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Title Page – – – – – – – – – i
Declaration – – – – – – – – – ii
Approval Page – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – v
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – vi-vii
Abstract – – – – – – – – – viii

1.1 Background of the study – – – – – – 1-4
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – – 4
1.3 Research Questions – – – – – – – 4-5
1.4 Purpose of the Study – – – – – – – 5
1.5 Significance of the Study – – – – – – 5-6
1.6 Scope of the Study – – – – – – – 6
1.7 Definition of Terms – – – – – – – 6-7

2.1 English Language in Nigeria – – – – – – 8-9
2.2 Functions of Spoken Language – – – – 9-11
2.3. An Overview of Colloquial Expressions – – – – 11-14
2.4 Causes of Nigerian Colloquial Expressions among Secondary
School Students- – – – – – – – 15-17
2.5 Distinction between Colloquial Expressions among Non-Native
Speakers and English Colloquial Expression – – – 17-19
2.6 Different Types of English Colloquialisms from Common
Speech – – – – – – – – – 19-20
2.7 The Concept of Slang – – – – – – – 20-23
2.8 Differences between Colloquial and Slang – – – – 23-24
2.9 Influence of Nigerian Colloquialism on the Spoken English of
Secondary School Students – – – – – – 24-25

3.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 26
3.1 Research Design – – – – – – – 26
3.2 Population and Sampling – – – – – – 26-27
3.3 Sample Technique – – – – – – – 27-28
3.4 Method of Data Collection – – – – – – 28
3.5 Instrumentation – – – – – – – 28
3.5.1 Validity of the Instrument – – – – – – 28
3.5.2 Reliability of the Instrument – – – – – – 29
3.6 Method of Data Analysis – – – – – – 29

4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 30
4.1 Presentation of Bio-Data Analysis – – – – – 30-31
4.2 Presentation of Results from Questions – – – – 32-37
4.3 Discussion of Results – – – – – – – 38-40

5.1 Summary of Findings – – – – – – – 41-42
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 42-43
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – 43-44
5.4 Suggestions for Further Studies – – – – – 44-45
Reference – – – – – – – – 46-48
Appendices – – – – – – – – 49-51

This research work examines the effect of Nigerian colloquialisms on the spoken English of secondary school students. The researcher establishes the growing popularity and high preference of Nigerian colloquialisms on the spoken English of secondary school students, which the research reveals that they are gotten as a result of differences in terms of class, gender, literacy level, exposure and interest which often affect the standard or formal English usage. The research design used for this study was the survey research design, hence the instrument used for the collection of data was the questionnaire and the method for the data analysis was simple percentage. Some findings were glaring which include: some students speak different kinds of English apart from the one spoken in the school; the types of languages spoken by students include pidgin and slangs; slangs is better understood by members who have a mutual understanding; colloquialism is spoken by individuals in order to conceal information to non-members. The researcher recommended that good reading habit should be encouraged, the formation of rules and regulations concerning language use is paramount and students should try as much as possible to minimize the use of Nigerian colloquials so that is will not affect their written and spoken English respectively.

