Developing Writing Skill in Nigerian Children: Insights from the Macmillan New Primary English Series
The scarce attention paid to course books’ role in developing writing skills in primary school children motivated this in-depth analysis of the Macmillan New Primary English (MNPE) series aimed at determining its provisions for writing skill development in Nigerian children in terms of content and strategy. Each writing lesson was examined to identify the type of writing to which it belongs, the exact topic exposed, and the presentational strategy adopted. The data comprised 104 writing topics, with essay writing, letter writing, and special text writing constituting 57, 22, and 21 percent respectively. While exposition was the prominent essay type (57 percent) and formal letter writing was nearly twice as frequent as informal letter writing, creative writing and autobiography topped the twelve special text writing subtypes found. Mechanics of writing and letter-writing formats were featured five times each. Although twenty-one strategies recurred 158 times, they functioned eclectically. The questioning was the most frequent, followed by discussion/group work, and pictorial illustration. The study noted that what MNPE offers the Nigerian child is adequate for writing skill development but the average primary school product’s writing proficiency level is disappointingly unreflective of these provisions.
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