Why Pidgin English Should Not be Ignored in Academic Circles



The origin of Pidgin English has been traced to Delta State in Nigeria where it is spoken as a first language and has spread throughout the Country since independence but has no formal status.

The Common Nigerian Pidgin as a Language of Unity is currently the subject of an ongoing research aimed at unraveling if there is a future for Pidgin English while analyzing its variation to consider if its diversity has created any need for a lingua franca.

This came to light during an interface that brought together some Principal Officers, Staff, Students from within and outside the University and members of the Public held at the Alliance Francaise Centre for French Teaching and Documentation, Opposite the Nigerian Standard Building, Jos.

Declaring the occasion open, Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, Professor Seddi Sebastian Maimako who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Teresa Nmadu described the research work as impressive but was cautious to note that it should not be allowed to lower the standard of education in Nigeria.

Maimako tasked participants to concentrate more on values that bind rather than divide and expressed hope that the research should be able to dispel fears in the minds of critical stakeholders when used as a unifying language.

Senior Research Fellow, French Institute for Research in Africa, Professor Bernard Caron said the Research is aimed at teaching levels of language that could be spoken both formally and informally.

He emphasized that people who speak Pidgin are not illiterates as over a hundred million speakers use it as a preferred language.

Caron further explained that pidgin as a norm usually emerges from consensus rather than prescription.

At the end of the Research, The Nigerian Government will be better educated on whether Pidgin English should be adopted as a Lingua Franca since it stands in the gap between private and semi-formal functions.

The interaction later went into a question and answer session.


Abdullahi Abdullahi

Principal Assistant Registrar, Information and Publications