Importance Of English In Nigeria

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The study is an overview of the linguistic competence of students who learn and use English in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The language of officialdom and formal education in Nigeria, English is studied by the Nigerian learner towards mastery of different aspects of competence including speech (segmental and supra-segmental phonemes) and writing (grammar, punctuation and spelling). However, this study focuses on grammar and diction (vocabulary). Twenty essay scripts of students of tertiary institutions are examined from the perspective of contemporary English usage. The scripts are compositions which cover four different kinds of essays: expository, narrative, descriptive and argumentative essays. To aid the discussion which follows the analysis, questionnaires are administered to forty students of tertiary institutions in the country. The study reveals that: many students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria do not use English effectively as far as grammar and lexis are concerned. This worrisome situation is informed by obvious factors which include poor pedagogical situations, negative attitudes and the pragmatics of the Nigerian context. Keywords: Use of English, contemporary English usage, linguistic competence, essay writing, grammar, diction 1. Introduction English is studied in tertiary institutions in Nigeria because of its lofty position in the ESL-Nigerian-context. The curriculums of the use of English in these institutions are therefore prepared to
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