THE IMPACT OF PIDGIN ENGLISH ON STUDENTS COMPETENCE IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITY

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THE IMPACT OF PIDGIN ENGLISH ON STUDENTS COMPETENCE IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITY

ABSTRACT

This project is an attempt to explore the recurring grave concerning the academic performance of students. Though a large percentage of students in Nigeria learn English as a second language and are instructed in it, the Nigerian pidgin seems to interfere with their acquisition of the language and their performance in it much more than their mother tongues. The impact of pidgin contributes in no small measure to the dismal performance of students in their academic career

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Nigeria    is   a   multilingual    country   with   four   hundred               indigenous

languages,  out  of  which  three  are  regarded  as  major  ones,  namely:

Hausa,  Igbo  and  Yoruba,     representing  the  three  major  geo-political

zones – North, East and South respectively. Despite this fact, Nigerian

Pidgin is used in diverse degrees in different parts of the country and it

has  become  a  lingua  franca  for  many,  while  it  is  a  Creole  in  some

Southern and Eastern States like Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Edo, and Cross

Rivers.   Marchese    and   Schnkal   (1980)   confirm   this   after   a              major

evolution in the Delta area of Nigeria, they say; “… in a particular part

of Nigeria, the areas around Warri and Sapele, Nigerian pidgin is more

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of a Creole. Creole is a mixture of an European language with a local language and is spoken as a first language.

Some view it as a variety of English, while others see it as a distinct language. A look at the structure of Nigerian pidgin (NP) portrays that it has structures and patterns of behaviour of its own. Though at its initial stage, NP was considered the language of those who could not speak good English, but many know better now. It is therefore, no wonder that it is not only used by undergraduates in Nigerian universities during conversation with the uneducated public, but it has become a fascinating medium of casual exchange among students themselves. Fisherman (1997) asserts that; “no language considered inferior is aptly logical”. This is because where two or more speech communities come in contact, a lingua franca or common language of communication emerges. He further points out that it is the social situation use popularly known as context that affects the morpho-syntactic pattern of a language. Since pidginisation, according to Hymes (1971:84), is a “complex process of Sociolinguistics”, we shall now consider the use of Nigerian Pidgin English among students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

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THE IMPACT OF PIDGIN ENGLISH ON STUDENTS COMPETENCE IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITY

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