Nigeria is a country mixed with different ethnic groups and cultures. The English Language has become an appropriate way to connect and communicate with one another irrespective of the different ethnicity or cultures. In Nigeria, everything is done through the use of the English language. Without the use of the English language, communication would have been difficult. Every citizen in Nigeria is compelled to learn and speak the English language because it is Nigeria’s official language. The English language has enabled Nigerians to co-exist peacefully even in their diversity. The importance of the English language in Nigeria can never be underestimated. In this article, we will be looking at the importance of the English language in Nigeria extensively.
The importance of the English language in Nigeria will be discussed below:
The English Language is Used as a Medium of Communication
In Nigeria, the English language is used to communicate with people within the society and people from other countries. In this global era, it is important for people to be able to communicate with one another. The English language influences International communication. It is impossible for an individual to be able to learn all 6500 languages in the world. The English language makes it possible to communicate with people from all over the world. It is termed the lingua-franca of the country.
The English language is not only used as the spoken language in Nigeria, it is also used as the written language. The English language breaks the language barrier in the country as it is spoken in villages, towns and cities. This has made it possible for Nigerians from different ethnic groups to understand each other when communicating. In Nigeria, if a person cannot speak the English language fluently, he or she is considered an illiterate or half-literate.
English Language Importance as a Medium of Teaching and in The Education Sector
In Nigerian schools, the English language is used as a medium of teaching and learning. It is used to impart knowledge to pupils and students right from nursery to tertiary institutions. Also, in Nigerian schools, the English language as a subject is considered important and compulsory for every student. Take for instance, a person cannot gain admission into a tertiary institution in Nigeria without passing the English language. One cannot also graduate from a tertiary institution without passing the Use of English as a course. This shows how important the English language is in Nigeria.
The benefits of education acquired through learning the English language are tremendous. It gives people access to better job opportunities, higher family income, higher productivity, improved social relations, and improved standard of living. The English language is also used as an outlet to exchange views among Nigerian professional class, outside formal educational institutions of learning.
The English language is also used in churches as a means to teach doctrines to their congregation. In other words, the English language is used as a medium of teaching and learning in Nigerian churches.
The English Language is Used in Science and Technology
The advancement of science and technology in Nigeria has been made possible through the use of the English language. The English language is used in medicine, laboratories, ICT industries and other manufacturing industries. Currently, most chemical names and scientific names are written in the English language.
The English Language is Used in The Commerce and Industry Sector of The Nigerian Economy
All the transactions carried out within the commerce and industry sector of the Nigerian economy are carried out in the English language. The key players and participants in this sector engage themselves in various seminars, conferences and workshops to acquire knowledge and skills to achieve high performance in the commerce and industry sector. All this is aimed at improving the Nigerian economy. These seminars and workshops are done in the English language. The English language is also spoken during business meetings.
The English Language is Used in Government Activities and International Trade
In Government agencies and establishments, the English language is used in government transactions and other activities. The English language is used as a medium of communication among government agencies. It is used to ensure a smooth running of government activities. Public servants save information in documents both in hard copy and soft copy. All these documents are written in the English language. All Government circulars and memoranda are always written in the English language.
The government also carries out International trade in the English language. All International business transactions by the government are done with the aid of the English language. The world is currently seen as a global village. Different countries engage in international business transactions to improve their economy. For instance, when Nigeria wants to export crude oil to other countries and import finished products from other countries, the English language is used during the course of these International business transactions.
The English Language is Used in Various Media Outlets
We all know that the media play a vital role in the development of any country. Nigeria is not left out. The English language is used in various media outlets to pass information to the public about the happenings in society and also the activities of the government. People in the society are kept constantly informed about what is happening within the Nigerian community through print or electronic media.
The English Language Serves as a Means to Earn Money
In today’s world, the Internet has made it possible for individuals to finalize cooperative agreements with people from all over the world. People share their professional details and curriculum vitae in the English language. With the help of the English language, they secure jobs thereby earning money legitimately. People earn money from translating letters, stories, and other works of art into the English language. People also earn money by becoming teachers of the English language in the nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. All these help in improving the livelihood of people and eradicating poverty.
People also engage in trading and other business activities locally and internationally in to increase their economic power and improve their overall standard of living. This is made possible because of the English language. Improved English language skills help to attract foreign investments, and these investments create more job and career opportunities for Nigerian citizens.