The Effect of Pidgin in the Teaching and Learning of Standard English in Nigeria


This study was aimed at investigating how the Pidgin variety of the English language, otherwise known as “Brokin”, has influenced the teaching and learning of the Standard English variety in Nigeria. Having adopted the English language as was introduced by the British as Nigeria’s lingua franca for over four decades, one would have expected a thorough mastery of its usage but the reverse is the case. It is quite obvious that the world has turned into a global village with the English language still gaining wide spread usage having several other peculiar varieties: the Nigerian English, the American variety, the British English and the Pidgin English to mention a few; which in themselves have other varieties. Relatively evident, is the fact that both students and teachers grapple to gain mastery of the Standard English and this has brought about a limitation in their competence and performance; the Nigerian graduate still finds himself code-switching from the Standard English to the Pidgin and this may negatively affect both his spoken and written English. This paper surveyed the origin of the Nigerian Pidgin and its features, made semantic comparisons with the Pidgin and Standard English. It also x-rayed the extent to which Pidgin has influenced the teaching and learning of the Standard English. It was recommended among other points that teachers be trained to understand the pedagogy of the language and, a concerted effort should be made to carry out on the job training because once their skill is improved, it will positively affect students at all tiers of the educational system.