EFFECTS OF NIGERIAN PIDGIN ENGLISH ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH IN FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, PANKSHIN
EFFECTS OF NIGERIAN PIDGIN ENGLISH ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH IN FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, PANKSHIN
- Background to the Study
The English language, to a large extent, functions as a second language in Nigeria. Although Nigeria is believed to have more than four hundred (400) languages, (Books, 1996) with over two hundred and fifty (250) ethnic groups (wikipedia,2014).The English language is the only language used for all forms of official transactions, business, science and technology and, language of instruction in the school system. It is the ticket for gaining admission into all tiers of the educational system.
Apart from being the language of instruction and official language of communication, the English language is also taught as a separate subject. In many tertiary institutions in the country, it is studied as single as combined honours degree course and, a prerequisite into other education courses. Thus, there are graduates with Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) in English, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in English and sometimes Bachelor of Arts (B.A.Ed.) in education which includes the English language.
According to Ajibola (2013), the main concern of adopting the English language as a second language (L2), which was actually pioneered by the British colonial administration, was to help people communicate or interact with each other without the native language posing a barrier. In recent times, the English language has made national and international communication possible. However, there are certain limitations that speakers of the English language have which according to Ajibola (2013) and Olatunji (2012), is because the English language is not a native language in Nigeria; whereas Ihemere (2006) in Wikepedia(2014) reports that the Pidgin variety is, “… the native language of approximately 3 to 5 million people and is a second language for at least another 75 million in Nigeria.”
As a result of the prolonged use of the English language as the language of communication, many Nigerians understand and can speak the English language to some extent but sadly fail to read or write it proficiently. The English language is occupying an enviable position in Nigeria. According to Ajibola (2013) Olatunji (2012) Ihemere (2006) Ajibade, Adeyemi and Owopetu (2012), the English language, a foreign language in Nigeria, enjoys the status of a second language. As lofty as its position is, the maintenance of standard English as was introduced by the British is becoming a mirage as the days go by because of the presence of the Pidgin and several other varieties, which not only affects the students but the teachers as well. According to Olatunji (2012), “People of different socio-economic status and age commit unpardonable … blunder in their day-to-day use of the language (p. 55).”
Although Karahari (2002) and Kperogi (2010) in Olatunji (2012) opine that, a native-like command of a language in an L2 situation is almost impossible and that no Nigerian who studied at home can avoid speaking or writing the varieties used among the populace either consciously or unconsciously. We should not lose sight of the fact that the world is gradually becoming a global village; consequently, it will be baseless to introduce varieties that would not result in mutual intelligibility as far as global communication is concerned. As a result of global communication, many parents force their children to learn the Standard English language over the Pidgin and even their own languages because of the belief that it will give the Standard English an added advantage in the global community (Li, 2003).
In Nigeria, Pidgin English is seen commonly as the language of the uneducated as well as a bastardisation of English and its usage. Consequently, it is measured as a sign of the level of one’s competence in English language. For example, Agheyisi (2001) claims that the normal speakers of pidgin are persons who have minor or no proper schooling. However, Akande (2008) has distinguished the sociolinguistic experience in Nigeria currently is such that university graduates, instructors, solicitors and newscasters use Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE). The situation has also been proven that NPE is not used only in unofficial settings but also in workplaces and further official situations (Akande 2008). In other words, this claim that NPE is the language of the uneducated does not appear to earn rationality because there are so many knowledgeable users in Nigeria who can practice both Standard English and NPE competently (Akande 2008).
Moreover, NPE has assumed an important function in communication in Nigeria, particularly among cultural groups that do not have the same language. In addition, it can be claimed that NPE has enriched the nation’s socio-linguistic and administrative ideas as well as harmony in the nation since it is the one language that all the educated and the unschooled, regardless of their cultural background, can understand (Akande, 2008:38).
