Functions of English Language in Nigeria
English, being the official language in Nigeria has several functions attached to it. In this article however, I am going to explain some of the functions of English in Nigeria.
Since English language is the major language used in Nigeria, for both communication purposes and for the propagation of education, it is sensible to conclude that, so much important is attached to the use of English language hence, English language has served many functions. In this article however, we are going to look at some of the functions of English language together in Nigeria.
1. English Is Used As A Means Of Communication In Nigeria
2. English Is Used As A Medium Of Teaching In Nigeria
3. English Is Used As A Written And Spoken Language In Nigeria
4. English Is Used To Breaking Language Barrier In Nigeria
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5. English Language Is Used In Government’s Transactions:
I have said here that English language is seen as an official language, and the language is used almost in all settings, transactions and endeavours within Nigeria. Typical example is that of government setting. In the business of governance in Nigeria, it is English language that is used in the transactions of such business.
This is very important because the only medium through which there is understanding in government among the officials of government, is the use of English language between government departments, government agencies,, government parastatals, and government ministries, and this understanding is what engenders smooth running of government by the public servants. Do not forget that, much of what the government is used in carrying out its functions are documents, and these documents whether they are in soft copy or hard copy, the information in these documents are written in English language. In fact, sometimes, when directive is given in government, it is given in English language.
Whether such information comes as an instructions or as an application for something or requisition for something, whatever it is, they are communicating through English language. Apart from the above mentioned information used in government, the government can also use English language to communicate through memoranda, through minutes and government circulars. The government can also by the use of English language, communicatie through official correspondences.
6. English Language Is Used In Commerce And Industry:
Commerce and industry is one important sector in the Nigerian economy. It is one sector that boost the economy of Nigeria, therefore, the important of this sector cannot be underestimated. And given the important of this sector, there are some sort of transactions carried out within the sector by the participants, and these transactions are done in English language. Participants or players in this sector do engaged themselves in conferences, workshops, symposiums, seminars, etc, all targeted at acquiring skills and knowledge, updating such skills and knowledge for the purpose of achieving high productivity in the sector with a view to improve the Nigerian economy., and all of these transactions are done in English language. Moreso, anytime, where there is occasion that warrant meeting of members of staff in the boardroom, it is English language that is used in such meeting.
7. English Language Is Used For Communication Internationally:
Today, the world is seen as a global village, and any country that wishes to grow or improve economically must engage in international business. Reason for business transactions at the international level is very obvious, given the fact that no country has a monopoly of resources. Take for instance, Nigeria, as a nation is one of the oil-producing nations, but unfortunately, Nigeria, as a nation lacks the capacity of refining the crude oil produced within its damain. So what Nigeria does is to export its criude oil to countries that have capacity to refine the crude oil, and Nigeria will in turn have to import the refined crude oil back to the country. And in the course of undertaking this international business transactions, English language is used to communicate between the countries involved. So anytime Nigeria is involving in international business with any other country outside its geographical boundary, the language used is English language.
8. English Language Is Used In The Media:
Media, as we all know plays an important role in the advancement of any nation. In Nigeria, there is no exemption. In playing its role in Nigeria, English language is used by the Media to inform the public about the activities of government, as well as some happenings within the Nigerian society. So members of the public are kept abreast of what is happening within the society either through print media or electronic media through the use of English language.
9. English Language Is Used For The Drafting Of Legal Law:
Every document that has to do with legal drafting and law are documented in English language. Even the interpretation of law by the judiciary is done in English language. Take for instance, the Nigerian constitution is written in English language.
11. English Language Is Used In Science And Technology
English language is also used in the area of science and technology. The advancement of science and technology today has been made possible through the use of English language. Most chemical names, scientific names, etc are written in English language, even some of the scientific formulae.
11. English Language Is Used In Interactions Socially:
Nigeria, as a nation is made up of different ethnic groups, with different languages, so for instance, if a Nigerian met his fellow Nigerian, say for the first time, they will be compelled to speak or interact using the English language, since Igbo man may not necessarily understand Ibibio man. They will only deviate from speaking the English language if after they discovered that they are from the tribe, where they can understand each other’s tongue or the dialect.
I have said here that, English language is extensively and widely used in Nigeria., and the English language is seen and considered an official language, where everything is done and handled through the use of English language. Therefore, as a central language, communication would have been difficult without the use of English language because of the differences in Nigerian languages.
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