Emerging Trends in English among Youths in Nigeria – An Exploratory Study

Chinomso P. Dozie, Ijeoma C. Ojilere


The study explored the potential impact of emerging trends in the formal written English language of youths which hitherto is uninvestigated in South-east Nigeria. Through a random sampling process, 2000 copies of pretested and validated questionnaire written in English were administered to undergraduates at five federal universities in south-east Nigeria. In addition, print-out of a couple of group conversations on Facebook and WhatsApp and Key Person Interview (KPI) was used to supplement the questionnaire data. In all, 1940 copies of questionnaire representing 97.00% were completed and returned for analysis. Results showed that emerging trends in written English conversation as social media convention is common among students in tertiary institutions. Findings revealed that 98.87% of participants used emerging trends during classes which indicates a massive infiltration of formal written English with social media trivialities while a statistically significant 34.54% have had to use these emerging trends though unconsciously during exams which reflects their deep and deliberate learning of these most potentially contentious tools of informal written conversation. Ultimately, the study confirmed that activities on social media was taking its toll on the students’ performance in written English as they can no longer tell the appropriateness of one variety or another. In conclusion, the study established that emerging trends have profound negative impact on written English and recommends that teachers/instructors must make purposeful efforts to unteach that which has been wrongly learned by insisting that students begin to imbibe the culture of standard and formal writing regardless of the purpose of the writing.


Emerging Trends, Youths, Written English, Nigeria, Social Media

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.8n.4p.70


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