Fluency and correctness of language expression can be fully detected in a composition, which represents one’s English ability (Hong, 2007) .The ability to write effectively in English language is becoming increasingly important in the global community as communication across language becomes even more essential. Good English writing competence is widely recognized as an important skill for educational, business and personal reasons. Writing is a complex process which demands cognitive analysis and linguistic synthesis. It is even harder to learn to write in a foreign language, and it takes considerable time and effort to become a skillful writer. English writing instruction is thus assuming an increasing role in foreign language education (Tan, 2001)
Sadly, observation typifies that Standard English language is hardly taught in any meaningful way (Oyetunde&Muodumogu, 2009). It is expected that the English language learner should be able to develop ideas in effective sentences, paragraphs, and write good essays. However, the reverse is the case in Nigeria.Pidgin English has huge effects on the performance of students academically. According to Dusu (2020), students get confused when writing in Standard English because they are so used to speaking Pidginized form of English. When analyzing students’ writing, she found that some Pidgin English expressions were used by students of secondary schools unintentionally. In line with this, Bala (2020) asserted that students who frequently speak pidgin English performance poorly in their academics because they end up making ungrammatical expressions. It is in the light of the above discussion that this study sets out to investigate the effects of Nigerian Pidgin English on academic performance in English in Federal College of Education, Pankshin.
- Statement of the research problems
Over the years, there has been blame on who or what is the cause of the massive failure in English language at the Federal College of Education, Pankshin. This is especially in the Use of English. Most times, lecturers are blamed for these poor performances of students. It is true that there is difference between speech and writing, but it is also true that what you speak is surely going to affect what you write.
Pidgin English has been the language of communication for both illiterate and the educated. Individuals and even students feel comfortable speaking it without recourse to its implications on their academics. Students, when writing, tend to transfer what they speak in their Pidgin English to formal writing situation. This has created a lot of ambiguity in the writing of these students. Therefore, it is in the light of this that the researcher’s interest has been awoken to investigate into the effects of Nigerian pidgin English language on Academic Performance of students of English in Federal College of Education, Pankshin with the aim of effecting positive change for better academic performance in English language.
- Purpose of the study
The main purpose of writing this research work is to determine the effect of Pidgin English on the academic performance of students of English department in Federal College of Education, Pankshin.
Other specific objectives are to:
- Determine how often students communicate in Pidgin English.
- Identify the effects of Nigerian pidgin on speaking skills of students in FCE Pankshin.
- Evaluate the effects of Nigerian pidgin English language on the writing skills of students in FCE Pankshin.
- Research Questions
The questions this research work seeks to answer are:
- How often do students communicate in Pidgin English?
- What are the effects of Nigerian pidgin on speaking skills of students in FCE Pankshin?
- What are the effects of Nigerian Pidgin English language on the writing skills of students in FCE Pankshin?
- Significance of the study
This study shall be of benefit to the students, the lectures, the policy makers, parents and school management.
The students shall benefit from this study because they will come to know the intense effects of Pidgin English on their academic performance, therefore, they will abstain from excessive use of Pidgin English and focus more on using Standard English both in and outside their lecture halls. Furthermore, as this study intends to identify the effects of Pidgin English on students’ use of English language, the knowledge of this study, will invariably, enable the students in question improve their use of Standard English. As a result, fulfill the major essence of acquiring good education
The lecturers will benefit from this study as it will serve as a feedback to why the students make errors in their written examinations, tests and assignments. Therefore, they will employ the use of teacher-feedback by treating such errors in the class to serve as correction to the learners. Furthermore, lecturers on their part, will enhance their surveillance towards their students’ manner of communications in colleges even among their friends.
The policy makers will benefit from this study as the gross effects of pidgin will be brought to bare and they will formulate policies that will cater or curtail students’ excess use of Pidgin English.
The knowledge of this study will enable parents to readjust their manner of communication towards their children in several homes.
1.6 Scope and Delimitations of the study
The study covers effect of Pidgin English on academic performance of English in Federal college of Education, Pankshin. However findings from this research will be applicable to other colleges of Education at large.
- Operational definition of terms
The following terminology and vocabular are defined below for better clarifications.
- PidginEnglish: Pidgin English is an informal language used by a group of people who do not have access to the use of Standard English for communication
- Academic Performance: It is an expression used to present students’ scholastic standing and which is a function of various factors such as method of teaching, teachers qualifications, child home background, school environment, attitude, interest among others. It could either be positive and negative (poor) performance.
- Format: ms-word (doc)
- Chapter 1 to 5
- With abstract reference and questionnaire
- Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below
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