Why Is English Language An Official Language In Nigeria?
Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and is made up of a number of Trina and ethnic units. There are over 200 languages spoken in the country and as a result, there has to be an adopted language as a medium of communication. English is the official language of Nigeria and some of the functions of English Language in Nigeria are discussed below.
FUNCTIONS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN NIGERIA
- The English Language Is Used For Communication In Nigeria
As the official language in Nigeria, English is the acceptable medium of communication all over the country. It unites the country, from the North to the East, West, and South. It is a binding entity for this diverse nation which prides itself as the giant of Africa.
- English Is Used For Teaching In Nigeria
English is the language used to teach in all Nigerian schools from basic up to the tertiary level of education. So it is a must for anyone passing through the educational system in Nigeria to be well versed in the English language.
- The English Language Is Both A Written And Spoken Language In Nigeria
English is both the spoken and written language in Nigeria. The reason for the adoption of the English Language is not farfetched. It is due to the ties established with the English people of Great Britain who colonized the area today known as Nigeria. Intact, the entity is known today as Nigeria is a creation of the British that happened in the year 1914 when the Southern and Northern protectorates were amalgamated.
- Encourages Social interaction and integration
Due to the multi-ethnic and multi-tribal nature of Nigeria, social interaction between people of different tribes is difficult owing to language differences. To ease relations, a language understandable by all is necessary and in the context of Nigeria, the English Language plays this role. It allows people from all tribal units in Nigeria to communicate effectively with one another. This encourages social interaction as well as integration.
Another function of the English Language in Nigeria is Self-development. Learning a new language allows you to further develop yourself. This is because your brain is stimulated as you learn a new language, keeping it sharp. So for Nigerians, learning the English language helps to develop them further as a person.
- Career Growth
As the official language in Nigeria is English, you have to be versed in the language to increase your job prospect and also further advanced the growth of your career.
- Love And Friendship
Proficiency in the English language allows you to explain your coast beyond the shores of Nigeria. English is an international language and being able to communicate effectively in English gives you the opportunity to establish and build relationships with people from all walks of life beyond the shores of Nigeria.
- Safety In Travel
Learning the English language can be a lifesaver when traveling. This allows you to be able to confidently express yourself to strangers. This means you are able to ask for directions, meet new people, and have a good time. It also provides you with a measure of security as you will be able to communicate effectively with a doctor or other health, for example, you suddenly fall sick while in another part of the country. Knowledge of English ensures you will not get lost when you are in parts of the country you are unfamiliar with as you can easily navigate the city, which means that you will get to know the state better, constantly communicating with its inhabitants. Also, you can easily get things you need suck as order a meal in a restaurant with ease.
- An Example For Your Children
Being bi-lingual can be advantageous in so many ways. It is prestigious and serves as an example to younger ones.
- Allows You To Watch Your Favorite Movies Without Needing Subtitles
With sound knowledge of English Language, you are able to follow happenings all over the world as reported on foreign media on satellite TV. It also means you are able to understand what’s being said on your favorite foreign TV programs and movies without having to require subtitles.
You also get to know the lyrics and also understand the meaning of the lyrics of your favorite songs from foreign lands. You will be able to correctly sing along anytime the song is on the radio or TV or when you are playing it on personal media devices.
- The English Language Breaks the Language Barrier In Nigeria
English Language as a medium of communication among Nigerians broke the language barrier that existed in the country before. For example, it would be easier for you to access a particular locality with their indigenous language, and at the same time, it would not be easy at all but indeed difficult to reach another locality with a different indigenous language spoken in the same country. This is what it is almost always impossible to communicate with a Calabar man in the South-south in the Yoruba language spoken in the South-West even though they are both southerners talk less of Hausa or Fulani spoke up north. To this end, English is adapted to be spoken in all the villages, and all the towns, and all the cities, I mean everywhere in Nigeria. This has made it possible for all Nigerians from different ethnic groups to understand one another when communicating. Indeed, the English Language has made communication much easier in these parts of the world unlike what it used to be before the adoption of English. Indeed, Information has been passed or communicated to persons of different ethnic groups using the English Language. The importance of this language to Nigeria as a country can be clearly seen from the above.
- Reading Necessary Technical And Professional Literature
As English is an international language, a lot of technical and professional literature is written in this language. Only a handful of literature materials ever get translated into less popular languages. In addition, such a translation when proposed, as a rule, is delayed for a year or two (according to statistics, this is about the amount of time needed for specialized books to be translated), and during this period of time, the information may have lost its relevance. A lot of websites are also designed in English. Therefore, knowledge of the language no matter how basic will significantly increase your information awareness.
- A Good Opportunity To Earn Money
You can make money off your knowledge of English by taking on remote jobs. In this era of the Internet, it is possible for you to conclude cooperation agreements with people from other countries. You may be required to share your CVs and professional details in English. Also, you can also make money by translating issues, letters, articles, art and highly specialized works from other languages into English.
- Memory Training
Learning to speak and write in a foreign language helps you to boost your memory. This is because the more you work with your memory, the better it becomes. This helps you improve your memory and ultimately aids your self-development.
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Conclusion On Functions Of English Language In Nigeria
In a country as diverse as Nigeria, the functions of our official language, English cannot be overemphasized. It is one of the binds keeping the country united. It provides a medium of communication for all Nigerians irrespective of tribal affiliations thereby promoting national integration. The language is both the official has written and spoken the language of the country and as such, students are taught in the language from the most basic of education level to the highest levels of education in the country. It is no doubt the English language helps to bind us together as one people. It also helps to stay in touch with the outside world, allowing Nigerians to relate with foreigners, make friends, marry, learn foreign culture and also gain access to knowledge in publications that are written in the English language. Truly, the functions of the English language in Nigeria are numerous.
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