COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTIONS OF NIGERIAN ENGLISH AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES FOR THE TEACHING OF WRITING SKILLS AT THE SSS LEVEL
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Language is a crucial component of the educational process. It is an essential component of communication. It has extremely solid foundations for creative thought, and without it there would be no significant advancement in civilization and culture. Makinde (2022). This citation examines the capabilities of language as a tool for communication and creative thought. Through the act of thought, language is utilized to transmit ideas, which are then converted into speech or writing.
Therefore, a country’s primary language is essential to its academic development and advancement. Nigeria is a multicultural and multiethnic nation with around four hundred and ten (410 languages) (Mackey 2022). With the arrival of English in 1842, however, these multiple languages have altered or, if you will, interfered with the way Nigerians communicate on the lexical, grammatical, and phonological levels. Although English is Nigeria’s official language, a distinct variety of English has developed to meet the country’s socio-linguistic and communication requirements (which is to an extent a deviation from standard British English). This has resulted in domestication or localisation. Since English has been impacted by our native tongues, our writing will likewise reflect this transformation. We referred these these deviations as “unique Nigerianisms.”
On the phonological level, Adegbite (2022) notes a decreased vowel system, reduced intonation systems, voicing of non-voiced consonant ends, and voicing of voiceless consonants. Example: thumb, song, lamb, vowel insertion in syllabic consonants, etc. In everyday speech, we frequently hear someone incorrectly stretch or touch words. For instance, the post-vocalic /L/ is dropped in coda position: “bulk” is pronounced [bÉ], whereas “help” is pronounced [hep]. Additionally, “sit” is pronounced [si:t], “ship” is pronounced [i:p], and “beat” is contracted to [bit]. Therefore, it is feasible for these incorrect pronunciations to convert into poor writing and spelling.
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The grammatical level focuses mostly on the Nigerianization of certain parts of the English language. For instance, the following phrase is frequent among Nigerian English speakers: “He is guilty, isn’t he?” (Wrong)
“He is guilty, correct?” (Correct)
Coinages (chewing stick, cash mistress, go-slow, senior brother, co-wife), hybridizations (kiakia bus, bukateria), and direct translations (eran igbe) describe the lexical level “”bush/mea!”, “ese gigun” means “long leg.”
All of these relate to communication and the processes of communication. Its primary objective is to convey a message. All variables and characteristics of Nigerian English contribute to our linguistic and communication abilities. Frequently, linguistic competence refers to the native speaker’s command of his language. Communication competence, on the other hand, is the aptitude and ability of an individual to make and comprehend utterances that may not be grammatically correct but are adequate in the sociolinguistic context of its use. This implies that the manner in which Nigerians utilize language will impact communication. The emphasis of this course will be on writing as a way of communication.
Writing, according to Maduekwe (2022), is a “It is a personal expression of the self. It employs intuition in addition to logical thinking on experience and emotion, facts and meaning “. As stated previously, language is the foundation of creative thought and communication. As what is in the mind is transmitted into writing, the way Nigerians think in their lingua franca will define the quality of their written communication. According to study conducted by Olatunji, Felicia & Funsho (2022), some university professors occasionally code swap for the effect and for fun. While instructing, they employ phrases like as “Oyinbo” and “Ogbanje.”
If a teacher code switches or code mixes because they do not know the English translation of particular phrases or for fun, their pupils will surely mimic them and include these deviations into their own work.
According to her research, several English Department professors attempted not use code swap in class so that their students would not imitate them. Others, though, acknowledged to doing so periodically in order to illustrate the distinction between English and Yoruba (Adegbite 2022).
If this is taken down to the Junior Secondary level, we know that instructors at this level are not free from creating such curricular modifications. In reality, phrases like “mammy water” and “ogbanje” are acquired throughout the early years of basic education, which includes the SSS courses. Children’s books are referred to using these titles in literature and English textbooks containing folktales and African tales. Students would then use the word “mammy water” while writing about mermaids. The essence of the situation is thus that when teachers speak this “Nigerianized version of the English language,” their pupils catch up on these things and it severely impacts the quality of their work.
Writing is an art that indicates a specific amount of expertise, as stated in the conclusion. ‘ Evidently, “Nigerianisms,” code switching, and code mixing are ubiquitous in our Junior Secondary classrooms; such mastery may never be achieved. Students at the Junior Secondary Level are still very impressionable and can be assisted in enhancing their writing abilities (Adegbite 2022). In light of this, the purpose of this study is to determine the implications of the communicative functions of Nigerian English and how it affects the teaching of writing skills, with a focus on the Junior Secondary School level students who use English as a second language (L2), as well as the implications for teachers of English who use Nigerian English in the classroom.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
“It has been stated that learning to write fluently and expressively is the most challenging of the macro-skills for all language users, regardless of whether the language in issue is their native tongue, second language, or foreign language Madueke (2022). It is evident, based on the relative difficulty of writing, that factors such as interference from mother tongue and our “peculiar Nigerianisms” pose a threat to the quality of writing produced by our youth, particularly the SSS students who are still in their formative years and can be helped to improve their writing skills.
In addition, we must recognize that interference factors and “Nigerianisms” impact not only students but also instructors, and teachers much more so because they are the ones who teach writing to their pupils, which is a critical concern.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of this study is to assess communicative functions of Nigerian English and their consequences for the teaching of writing skills at the SSS level. Other objectives of this study are:
- To determine the extent language/native language affect teaching and comprehension of writing in both teachers and students in second language situation.
- To determine whether Nigerian English has an effect on students writing skills.
- To determine the consequences of Nigerian English on students.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide this study:
- To what extent does language/native language affect teaching and comprehension of writing in both teachers and students in second language situation.
- Does Nigerian English have an effect on students writing skills?
- What are the consequences of Nigerian English on students?
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will assist English language teachers in identifying areas in which they may enhance their teaching skills and how they can modify their current methods. It will increase the quality of writing among SSS students and enable parents and society in general recognize the significance of writing as one of the four language skills required for academic performance and societal advancement.
In addition, curriculum designers will profit from this study since it will provide information on variables such as the instructor, pupils, and society.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on communicative functions of Nigerian English and their consequences for the teaching of writing skills at the SSS level. Specifically, this study focuses on determining the extent language/native language affect teaching and comprehension of writing in both teachers and students in second language situation, determining whether Nigerian English has an effect on students writing skills and determine the consequences of Nigerian English on students.
Students in selected secondary schools in Akure, Ondo State will be the respondents for this study.
- LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Communicative functions: Communicative functions refer to the purpose of gestural, vocal, and verbal acts intended to convey information to others. Some communicative functions include commenting, requesting, protesting, directing attention, showing, and rejecting.
Writing skills: Writing skills include all the knowledge and abilities related to expressing ideas through the wr