The Impact of Pidgin English on Students Competence : Current School News

The Impact of Pidgin English on Students Competence in Nigeria University

Filed in Current Projects, Linguistics Project Topics by on September 10, 2021

ADS! Download JAMB CBT Software Now for FREE!

– The Impact of Pidgin English on Students Competence in Nigeria University –


This project is an attempt to explore the recurring grave concerning the academic performance of students. Though a large percentage of students in Nigeria learn English as a second language and are instructed in it, the Nigerian pidgin seems to interfere with their acquisition of the language and their performance in it much more than their mother tongues. The impact of pidgin contributes in no small measure to the dismal performance of students in their academic careers. 


Nigeria is a multilingual country with four hundred indigenous languages, out of which three are regarded as major ones, namely: Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba, representing the three major geo-political zones – North, East, and South respectively. Despite this fact, Nigerian Pidgin is used in diverse degrees in different parts of the country and it has become a lingua franca for many, while it is a Creole in some Southern and Eastern States like Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Edo, and Cross Rivers.

Marcheseand Schnkal (1980) confirms this after a major evolution in the Delta area of Nigeria, they say; “… in a particular part of Nigeria, the areas around Warri and Sapele, Nigerian pidgin is more of a Creole. Creole is a mixture of a European language with a local language and is spoken as a first language. Some view it as a variety of English, while others see it as a distinct language.

A look at the structure of Nigerian pidgin (NP) portrays that it has structures and patterns of behavior of its own. Though at its initial stage, NP was considered the language of those who could not speak good English, many know better now. It is, therefore, no wonder that it is not only used by undergraduates in Nigerian universities during a conversation with the uneducated public, but it has become a fascinating medium of casual exchange among students themselves.

Fisherman (1997) asserts that; “no language considered inferior is aptly logical”. This is because where two or more speech communities come in contact, a lingua franca or common language of communication emerges. He further points out that it is the social situation use popularly known as a context that affects the morpho-syntactic pattern of a language. 


Abdullahi-Idiagbo, M.S. (2010), “The sociolinguistic of Nigerian pidgin
English in selected university campuses in Nigeria”. Ifestudies in
English language Vol. 8, No. 1, September, 2010, pp. 50-60.
Ativie, C.A. (2012), Cultural Influences as Inputs of Development of
Nigeria Pidgin. Novena University, press.
Bomgbose, A. (1991), Language and the Nation.Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University press (2013), African Linguistic Association, African
Linguistics and Social Responsibility. An address presented at the
WALS and LAN conference at the university of Ibadan.
Babawilly, (2001), Nigeria-Babawilly Pidgin English
Skiba, R. (1997), “Code Switching as a Countenance of Language
Interference” [email protected]
Solomon, O. (2007), “The influence of Nigerian pidgin on the written
English language of students of command secondary school,
Kaduna. An unpublished M.A. Thesis A.B.U. Zaria.
Aleksandra, K. (2009), “On the of Pidgin and Creole Languages: An
Outline”. Styles of Communication. No 1/2009.
Ajibade, Y.A., Adeyemi, B.B. and Awopetu, E.O. (2012), “Unity in
Diversity: the Nigerian Youth, Nigerian Pidgin English and the
Nigerian Language Policy”. In Journal of Educational and Social
Research. Vol. 2(3) September 2012, pp. 289-298.

CSN Team.

Join Over 5 Million Subscribers Today!


Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: