The origin of English language in Nigeria is connected with the colonial period. Today the English language could be named as one of the most widely used languages in the world. It appears to be the second language in lots of countries. English is the official language of our country. Let’s bring some clear information to the history of English language in Nigeria.
History of English language in Nigeria
As we have already mentioned earlier, the origin of English language in Nigeria makes it start from the colonial period. The first ones, who was able to share the language among Nigerian natives were the Christian missionaries. We know, that such kind of people tries to bring some new knowledge to those, who need it most. Yes, in all cases there has to be some kind of exception period, and Nigeria is not an exception. But, in the end, the missionaries have done their job and the bridge between two different cultures was made.
We’re using the word “bridge” not because of literature good looks. The thing is, in the process of language integration, the other learner side adds something special to the language. It happened in the case of Nigeria as well. The old types of English, which were spoken on the African continent from the very beginning, had its own special norms. In fact, some of them are in use even today. This kind of English was called Coastal or Patua English.
In 1841, the British forces entered the African continent, which they’ve done with success. These moves raised the adaptation of English language even more. In 1882, the English language was well known by the elites and their children. It became very prestigious to do businesses with British partners, so the traders were also among those, who learned English.
Through the expansion, the English language achieved the status of the official language in Nigeria. Nowadays children learn the English language as their main, and the most of them don’t even know a couple of words in their native language. Yes, there are still places in Nigeria in which the reverse is the case. But in the big cities there are lots of English speakers.
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Now, when we’ve figured out the history of English language in Nigeria, let’s drop some words about the importance of this language in Nigerian society today.
The importance of English language in Nigeria
The importance of each language depends on the number of areas, social or economic, where it is used. In Nigeria,it is used almost everywhere. Let’s bring some examples where the English language appears to be important.
- The English language is used in the better part of economic and social areas, such as ICT, the Internet, medicine etc. No one could be successful in such areas without this precious knowledge.
- On the labor market, there is also the full dominance of English language. To get a job, you must be able to speak and use English.
- The trading processes are also connected with English language. Domestic and international markets always support English.
- The education system in Nigeria is built around the English language as well. You have to teach your children from young ages, so he/she would be able to communicate with other kids and teachers in school.
- 80% of movies, which are shown in Nigeria, are in English. So, if you love cinema, you have to know this language.
- News and sports are available in English language.
As we see, there are no other ways except learning the English language in Nigerian.
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