A Study on the Effect of Pidgin English on Nigerian Students
Chapter One of A Study on the Effect of Pidgin English on Nigerian Students
Background to The Study:
The term pidgin is used to refer to a language which develops in a situation where speakers of different languages have a need to communicate but do not share a common language. Once a pidgin has emerged, it is generally learned as a second language and used for communication among people who speak differently.
Language is the most creative and unlimited instrument for social communication and it helps us to understand the deep seated social relevance, culture involvement and the human relatedness of language. Having said this, we can therefore agree that pidgin is a language of its own and not just a supplementary tongue as some people see it, since it serves as an unlimited instrument of social communication especially in a multilingual community as Madona University.
According to R. Linton he states that “the culture of a society is the way of life of its members, the collection of ideas and habits which they learn, share and transmit from generation to generation” (12). These cultures, ideas and habits can only be transmitted from generation to generation through language. In linguistic, every language is considered adequate to represent the communicative needs of its people and as such should not be made to suffer any biases.
This cannot be said of Nigerian Pidgin – even though it is a language – because various attempts have been made by different faction to eradicate the use of Nigerian Pidgin English. These attempts have however been unsuccessful because of the significant value the language has to its users. It is a language that has brought people together in spite of their differences in ancestral culture and language by creating a local culture for itself which blends ideas from different cultures.
Statement of Research Problem:
Nigerian Pidgin is a language just as English and there is enough room for both language to co-exist and be mutually enriching. Despite this – and the fact that Nigerian Pidgin English appears to be the most popular means of communication among diverse groups and is easier to learn than any other language in the country today – it is generally asserted that it is not the suitable language for use in formal setting and its use in such setting is usually frowned at.
This research work will explore the potentials of Nigerian Pidgin English as a language. If Nigerian Pidgin English does have this potential, why is its usage and status denigrated? Also, does the speaking of Nigerian Pidgin affect the student’s academic performance? Answers to these questions will enable us make useful recommendations for future studies.
Purpose of the Study:
This work intends to look into the effectiveness and status of Nigerian Pidgin English. It is inherent that for a long period of time that Nigerian Pidgin English has been the means of communication among students in the higher institutions. This research will bring into light if the use of Nigeria Pidgin English has any effect on the students and their academic performance in Madona University. The finding will be regarded to be generic, affecting also students in other institutions who equally exalt Nigerian Pidgin English above standard English.
Significance of the Study:
This study is important because its results can go a long way to finding out the causes of students’ negative or positive academic performance. If Nigerian Pidgin English has contributed negatively or positively to the students.
This work will in no doubt contribute to one’s knowledge especially in the department of English, Madona University, Enugu as it will highlight some issues in educational planning. It will be a guide for the federal government in planning for effective educational system.
Scope and Limitations:
The scope of this project is on the effects of Nigerian Pidgin English in university community. An assessment of its use in various forms will be carried out. This research is limited to Madona University, Enugu even though the findings might be generic.
Questionnaires were distributed to hundred (100) students in Madona University, Enugu State which is my case study and these questionnaires were filled and collected and the hundred questionnaires were returned.
The result/total of responses from the respondents is tabled in the yes/no format. The collection of data was done in two parts. The secondary and primary source. The primary source is the questionnaire; the secondary source includes textbooks, journals and so on. The materials were researched upon in libraries: Benue State University and Madona University libraries.