We present to you our dear readers, this week’s #womancrushwednesday, Akinjobi Adenike Adebola. A well respected and avid researcher of linguistics, who is currently teaching at the University of Ibadan, an institution she joined in 1997. She started her journey as a student at University of Ilorin, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts and Education degree in English in 1987. She obtained her Master’s degree in English from University of Ibadan in 1991. Her PhD degree, which is her highest qualification, is in English Linguistics, also from the University of Ibadan in 2004. She is well respected and celebrated by students. A technology driven professor and enthusiast.
Prof. Adenike got listed on Linguist List, the directory of Linguists for professional communication and networking, based on her publication in the Cambridge Journal, English Today, in 2006 (a great achievement by the way). She also belong to some professional associations like; American Studies Association of Nigeria (ASAN) where she was the public mobilisation officer from 2002-2004, Nigeria English Studies Association (NESA), Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN), Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and Global Association of English Studies, India.
Currently, her research focus is on two major areas; the description of Nigerian English suprasegmentals, which have been found to be peculiarly different from the British Standard forms, and social network interactive learning, which is a remarkable trend is in today’s education.
To further give us some understanding into her work, research activities and its relative importance and duties to the society, Adenike has this to say;
“My researches are mainly on the suprasegmentals features of Standard English: stress, intonation and rhythm. Today, there is recognition of the World Englishes and most of what I do will describe and define what we may codify as features of spoken Standard Nigerian English later.
In addition, my present researches into the promotion of e-interactive learning are about the impact of interactive educational forums on students and general users of English.
My research activities include the creation and administration of three active academic forums on Facebook, a social networking site – English Language Clinic forum, Scholars of English Linguistic Forums, Nigerian Phonologists’. These forums have large numbers of members, especially English Language Clinic Forum with over 36,000 active members. These are experimental forums that are basically for my research into English language e-learning. They have benefitted the community greatly because apart from the informative results of the research carried out on one of these forums, many of the members have testimonies that they have improved tremendously in the use of English.”
When asked about her plans, Professor Adenike simply said she has three major research plans, which she put in her words below:
“(i) I have carried out researches on Nigerian English suprasegmentals of Stress and Intonation and rhythm with focus on some sub-varieties. In collaboration with my research students who now constitute my research team, I intend taking the research further by covering more sub-varieties, determining the areas of convergence and divergence and, in consequence, making a statement on the Nigerian variety of English. This will be my effort towards the Standardisation of Nigerian English, when we eventually get there.
(ii) Received Pronunciation, the sounds drawn from the pronunciation of professors at University of London, is the model we use for the teaching of English in non-native settings. However, in recent times, it has been confirmed to be obsolete, even in Britain. If there is funding, I have a research team that is ready to investigate the pronunciation of Nigerian university teachers so as to know whether or not they could be models for English pronunciation in Nigeria.
(iii) I have seen, in practical terms, the advantages of technology to learning from the activities on my three e-learning interactive pages on Facebook. I therefore have the plan to research into the causes of the ineptitude of most Nigerian university teachers in the administration of social network interactive learning forums, despite the fact that this has been confirmed highly effective by studies carried out in various countries of the world.”
In an age where our ladies, especially the younger ones, are losing focus and determination, slaying about, with heavy makeup and artificial beauty, we hope with a feature like this, showing the ground breaking feats our women are earning in various fields and career, some of them slay queens will find reason to stand for something and be exceptional at it.
Thank you Professor Akinjobi Adenike Adebola for the support, encouragement and being a mentor to all of us coming behind.