Revisiting the Issue of Language in Education Policy and Mother Tongue Medium of Instruction in Nigeria

By K U Ihemere.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In modern societies languages are used to further the cause of political, economic, educational, social, and psychological objectives. Thus language planning is viewed as that, which is done through the co-operative efforts of political, economic, and linguistic authorities. Put succinctly, language plans put national and official languages into effect, encourage or discourage certain trade languages, or determine the role of mother tongues versus second languages. To this end, this paper aims to explore Nigeria’s historical and political background; its linguistic context; the question of choosing national language(s), and Nigeria’s language policy objectives. It will also highlight some of the reasons adduced in support of mother tongue medium of instruction in education, the implementation of the mother tongue policy in Nigeria, the problems inherent in the implementation of this policy and suggestions as to how these problems can be ameliorated.

Keywords: Education, Language, Language Policy, Language Plan, Mother Tongue, Societies

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.119-132. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.388MB).

Dr. K U Ihemere

Senior Lecturer, Department of English and Linguistics, University of Westminster, London, UK

I work as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. I was educated at the University of Newcastle, UK, where I took an MA and PhD degree in English Language and Linguistics. My research interests are in Pidgin and Creole linguistics, the analysis of conversational code-switching in bilingual communities, and corpus linguistics - especially problems of bilingual spoken corpora, bilingual education and cross-cultural pragmatics.

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