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Thinking English, Losing Culture: The near Extinction of the Igbo Language

Chioma Toni-Duruaku
Ken Uche Chukwu


Language is a matter of identity. It has the propensity to transmit culture and so the moment an individual loses his language, it is obvious that his culture will be jeopardized. People, the world over, use their language for home and official interactions and specifically in Nigeria, most other tribes show a high degree of respect for their vernacular but the same cannot be said of the Igbo people. The Igbo families of today try to be more English than the Queen of England herself and so we find that children of such homes, though born and bred in Igbo land, cannot speak the Igbo Language when, on the contrary, some Igbo parents living abroad with their children make it a point of duty that the means of communication in their homes is Igbo. This paper identifies colonial experience, quest for power, the Nigerian civil war, language policy and media programmes as some of the factors affecting the Igbo language. It sees government intervention, preachers, scholars and researchers as factors that can help propagate the Igbo language as well as admonish errant Igbo parents within and outside Igbo land, who do not tow this line of upholding the Igbo language to revitalize its use so that it does not go extinct.

Keywords: Language, Culture, Thinking English, Extinction, Igbo Language

International Journal of Development and Management Review (INJODEMAR) Vol. 7 June, 2012

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2734-3316
print ISSN: 1597-9482