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  • Background to the Study

Language is not the only gift to humanity. It is part and parcel of man who in this case, simply accepts it as given, and uses same as he chooses to realize his wild ranging purposes. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine a world without language because language unifies individuals with themselves and their communities; hence as Heiolegger says language is “the event which disposes the supreme. Possibility of human existence”. (in Akwanaya, 2007 p.52). It helps in integrating communication between them which means also who have proficiency in more than one language.

Regrettably, the role of language as a resource for mankind to achieve their secondary needs has been quite misunderstood and misplaced in many societies. Language has been use in different ways to serve other ends, usually the less noble. This is very ironical, given that language is resourceful for cohesion, hence according to Bambgose (1991.P.7) the association of multilingual with divisiveness is unjustified and untenable “since language is a convenient scape goat on which real causes of divisiveness are usually hung. Thus, language has become a convenient hideout for mischievous group to secret motion

Every phenomenon on this earth has it own origin. For that, the origin or beginning of more than one language in the world can be seen in the book of Genesis 11:1-8. The world was speaking one language. Whatever they said, they will do it. So, they agreed to build a tower to reach unto heaven in order to make name for themselves. When they started that, God decided to destroyed their plan and confound their language which at last they could not understand the language of one another again. Among themselves, someone will say give me fire, the person will give him water. Another person will say, give me knife, that person will give him stone.  They could not understand the language of one another totally. God did that to serve as a punishment to them because they want to make name for themselves. From there, they could not achieve their aim again. No more development on the earth.

The worlds in which we live consist of so many languages. There is hardly a one language society in the world today in the strictly sense of it. According to Bamgbose (1991,P.7) “in the world today, the one language nation state is the exception rather than the rules”. The reality of the African situation to him is that, a person who speaks several languages. Even if that language happens to be the country`s official language (P.3). The issue of multilingualism is found not only in Africa but also in other parts of the world. Even countries that have monolingual outlook like the united states of America has some minor. Language that are widely spoken especially among the Indian and Hispanic communities. Likewise in Britain we have Welsh, Gaelic and Celtic co-exist with English. Nigeria as a country has over (400) hundred languages (Abah & Daudu, 2015).

 Some people are multilingual speakers because they have interest in a foreign language. Therefore, they force themselves to learn second or third language for the purposes like information gathering, entertainment or business. Other people acquire it. They found themselves speaking more than two languages effortless because they were given birth in such communities. Some because of their nature of work while other because of immigration.

1.3. Statement of the Problem

            Language is very important in the life of a human being in the world. Nigeria is pluralingual and diverse. It is split not only along ethnic lines, but also along religious and educational levels(Dudley, 1975).

            It is true that multilingualism effects the performance of senior secondary school students. The process of learning English to a multilingual person is slower than a monolingual person.

Language interference affects the thinking and language process of the students. They think first in the language in which they are more familiar with before transferring them to other language which is English example: I hear the smell. It is wrong English instead of “I perceive the odour “. I am coming when the person is going. This mistake affects the performance of secondary school students when learning English because they translate it directly from the understanding of the languages they are conversant with before now.

Therefore, this research is concerned with the implication of multilingualism on the English language performance of the secondary school students of Pankshin local government.

1.3. Purpose of the Study

            The main purpose of the study is to find out the effect of multilingualism on English of secondary school students in Pankshin local government with the aim of finding possible solution to the problems. Other objectives include:

  1. To find out the effects of multilingualism on English language learners.
  2. To determine the extent to which multilingualism affects the performance of English language learners.
  3. To proffer proper solutions to the effects of multilingualism.

1.4. Research Question

  1. What are the effects of multilingualism on English language?
  2. To what extent does multilingualism affects the performance students in English language?
  3. What are the possible solutions of the affects of multilingualism on English languages learning?

1.6. Hypothesis

Ha: There is a significant relationship between the effect of multilingualism and the academic performance of students in English Language

H0: There is no significant relationship between the effect of multilingualism and the academic performance of students in English Language

1.7. Significance of the Study

The significance of this research is to highlight the implication of multilingualism on the performance of secondary school students in Pankshin. It is expected to provide valuable information to bridge the gap in the performance of English language students in a multilingual society. The study will also helped to establish ground to further research in this area and set the pace for more investigation and probe in order to increase awareness of the problem.

1.8. Limitation of the Study

            This work is limited to Pankshin local government area. It will focus on how multilingualism affects the performance of the secondary school students in English language. Time will not allow the researcher to evaluate the performance of multilingual local government on learning English language.

1.9. Definition of Terms

Multilingualism: In this context, the word multilingualism is the use of more than two languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speaker. It can also means the condition of being able to speak several languages.

Language: The ability to communicate using words or a form of communication using words, either spoken or gesture with the hands and structured with grammar often with writing.

Performance: This means how well or badly you do something.

Implication: This means a possible effect or result of an action or a decision.

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