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History and Importance of English Language in Nigeria

This article traces the history and uses of English language in Nigeria.

English has been one of the major languages in the world. English language is termed Nigeria’s second language, it is being used as a communication tool by everyone in the country.

It is being taught in schools from the pre-nursery down to the tertiary institutions.

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Having looked at the History of Commerce in Nigeria, and that of TRCN. This article will also trace the history and uses of English Language in Nigeria is something everyone should know about

History of English Language in Nigeria

The Christian missionaries were the first to introduce the English language into the country.

Before then, parents were teaching their children the traditions, local languages norms, and cultures which were also taught by their own parents too.

After the introduction of the missionaries and also acceptance, parents started learning and also teaching their children how to speak English language.

Earlier times, the kind of English being spoken were “Coastal English” and “Patua English. The European masters and also the slave trade activities along the west coast of Africa was believed to have paved the way for some cultures and norms which some of which are still in existence today.

In the year 1841; the British were able to enter into the Southern and South-Western region and which raises the question of a language to adopt for communication between the indigenous people and themselves which is referred to as the guest.

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In the year 1882, the English language was already spoken by the elites and also the children of the elites.

English language was accepted and also implanted as the official language to be used in the country. It was approved in the Corporate environment, Corporate organizations and others.

Places like Lagos, Badagry, Bendel, Abeokuta have a lot of English speakers. English language was seen as a prestigious language, a language of success and power.

During these times people no longer paid attention anymore to native languages, children in schools are now taught English language as using your native language is termed “Vernacular” and also punishable in schools. That’s all about the history of English language in Nigeria, now let’s check its main 10 uses.

Importance & Functions of English Language in Nigeria

Uses and Fuctions of English Language in Nigeria

Below are the importance and functions of English language in Nigeria

1. Lingua-Franca

In terms and also an aspect of communication, English language is used worldwide. It is termed as the Lingua-Franca of the country.

2. English Language is Used in Science and Technology

The English language is used in the ICT industries, the internet, medicine and others. Without the knowledge and communication of English, one cannot successfully go into this area of interest.

3. Unity in Cultural Diversity

Nigeria as a country has different cultures and ethnic groups. The only way to unite them together is by speaking one language, which is why English was made the Lingua-Franca of the country.

For you to be able to adapt well to the system, you need English language, to communicate with others, if you really want to learn about their cultures, lifestyle, and beliefs.

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Parents also have a large role to play in our local languages, so as not to suffer extinction, parents are to make sure children are taught these local languages at home.

4. Job Acquisition

Getting a job requires one to fully understand and also being able to communicate well in English.
Most times when we go out to buy/sell English is being used as an effective way of carrying out our trade very well.

4. English Is Used As A Medium Of Teaching In Nigeria

Another use is when it is taught in schools, it is important that students are being taught English language in school. An average student must be able to score a minimum of credit in an English language exam to be able to get admission into the university or even go further.

5. English Language is Used in Music and Movie Industries

We all love music, apart from during the old times, when we listen to music in our local languages, music now is now passed across us through the English language.
If you are a movie lover, then you will know English language is very important, 80% of our movies being shown today are in English language

6. English Language Is Used In The Media

News broadcasts and even sports highlights and news are now passed across in English. We all love to know what’s happening around us, around the world.

7. English is Used in Companies and Organizations

Working in an organization requires one to know the use of English, as speaking any other language, is referred to as not being professional. Organizations like banks, offices, and others have adapted to this pattern.

8. English Language is Used in Written Books

Almost all books are written in English language including our holy book “The Bible”. If you love reading then the English language should not be a problem for you.

In addition, English language should not be used as a term in measuring one’s intelligence.

9. English Language is used as a medium for communication Internationally

Nigerian is rich in oil and many other resources but it is shameful we don’t have factories and refineries that will convert these resources and so we rely solely on foreign export, through foreign export English language is used to communicate with different countries to make business transactions and agreements

10. English Language is Used Mostly on Social Networks

Everyone loves chatting and its obvious English language is the most common language used for chatting with friends, families and loved ones. social platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter makes the top list

Problems of Learning English Language In Nigeria (Summary)

  • Environment
  • Substandard Schools
  • Lack of Poor Education
  • Problems with accent and placement of stresses on words when speaking the English Read

The three factors listed above are among the main points leading to problems of learning English language in Nigeria.

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Conclusion: History of English Language in Nigeria

We believe this article has provided valuable information as regards the history functions and problems of English language in Nigeria.

Was this article educative? Let’s hear from you

Benjamin Targba
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