The Influence of the Nigerian Pidgin English on Eha-Amufu Secondary School Students’ Usage of the Standard English

Ogechi Chiamaka Unachukwu, Goodluck C. Kadiri, Amaka Grace Nwuche


The use of Pidgin English in the Nigerian context has gone beyond verbal communication to become more of a mode of behaviour as its expression has moved from informal conversation to formal situations. The above scenario necessitated this study which investigates Eha-Amufu secondary school students’ usage of the Standard English in view of the use of the Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE). The study sets to find out what informs the usage and the extent the Nigerian Pidgin English has affected the use of the Standard English of these students using the affective filter hypothesis from Stephen Krashen’s 2003 Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory. Using the questionnaire and essay writing as research instruments, data were collected from a sample of 200 students and willing teachers from four selected secondary schools in Eha-Amufu. Findings reveal that the use of the Nigerian Pidgin English is traceable to homes and peer group influence and has grossly affected the students’ Standard English usage. The finding that students do not use Nigerian Pidgin English in their written essays was largely contradicted by the avalanche of the Nigerian Pidgin English expressions found in the written essays of the students which also reveal its adverse effect on the Standard English both in spelling and contextual usage. This research, therefore, concludes that a deliberate and conscious effort at instilling in the minds of Eha-Amufu students the knowledge of the adverse effect of NPE usage on their academic performance and the danger of its persistent use will go a long way in mitigating the adverse effects of Nigerian Pidgin English usage on the Standard English usage among them.


Standard English; Nigerian Pidgin English; Eha-Amufu; Students’ Performance; Multilingual

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