The Effect Of Pidgin English On The Teaching Of English Language In Some Selected Junior Secondary Schools In Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Edo State

Project and Seminar Material for English Education

The Effect Of Pidgin English On The Teaching Of English Language In Some Selected Junior Secondary Schools In Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Edo State


The study exposes the difficulties experienced by students at the Junior Secondary School Certificate Level with respect to Pidgin English Interference on English Language teaching/students daily use of the language in some selected secondary schools in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area. some research questions were formulated to guide the direction of the study against the background of variable factors in the learning situation. Related literature review was undertaken so as to be abreast a earlier writers view on the subject matter studied. An instrument was designed to obtain information from respondents. The instrument in the form of questionnaire was administered and subsequently retrieved, tabulated side by side the formulated research questions with answers provided to them the results obtained were discussed with findings conclusion and recommendation were presented in the final chapter.

Chapter One

1.1 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

English language originated in England and is now widely spoken throughout the continents. It is the primary language of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Austrialia, Ireland, New Zealand, and various small Island nations in the Carribean Sea and Pacific Ocean. It is also an official language of India, the Philippines and many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa. In Nigeria, English Language is the lingual Franca. This makes the language an indispensable tool for students in the country to communicate and interact socially because of the numerous indigenous languages/dialects spoken by the different ethnic groups in different parts of the country. Some dialects are similar both in spoken and in written form, while others are radically different from one another. These Nigerian languages include Kwale, Owan, Urhobo, Edo, Ijaw and Yoruba. However, none of these dominant tribal languages has been generally accepted as a national language. English language is the official language in Nigeria and the means through which the colonial masters in their era used in uniting the various tribes for communication to take place.

English language is global the language of technology, science, aviation and computer, education and at that a world language of importance. Therefore efficient spoken/written knowledge of English Language is of basic importance to the study of every other subject of Standard English language command respect and prestige in the society. Inspite of the importance of correct use of English language, it is found that in particular students perform woefully in its usage both in examinations and daily life interactions. A number of factors contribute to the situation one of which is the constant used of pidgin English in the study and living situations including the primary and junior secondary schools. It becomes challenging as the role of teachers in teaching English language in the primary and junior secondary schools. To speak Standard English with the students especially those in junior secondary moreso the certificate classes level of JSS III, SS III level. This will be English teachers encouraging the pupils to speak it every time and anywhere with availability of adequate instructional materials to aid the teaching and learning of English language.

1.2 Statement of the Problems

Pidgin English is traceable to the Portuguese coming to Nigeria as traders and missionaries. Pidgin English is a hybrid language, contains elements of both immediate African language speaking environment and English. It is learned usually as L2 at times as L1. It is not what a learner learn by itself because it is no developmental. It is a fairly closed language sound system and serves restricted numerous functions an expanding to serve fresh function by wholesale borrowing of vocabulary from English. The missionaries from Portugal used pidgin English as a means of communication with the natives of the coastal lands. Today, Pidgin English is used to facilitate communication link among individual, serves as a language of the literate and the illiterate in the Nigerian society. However, this Pidgin English which is mostly used at homes market, primary and junior secondary schools among peer groups should be stepped aside in the school system gamut of the society by the teachers so that standard English acquisition and command comes to the way of learners. This will make students take the standard English learning and efficient daily use serious and afford them active a command of good English in terms of communication and enjoyable social interaction.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The study purpose among others investigate the reasons students use Pidgin English instead of a Standard English. Also to make them know it has effect on their use of English i.e. it hampers proficient use and retards progress in acquiring good English language. The study would also show the way out to students on how to minimize Pidgin English usage in their daily performance.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is to be found among others in parents/students and teachers recognition that Pidgin English usage slows down the pace of efficient use of English. In various homes, native language is spoken most often, then the pidgin English and there English. It may be in form of our dialects, Pidgin English or Standard English. The background of our upbringing matters a lot, when we are taught in pidgin for instance, there is no way we can have a good command of Standard English anywhere we find ourselves. Rather the parents who had trained up their children with Standard English would be proud of their children, hearing them use Standard English to communicate, Standard English enhances the children’s educational standard because English is a means through which every other subject is taught.

