Language Policy in Nigeria and Nigerian Language Policy: Implications for Effective Communication in Non-Monolingual Nations

Abstract:

In Nigeria, almost 500 indigenous languages continue to compete with the English language that has assumed the status of a global linguistic code. The contact, in different domains between English and indigenous languages in the country continues to affect performance in English and contact languages, making effective communication in either English or any of the indigenous languages unattainable. The purpose of this study is to show that although no particular document, so named, exists expressing the nation’s policy on language, nonetheless, the country has a policy on language that accommodates the indigenous languages as substrates, while the English language holds sway in various linguistic domains. Using a simple descriptive survey with data from previous studies, this paper examines the linguistic implications of the contact between English and indigenous languages on the younger generations who are losing contact with the mother tongue, and also not demonstrating enough proficiency in the English language. It is recommended that the opportunities that competence and maturation afforded a second language learner should be latched onto to gain the needed proficiency in English thus making them effective bilinguals and communicators in a world that is fast becoming a global village, and the inhabitants global citizens.