAB, most lecture rooms have multimedia resources for teaching and the University views digital technology as an essential instructional content delivery media for both pedagogical and research purposes. As teachers of English language, these tools must be employed to transform your students' learning experiences", he noted. The Acting Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), Professor Lateef Sanni, described the conference as "very timely, in that the provision of digital technologies, has become an indispensable communication tool for students and teachers".
Corroborating the Vice-Chancellor, the Conference Convener and NATRESL President, Professor Helen Bodunde, who doubles as the Head, Department of Communication and General Studies, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) of the University, had declared that NATRESL was premised on the professional development of teachers through research. According to her, "the Association is ready to collaborate or partner with institutions, which are ready to take the bull by the horn, by adding value to the quality of their teachers, as this conference is aimed at changing the educational landscape of Nigeria, for the better". At the occasion, the Leader, Blended Research Group, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Professor Bayo Aborisade, stressed the need to re-engineer English language teaching modes, while urging teachers and researchers, who majored in the language, to embrace the use of modern technologies. Speaking on the theme, "ELT: Innovation, Transformations and Technologies", the Don described technologies as the enabler and driver of change, adding that human beings were entering a stage of self-designed evolution and implored participants at the conference to make use of technologies, to engender fundamental structural changes, increase students’ engagement and motivation, as well as build global citizens with the 21st century skills. According to him, 51 per cent of Nigerians, as at 2015, had access to the Internet and that most people now use smartphones. He noted that this avent of technology, could be intrusive, disruptive or helpful, as he urged experts in the field to tap into the positive side of technologies.
"Artificial intelligence is fast evolving. If care is not taken, robots would take the place of humans in teaching. Therefore, we all have to catch up with the latest technologies. Until we get to this point, we will continue to fail our students", he said. Professor Aborisade advised further that for effective teaching of English language, teachers and researchers should embrace bended learning; mixed classroom learning and online teaching; Open Educational Resources (OERS); Massively Open Online Courses, (MOOC); digital scholarship and flipped classroom; which he described as student-centered, because it allows students to view content before class and it also enables in-class active learning.