In the same vein, a situation where a child is trained to use Pidgin in communication, the child finds it difficult to understand his teacher when the lesson is going on. Therefore, if a child is trained up with standard English at school, the child learns easily without any stress or strain to understanding the language used by the teacher (i.e. Standard English). Teachers does not find it difficult to disseminate any information to such Standard English background oriented student(s). the teacher would be happy seeing his students excel in the examinations and of course the students would command respect or prestige in the society using eloquently the Standard English.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. Are there available qualified teaches handling the teaching/learning of English language?
  2. Does Pidgin English have any influence on the teaching and learning of English Language?
  3. Is there any relationship between Pidgin English and English Language?

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study examines the effect of Pidgin English on teaching English Language in Junior Secondary Schools of Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.

There were other factors that did not allow for a thorough and comprehensive study of this work. There was time constraint, lack of materials to lay hold on for adequate execution of this project. Finance was also a factor that hampered such more adequate proper execution of the study.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Is the language, originally of England now spoken of international communication throughout the world.

English Language:

Is as well a subject of study.


A simple form of language especially English, Portuguese or Dutch, with a limited number of words used with words from a local language.

Pidgin English:

A way of speaking a language that uses simple words and forms, when a person cannot speak the language well.


The form of a language that is spoken in an area with its grammar, words and pronunciation that may be different from other forms of the same language as elsewhere used.

Ethnic Group:

Connected with or belonging to a small indigenous group in a nation, race or people that share the same cultural tradition.

Standard English:

Generally accepted spellings, pronunciations, grammar believed to be correct and used by most learned people.

Lingua Franca:

A shared language of communication used between people whose main languages are different.

L1: First Language:

The language that one learns to speak first as a child and usually one speaks the language best among other languages.

L2-Second Language:

A language that somebody learns to speak well and use at workplace or at school where it is learnt but that is not the language such user learns first.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

This study sets out to investigate some of the effect of Pidgin English on the teaching of English Language in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State. it suggests possible ways some of these effects identified could be alleviated. The instrument used for the study is a structured questionnaire. Resulting from the investigation is the following conclusions drawn.

That student should be given good background in English Language. Government should provide adequate facilities and instructional materials to enhance the learning of Standard English. These facilities include language laboratory for effective teaching/learning of the subject.

5.2 Findings and Summary

  1. The research revealed the following that with the teachers and the students, attitude towards the use of Pidgin English is not interesting.
  2. That the facilities available for the teaching of English Language in schools in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State are limited to text books only. This may not be of very useful advantage to the users of the language, as more facilities are still needed to be used.
  3. That the background in relation to the students first education received in the primary school matters a lot.
  4. That the ministry of education should aid the school by providing audio-visual aids in the teaching of oral English, in particular.
  5. The research also revealed that the time allocated for teaching the subject is very short.
  6. The researcher observed most students in some of these selected schools speak Pidgin or vernacular because they cannot expresses themselves in good English.

5.3 Recommendations

  1. With respect to the influence of Pidgin English on the use of efficient English, the researcher suggests that students should have good background in primary education in English Language in order to avoid the use of Pidgin English/native language.
  2. Parents should encourage their children to speak good English both at home and teachers do same in the school.
  3. Parents should equally endeavour to provide for their children the prescribed textbooks and other perceived relevant materials for learning the subject.
  4. Teachers should take special interest in teaching the use of efficient English to discourage students use Pidgin English. Moreso, lesson periods for English Language teaching should be effected.
  5. The government should employ more qualified teachers of English in order to ensure teachers adequate worked and teaching of the students.
  6. Finally, if the suggestions made above are bought as attempted solutions, they would reduce the use of Pidgin English a whole and hence put the teaching of English Language in the perspective of practice reality. It would make the teachers working situation easier and in turn boost the teaching and learning process.

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