Problem facing learners of English in Nigeria

Problem facing learners of English in Nigeria

The English language is the official language in Nigeria. Unfortunately, many Nigerians can’t speak English correctly. Others have serious difficulties in learning and speaking the language. Here, let’s discuss the problems facing learners of English in Nigeria.

English in Nigeria

Although the English language is the official language in Nigeria, it is not the primary language of most Nigerians. The primary language of most Nigerians is their ethnic language. The English language has to be learned and mastered as a secondary language. But most Nigerians find it hard to grasp, write, and speak English correctly. Not just the speaking and writing, statistics also show that a lot of students fail the English language in West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination yearly. So, here we will be discussing the problems and factors affecting the learning of English language in Nigeria.

English speakers in Nigeria

The problems facing learners of English in Nigeria

The major problems facing students of English language in Nigeria today include:

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● Problems with the use of grammar and tenses.

● Difficulties in writing well-structured English sentences and the use of punctuations in the appropriate places.

● Problems with accent and placement of stresses on words when speaking the English.

● Speaking intelligible sentences that can be understood by native English speakers.

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Students in class

Factors affecting teaching and learning of English language

Let’s look at some of the factors causing these problems faced by English learners.

1. The first factor affecting English learners in Nigeria begins with childhood. It is a problem caused by the mother tongue interference with the use of English. There are more than five hundred different languages in Nigeria. These languages are not in any way close or have anything in common to each other and English language. Most English learners develop in their early years speaking their native language. By the time they start to learn English, they have problems with pronunciations and use of the language. The mother tongue comes with accent and so this accent often interfere with word pronunciation

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2. Another problem in learning English is the use and placement of stress in English words. This is because unlike the native English speakers who acquire it naturally, English language learners in Nigeria have to learn how to apply stress in the right places.

learners of English in Nigeria and their problems

3. Lack of qualified teachers of English language. In most schools, the lack of teachers with good command of the language is a challenge. Also, the problem with good command of English by teachers of other subject has some effect too. English is the official language of learning today in Nigeria and what is accepted on the premises of most schools. But even teachers sometimes use vernaculars in school. As a result of this, the teaching of English and the use of it in most schools is affected negatively.

English improvement

4. Gaps in the curriculum and educational program. There is a wide gap between the curriculum of English learning and the one being taught in classes. Most students are taught English, but the educational program does not focus on the need to write well-structured English sentences and also speaking of correct English.

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5. The environment is not English-speaking. Even though English is the official language in Nigeria, it is not the language used in most places. The English language is often used only in formal environments like schools, offices, banks, etc. But the local or primary dialect is the language often used in the immediate surroundings of most English learners which include the home, neighborhood, market, social gatherings, etc. As a result of this, people are more accustomed to speaking their native language than mastering English. In most environments, the use of English language is seen as a disregard for the native culture.

6. Lack of reading and listening skills. Most Nigerians don’t read English literature while growing up. So even when they are learning the English language at school, it is not assisted with reading tools and culture.

Studying aid

Although these problems and factors are embedded in the society, there are still ways they can be tackled. If these factors are addressed, there will be a turnaround, and the use of English will become better both verbally and written.

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