Regional Variations in English Nigeria and the Implications for its Teaching as a Second Language

Abstract:

The paper focuses on regional or local variations in English in Nigeria with particular reference to spoken English in which the variations are most noticeable. The three major Nigerian languages - Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa are referred to mainly in consideration of the local variations in English. The variations are seen as inevitable because of the nature of the Nigerian society. The different phonological, lexical and syntactic variations peculiar to the different local environments are discussed. Language interlarding between the regional language and English is also considered in relation to lexical variations. Finally, the paper recommends that the language teacher should focus on the areas of difference between the local languages and English for contrastive studies in order to make the teaching easier. Also the paper suggests that the different local accents or varieties of English in Nigeria should be brought together and standardized in order to eventually evolve a Nigerian Standard English (NSE).