Fundamentals of Communication in English is an invaluable source on communication matters. It is concerned essentially with the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing with English as the language of illustration.
The book is designed to meet a wide range of interests and levels of education. Specifically, students in different disciplines in Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges of Education will find it a most reliable companion. The second part of the book which serves as supplements to language skills is intended to provide both technical and professional support to the main issues and to serve as handy reference points for the teachers, students and the general reader. The authors are scholars of repute and so each chapter has a touch of specialization.
Fundamentals of Communication in English was first conceived by the staff of the former Language and Study Skills Centre of the University of Uyo. The idea of the book emanated from the desire to have a source that would readily serve the varying needs 9f both the staff of that Unit and the freshmen who take the Use of English Course. The idea of a book of this nature soon became attractive to members of the Department of English and so, with the merging of the Language and Study Skills Centre with the Department of English, more staff of the enlarged Department became interested in the project and contributed to it, thus strengthening its academic quality. The hook focusses attention on Language Skills. It is in two parts: Part One is about central issues in Language Skills and is further divided into two sections.
Section A is concerned with Speaking, Reading and Listening Skills while Section B pays attention to Writing and related matters. Part Two deals with issues of a general nature, serving as a supplements to Language Skills. Five chapters in Section A of Part One deal with speaking, reading, and listening. In the first chapter, David Eka treats the basic sounds paying attention to such issues like the grouping and distribution of the basic sounds, variations in pronunciation and sources of problems for Nigerian speakers of English.
In the second chapter Enefiok Andy focusses attention on the nonsegmental features of accentuation, intonation and rhythm thereby complementing the issues of pronunciation treated in chapter one. In the third chapter Nkereuwem Udoakah shifts the focus of attention to techniques of public speaking, with emphasis on the procedures for achievement of excellence in public speech. In the fourth chapter, Philomena I. Ekanem takes a close look at Reading Skill, indicating its nature, types,-goals, purposes and the steps to adopt in order to achieve the best in reading. In the last chapter in this section, Sunday Udoh analyzes impressively, the concept of listening, emphasizing its nature, levels and types.
In Section B, lniobong Uko in chapter six discusses one of the requirements for successful writing - Concord. The chapter examines various forms of Concord, causes of concord failure and ways to avoid the problems. In chapter seven, B.O. Etim takes a look at another essential of efficient writing - paragraphing. The chapter establishes the desirability for paragraphing and analyses how best to achieve this essential skill. In chapter eight Luke Eyoh writes on sentences, clauses -and phrases indicating the types and relationships which exist among these items on the grammatical rank scale. In chapter nine Inyang Mbong Udofot handles, in a sophisticated manner, the notion of linkage in English and does so with particular attention to four main concepts: connection, coordination, apposition and complementation. In chapter ten Ken B. Mkpa provides guidelines which lift letter writing from a common-place position to a unique and sophisticated one, emphasizing the latest developments in the art.
The last four chapters in this section are what we may, for ease of reference, describe as specific writing: Essien H. Ikpe in chapter eleven examines details of Report Writing; J. M. Esseneyen and B. P. Edet in chapter twelve examine technical issues involved in Feasibility Report writing; Ashong C. Ashong in chapter thirteen considers ways of simplifying the difficult task of writing a Term Paper while Joseph Ushie in chapter fourteen examines the possibilities of combining abstract reasoning with the practical exercise of writing at various levels of appropriateness. The source underscores the need for writers to be logical even when they (the writers) are not logicians. Contributions in Part Two are those which lend support and credence to the important issues in Language Skills. In chapter fifteen, Friday Usoro Nsien examines, with the accuracy of an expert, important issues involved in getting the best out of a Library. In chapter sixteen, Abalogu A. Onukaogu discusses Use of the Dictionary, emphasizing pronunciation, the writing system, arrangement and entries as well as such miscellaneous matters like syllable division, idiomatic expressions and plural formation.
The next two chapters exami-e' two closely related issues: Vocabulary Development and Spelliiig. P. N. J. Udoh, in chapter seventeen provides guidance on the development of various kinds of vocabulary while Bassey Ekpenyong, in chapter eighteen, examines the place of appropriate spelling and provides useful guidance in this regard. Finally, Imelda Icheji Udoh, in chapter nineteen, discusses the base on which all issues in the text rest: strategies for gainful learning. Each chapter is written in a down-to-earth manner, in keeping with the intention of helping the reader to achieve the highest level of understanding. The chapters have exercises (Review Questions), often at the end of each, to test the reader's understanding. Illustrations and examples are generally those which relate to the Nigerian or the African environment. Fundamentals of Communication in English is thus, essentially an invaluable source for those who grapple with the task of mastering the essentials of communication in English as well as for those whose duty it is to direct such effort. However, it is also a mine for the general reader and for those best qualified to benefit from the technical issues raised in some of the chapters.