JASSD - Journal of African Studies and Sustainable Development (Vol. 5 No. 1, 2022) APPRAISING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AS FIRST OR SECOND LANGUAGE TO IGBO SPEAKING STUDENTS Onuoha, Ebere Nwamaka


Language has been an indispensable tool for communication. Its acquisition, learning, and use have drawn the attention of many linguists as well as psychologists. English language, as the world lingua franca, introduced and used by the colonizing British in Nigeria has enjoyed much prestigious status and its use has become a mark of enlightenment and exposure. This elevated position of the language has resulted in its acquisition and used early in many homes especially those from Igbo origin, thereby denigrating their native language - the Igbo language. This paper, therefore, sets out to investigate whether the English language is the first or second language for students of Igbo origin and the attitude of these youths towards their language. To examine this, the researcher adopted two theoretical frameworks; language acquisition theory (Innateness) by Noam Chomsky and Interactionist theory by Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner. A structured questionnaire is used to elicit responses from 100 Year one students of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri who are Igbos, and the data is analyzed using the descriptive quantitative and simple percentage methods. The outcome of this work exposed the fact that the English language, which before now, has been learned as a second language in schools, has taken a lead to be the first language acquired and spoken by students, particularly the Igbo speaking students.

Keywords: English Language, First Language, Second Language, Acquisition

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