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UJAH: Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities

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English Language, the Nigerian Education System and Human Development

Juliana Chinwe Njoku

Abstract


The role English language plays in human development in Nigeria is the focal point of this paper. Basically, language is the most frequently used and the most highly developed form of human communication. Through language, people interact, share ideas and express their feelings. Without language, man would be incapable of a sustained and result oriented thinking. Education is unarguably an essential instrument for change and human development. At different levels of schooling in formal education, students are equipped with life-long knowledge and skills that would enable them realize their full potentials as human beings. However, all forms of education (formal, informal and non-formal) are realized through language; hence, language and education are inseparable. In the Nigerian polity, English language plays the role of a second language, considering the multilingual nature of the country. English is also the language of instruction in the Nigeria education system. Not only is it the language of instruction, it is also a compulsory subject and a yardstick for evaluating a learner’s school performance. The normal teachinglearning process thrives on effective communication between the teacher and the learner. No matter how expertly, learning experiences are selected and organized, the ultimate objective of the teaching-learning exercise would not be achieved if the language of instruction is unfamiliar to the leaner. This is where English language comes in. English language is indispensable to education in Nigeria, thus, it is a veritable tool for human development.

Keywords: English Language, Veritable tool, Human Development, Education, and Nigeria




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