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THE EFFECT OF PIDGIN ENGLISH ON THEIR OVERALL COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

One of the most important differences between man and animals is man’s ability to speak and others understand him. Language is only possible because within each society, people agree to understand a particular pattern of sound in a particular way.

For instance all English speaking countries understand the meaning of the word “water” According to Akindele and Adegbeye (2002) language is:

A human phenomenon that has form which can be described in terms of units of sounds (phonemes) word, morphemes, phrases, sentences and paragraphs or discourse.

According to William Rice – Johnson (2008) language is: The process or set of processes used to ensure there is agreement between the sender and receiver for meanings assigned to the symbols and the schema for combining them used for each communication.

The definition shows that language has often been identified as the most unique attribute of man. It is through language that man being grasping and understand reality and transmit it from one generation to another. The view buttressed by blacker (1976) assets that “we actually live and behave in a world of language”. Victoria Franklin and Robert Rodman (2010) quoted Noam Chomsky as saying that:

When we study human language, we are approaching that some might call the human essence. The distribute qualities of mind that is so far as we know unique to man.

Language which Oyewo Yinka  (2000) describes as “the medium or vehicle for conveying ideas, a system of arbitrary vocal symbol based on social cooperation; the totality of meaningful utterance in any given society “is by far the most important means of human communication.

Pidgin in the case is a situation where normal language pattern is altered but generally adapted to convey meaning. The language does not evolve but also its origin from a mixture of other language. Experiences have shown that among the students for which this work conceived Pidgin English has gained a wider audience in all sector of the economy especially the educational sector.

The effect of Pidgin  English on overall communication skills of Nigerian students in the focus of this research work.  Pidgin English is in fact becoming very popular in the country, especially in the secondary schools, in the universities even at public function as well as in the offices. It is a ‘lingua franca’ for social integration among diverse ethnic group in the country.

The origin of pidgin can be traced to the contact which was established between multilingual coastal communities and Portuguese merchants who were joined later by the Dutch and the English.

Pidgin English has developed that it is utilized for literary communication.  Some works in which pidgin has been employed as a medium of expression are “Abuja nahanun, na kpangbe an oda puem dem ” Edwin orihbahor  (2010), no food no country a play by Tunde  Fatunde  (1985) and grip Ama play by Ola Rotimi (1973),  some people consider it to be a product of low social status. Pidgin has come to stay as the major lingua franca adopted for communication among the many different speakers in Nigeria.

According to Jowitt (1991), the situation today is that pidgin flourishes as a medium of linter-ethnic communication especially in the south and especially in the large cities with many non-indigenous residents (Bendel, Benin, port Harcourt etc.) or throughout states with small many ethnic groups.

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.

Language is the most creative and unlimited instrument for social communication and it helps us to understand 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 socials communication especially in a multilingual community as College of Education Ikere Ekiti.

According to R. Linto (1945) “the cultures of a society is the way of life of its members, the collection of ideas and habits which they learn, share, and transmitted from generation to generation”. 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 need to its people as such should not be made to suffer any biases.

Pidgin English is a language that brings people together in spite of their differences in ancestral culture and language by creating local cultures for itself which blend from different cultures. However there is easy interaction among students most especially college of education Ikere Ekiti has been made as the main informal means of communication among students especially when the communicants does not share the same mother tongue.

Students find it easier to express themselves in pidgin as it is a language of contact. Pidgin English also closes social gap in a school community.

Statement of the problem

Pidgin English is a language that has come to ease off the communication tension that foreign languages have posed over the years. An interesting as this may appears Pidgin English in one of the languages with the most number of speakers in Nigeria a long side with the indisputable fact that it is easier to learn than any other language today. Pidgin English would not go without its obvious short comings.

Formally, amidst the minority but favored elites in Nigeria, pidgin has not been accepted among people who are the drivers of national goals due to informal acquisition of Pidgin English. In commercial transactions, although majority of Nigeria buyers and sellers are frequent users of Pidgin English. It has equally failed to be considered as appropriate as its contemporaries. In the political settings of Nigeria, apart from where Pidgin English has been subtitled for their first language, each of the different groups that are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba etc. all prefer operating their political system with their peculiar languages.

Finally, the most concerned is the manifestation of Pidgin English in Nigeria education system, College of Education as a case study. This research work will not only answer the question as to effect of pidgin English on the academic performance of students but will also encapsulate its effect on the overall communication skills of the Nigerian student.

Updated: February 8, 2018 — 7:03 pm

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