Role of English Language in Nigeria?

  • According to Bamgbose (1971:36) the most important role of English in Nigeria is it's use as a medium of social communication. It is used for inter-ethnic communication amongst people of different linguistic backgrounds.

  • English is the language through which Nigeria is heard outside her borders - United Nations, Common wealth e.t.c

  • English is the language of bureaucracy; official government records, administrative instructions and minutes are all in English. Also deliberations in the National Assembly and states Houses of Assembly are conducted in English.

  • English is also the language of Education. It is officially recognized as the medium of instruction through out the federation from primary three to the University level.
  • English is the language of educational evaluation. All subjects (apart from the Nigerian and Foreign languages) are examined in the English language.
  • English is the language of the mass media. It is the primary language in which news are written and cast before being translated into the indigenous language. It is extensively used in the radio, television and news papers.
  • English has developed a second language (now referred to as L2) in Nigeria. It is Nigeria's lingua franca or official language.
  • English is the language of politics. Used for electioneering campaigning manifestos, political speeches, radio jingles and sponsored advertisement in newspapers and on bill boards are in English because of the multilingual nature of the country.
  • English is the language of commerce in Nigeria. Used in import / export business, advert negotiations, presentation of irrevocable letters of credit, filling of foreign exchange forms etc.

  • English is also used as the language of law. For legal business and documents. The Nigerian Constitution is written and interpreted in English.