1.1 Background of 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 different languages.
Language is the most creative and unlimited instrument for social communication. It helps us to understand the social relevance, cultural involvement and the human relatedness to language. Having said this, we can therefore agree that pidgin is a language of its own and not just a supplement of social communication especially in a multilingual community as college of education.
According to Linton (1996), “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”.
The culture, ideas and habits can only be transmitted from generation to generation through language. In linguistics, 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 factions 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.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigerian pidgin is a language just as English and there is enough room for both languages to co-exist and be mutually enriched. Despite this and the fact that Nigerian Pidgin English appears to be the most popular means of communication among divers 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 settings and when its use in such setting, it is usually frowned at.
This research work will explore the potentials of Nigerian Pidgin English has this potential. Why is this usage and status denigrated? Also, does the speaking of Nigerian Pidgin affect students’ academic performance? Answers to these questions will enable us make useful recommendations for future studies.