‘I dey trust you waa’: Pidgin English as a Current Spoken Communication Tool at University of Mines and Technology
Pidgin English (PE), though not that popular in Ghana in the past, seems to be gaining ground in the educational institutions today. Of particular interest is the observed increase in PE use among students of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), who are training to become professionals in the mining and allied fields. What has caused this? How do the students feel about PE use? And what are their own views about PE-speaking in Ghana? This study, the first to examine PE at UMaT, aimed at finding empirical answers to these questions. A questionnaire was administered to 457 undergraduates selected at random from First and Second Year students. Analysis of the responses shows that majority of the students consider PE use “beneficial/advantageous” and “comfortable” because “it gives them a sense of belonging to the student body”; it is “easy and fun to speak”; and “trendy/spoken by friends”. They recognise that PE is not Standard English (SE) but “feel unashamed” speaking it. However, they think it is not good enough to speak PE all the time as it will “distort [their] SE”, and also “attract wrong public perception [of them] as poor scholars”. Left to the students alone, “there should be restrictions on PE use in Ghana to informal occasions” and “insistence on SE use”. It is concluded that UMaT students feel comfortable speaking PE but admit that it can adversely affect their SE. It is recommended that more studies be conducted into PE as a topical issue in Ghana.
Keywords: Pidgin English, Mining and Allied Engineering Fields, Professionals, UMaT Students