An Investigation into the Attitudes and Practices of Nigerian Students towards the Use of English Language and Their Native Languages in a Culturally Diverse Society

John Peter Wappa


The study investigated the attitudes and practices of Nigerian students towards the use languages (English and native) in a culturally diverse society as the native languages are endangered because the English language is taking over the world linguistic environment as a lingua franca. Ten students who speak different Nigerian native languages were selected randomly from an international university (pseudonym) in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). A qualitative research method was adopted for the study using multiple sources of data collection, which include unstructured interview, personal stories, field notes and informal chats. The findings indicated that they acquired their native languages from birth at home, while they learn additional languages in their environment. They have positive attitudes towards the native languages, indicated by the value accorded them while English enjoys its official position. It was found out that the native languages were used for solidarity, prayers, identity and heritage preservation, whereas English language pertains the status of official language. In summary, Nigerian students studying in a culturally diverse context aim at preserving their language, culture, and identity by using it in their daily lives while they prefer using English language only for official purposes.

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