The hegemony of English in a globalising world: impact on the indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria

  • B Anyanwu
  • RE Okecha
  • GI Omo-Ojugo
Keywords: English, Hegemony, Indigenous Languages, Nigeria


This article examines the impact of the hegemony of English, as a common lingua franca, referred to as a global language, on the indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria. Since English, through the British political imperialism and because of the economic supremacy of English dominated countries, has assumed the position of a global language, the impact is felt directly on the smaller indigenous languages in the areas or societies. The situation in Nigeria is a case in point and calls for attention. One of the problems identified in globalisation is the issue of the protection of minority languages or languages which do not have international base. In Nigeria, the use of the indigenous languages is of little significance having been dominated and their functions taken over by English, even when the language policy of the country is at variance with this. The hegemony of English as a global language calls attention to the protection of the indigenous languages spoken therein. This study which uses a descriptive approach is based on the view expressed in the literature that in a linguistically plural world, the linguistic rights of every language should be respected. The paper concludes by advocating respect and full development of all languages as well as striking a balance between meeting the intercommunication needs of different groups of people and maintaining linguistic diversity by preserving the indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria.

Keywords: English, Hegemony, Indigenous Languages, Nigeria