Language As A Tool For National Integration: The Case Of English Language In Nigeria

Hanna Onyi Yusuf


In multilingual societies like Nigeria, language which can be used as an effective instrument for national development and the promotion of national consciousness and unity can also be used as a weapon for marginalization and or exclusion. The latter trend can destabilize a nation as it sets different linguistic groups against each other in an attempt to fashion out an identity for themselves and express their existence and or relevance to the society. This scenario can be found in Nigeria, where language has been the sole factor in group integration and atimes, disintegration.

This paper addresses the language issues in Nigeria by exploring the unifying significance of the English Language in Nigeria. This unifying role and its allied issues are discussed in this paper with a view to showing that the imposition or adoption of any language apart from English as the Nation’s official language will lead to a chain of socio-political crisis that could threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria. This paper suggests that the English language should continue to play its unifying role while we continue to develop and maintain our local indigenous languages.



Language, National Integration, English Language, Nigeria

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