The Roles and Functions of English in Nigeria: The Future

in hive-175254 •  2 months ago  (edited)

The English language has been so much with us that we now seem to take its roles and functions for granted in our everyday life. The language is so much Central to our educational system that the attention paid to it is far more than the one paid to the Nigerian languages. It is overall, the official language of the country. The reality however, is that it will always remain a second language for as long as it is being learnt and used in this environm,i,ent.


Its present roles and functions, particularly in education and the way it is being learnt and used, appear to be fraught with a number of problems. The situation calls for a close examination of present trends in the learning and use of the language and the attendant problems being encountered of both learner-users and teachers as well.

The Status of English in Nigeria

The present status of English in Nigeria is that of a second language. It is learnt and used by Nigerians after mothertongues. It is learnt mostly through the school system. It is learnt and used more extensively than any other foreign language.

However, no Nigerian home is yet known to have decided to use it to replace the mother tongue. Even in the few homes with one spouse being native-speaker of English, the children are known to have acquired Nigerian language as first language and English as second, or both languages simultaneously.

All these boil down to the fact that since English came to be adopted as the official language of the country, its status as a second language has not changed. It is not likely to change in the near future.

The Role and Functions of English in Nigeria

You are already familiar with the various activities and facets of life in Nigeria in which the English language is being used. It is being used in the educational sector as a core subject at all levels of education. English serves as the language of inter-ethnic communication, it is the language of formal gatherings. It is also helpful in economic and global life.

In spite of the above details about the status, role and functions of English in Nigeria, the population of those who learn and use the language still remains low. This can be proven by comparing the level of literacy and illiteracy in the country. The literate are those who have been to school and can read and write mainly in English.

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