ERIC Number: EJ787345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 74
Empowering Nigerian Pidgin: A Challenge for Status Planning?
World Englishes, v27 n1 p68-82 Feb 2008
In spite of the fact that Nigerian Pidgin (NP) is probably the language with the highest population of users in Nigeria, it does not enjoy official recognition and is excluded from the education system. It lacks prestige because it is seen by many Nigerians as a "bad" form of English and associated with a socially deprived set of people. This paper explores the possibility of empowering NP (and its speakers) by raising the value of the language through status planning, especially in the education system. On the way to realising this goal, it analyses the attitudes of 200 educated Nigerians towards its use as well as towards steps aimed at empowering it. The results show that, although there is no consensus as to whether NP should be granted official status, a large majority of respondents did not favour its use in education. The study highlights three major problems associated with the promotion of NP: (1) lack of economic value, (2) perceived effects on the local languages, and (3) the effect of the use of NP on English language proficiency. The study discovers that empowering NP is a challenge, which will be very difficult to overcome in the near future, and it suggests the way forward.
Descriptors: Pidgins, Foreign Countries, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Language Proficiency, Empowerment, Language Planning, Language Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nigeria