Influence of Environment on a Child's Acquisition of English as a Second Language and the Gradual Extinction of Nigerian Languages: A Study of Children of selected schools in Choba, Nigeria
This paper investigated the influence of environment on the acquisition of English by the Nigerian child. The subjects under study were thirteen bilingual children with a native Nigerian language and English as the medium of instruction. Forty-six teachers and 26 parents form the population of the study. Out of a total population of 72 respondents, 51 were sampled using the purposive sampling method. Using survey research method, the questionnaire and interview schedule were adopted as research instruments. Questionnaire was administered on selected teachers and parents to determine the influence of the social environment and peer group on the child’s acquisition of English, as well as determine the effect of English on the maintenance of the child’s mother tongue. The method adopted in analyzing the data was simple percentage. The analysis of data collected showed that parents of the children under investigation encourage their children to use English at home alongside their mother tongues, but the children prefer to use English at play because of the multilingual setting in which they find themselves. The result showed that the influence of all these environmental factors is the acquisition of English by the Nigerian child and the gradual extinction of the mother tongue.
Key words: Acquisition, child, environment, first language, second language, influence