1.1. Background to the Study
English is the most widely spoken language in the world and it stands out as the most popular and influential. In a country like Nigerian, it is made as a pre-requisite at all levels of education, though it is a foreign language and the country is made up of diverse tribes, English has come to be used as the official and national language, integrating people of different socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Therefore, for an average Nigerian to communicate effectively with the other world, one needs to be good in the spoken and written aspects of English language. Thus, in a multilingual country like Nigeria, the importance of effective communication in English language cannot be overemphasized.
However, the English language spoken by an average Nigerian can be affected by interference, the social environment and other forms of languages like Pidgin English, colloquialism could also have a drastic effect on students’ performance in the learning of English language.
Moreso, language is a natural and an inestimable property of man and no matter his/her tribal, racial, social, education or even geographical background, he or she has no other universally accepted means of expressing self or thought other than language. Historically, the use of language was limited mainly to speech but today, language is also used in writing. In addition, the possession of language more than any other attribute, distinguishes humans from other animals. It is also a peculiar nature of human beings and societies. Language is unique to man as a distinguishing mark of man from animals. Chomsky in Fromkin (1974: p. 1) says “when we study human languages, we are approaching what some might call the human essence, the distinctive qualities of the mind that are so far as we know, unique to man”. When language is looked at from the point of view of function, it is said to be a means of communicating information and also a means of establishing relationship with other people. As such, language does not exist in isolation; it identifies with a society. This explains why in sociolinguistics, language is studied not only in relation to man as the speaker but in relation with the society where he is found. Language characteristics vary from group to group and undergo significant modifications in the cause of its transmission through time within the same society.
Nigeria is a multilingual nation with about five hundred different languages. Hansford (1976: p.51), in support of this, estimated four hundred and ninety-nine different languages with English language as a unifying factor among the different ethnic groups. English language as a result, serves as the lingua franca as well as the official language of government, judicial, media, commerce, education etc. English as a matter of fact, promotes all aspects of national life.
However, outside the official domain, the English language plays some social functions which result in colloquialisms. Most secondary school students use colloquial expressions to communicate outside the classroom. That is, in their hostels, recreational centres, cafeteria, even in classroom when teachers are not around. Thus, students often use colloquial expressions for the purpose of inclusion and exclusion.
Colloquial language is the act of communicating in an informal personal and intimate manner, often times with the use of metaphors both in spoken and written form. The individual touch of colloquialism has a unique effect on the students’ language use because it feels more engaging due to its conversational feeling. But then, Nigerian colloquialism if not used appropriately, may result to negative consequences. Colloquialism has the ability to invoke a strong negative, social, political and emotional change on language use by the students. Also, the use of Nigerian colloquial expressions has contradicted the main objectives of English language as a language in Nigeria. As captured by Akindele and Adegbite (2013: p.2), “at all levels of education, ensure that learners become competent users of the language”. This can be elaborated as to why English language is made a general subject for all primary and secondary schools and even at the tertiary level, “use of English” is also made compulsory.
Furthermore, the use of Nigerian colloquial expression is now a problem because most students are unable to differentiate between it should be used and when formal language should be used. Thereby, allowing Nigerian colloquialism to infiltrate what should be scholarly and formal language.
Finally, colloquial expressions are now making ways into students’ papers. Terry Wood, a foreign teacher at St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonard town, has seen a “dramatic decline” in the writing abilities of her students “due to tweeting, facebook, and texting”. As such students do not even “capitalize words when necessary or use punctuations anymore”. The reason for such a dramatic decline in students’ communicative abilities is due to the influence of colloquialism and other social languages which is a problem because formal language must be preserved within a society. Society, especially multiple societies, cannot share knowledge without having a shared formal language. Thus, English language is the preferred learned language of nearly every country in the world. So, formal English must be preserved in order to further preserve the ability to share knowledge since it serves as a powerful unifying factor in our national and international life of communication.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Students tend to prefer social languages like colloquialism above the formal English. Words like tight, cabal, crash, what’s up, how far, jazz, bash etc, are becoming the mostly used colloquial by secondary school students to communicate formally. As a result of this high preference, Nigerian colloquialism has infiltrated formal speech and writing of the English language.
Similarly, Gary Sconyers, a French man at Broward Community College asserts that “if one uses it continuously, he or she may begin to use it in the work place”. Therefore, people who use informal language prevent themselves from positively benefiting from numerous opportunities, he warned.
Taking the above into consideration, it therefore, becomes necessary to investigate the effect of Nigeria colloquialism on students spoken English.
1.3. Research Questions
The questions, which this work attempts to examine, are as follows:
i. To what extent should the kind of language spoken by some groups of students in secondary schools be described as Nigerian colloquialism?
ii. How are Nigerian colloquialisms derived from the mixture of English, pidgin and other native languages?
iii. To what extent does the use of Nigerian colloquialism affect students’ spoken English?
1.4. Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of Nigerian colloquialism on students’ spoken English in selected secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area. The specific objectives are:
i. To investigate the kind of language spoken by some secondary school students which can be described as Nigerian colloquialism.
ii. To determine how Nigerian colloquialisms comprises the mixture of English, pidgin and slangs.
iii. To examine Nigerian colloquialisms as they affect the spoken English of secondary school students.
1.5. Significance of the Study
This research work will be beneficial to teachers, parents, students and the general public. It will be beneficial to students who might have difficulties or problems in using English as a result of the interference of the widely spoken Nigerian colloquial.
It will also be very useful to the teachers, as it will enable them understand why students use colloquialisms as means of communication and also assist the teachers to diagnose the impact it has on students’ spoken English for proper corrections during teaching; which will also help the students to limit their usage of colloquial expressions in their daily interactions, regardless of the social and formal setting.
The suggestions and recommendations that will be at the end of this work will help students to minimize and avoid speaking Nigerian colloquialism in formal settings which will help them maintain proficiency in the use of English language.
1.6. Scope and Limitation of the Study
This research work focuses on the effect of Nigerian colloquialism on the spoken English of secondary school students in Pankshin Local Government Area. The study will provide an insight on Nigerian colloquialisms and also focus on the kind of colloquial language used by these secondary school students.
And since it is not possible for the researcher to cover all the secondary schools in the country in finding out the effect of Nigerian colloquialism on students’ spoken English, the researcher has restricted this work to only the secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government for effective data collection. Again, due to financial constraint and time at the researcher’s disposal, the research work has been confined to the same area.
1.7. Definition of Operational Terms
The definition will be based on how it is used in the study.
i. Nigerian Colloquialism: Words or phrases used by Nigerian students to communicate informally. It is also the spoken form of English language used in very casual terms.
ii. Spoken English: The ways in which the English language is transmitted through a conventional system of sounds. Compared to written English.
iii. Social Language: Colorada (2007) defines social language as the language of everyday communication in oral and written forms. It is act of changing language according to the needs of the conversation, partners, listeners or the situation.


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