Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Naijá (also known as Nigerian Pidgin) is an extended pidgin with millions of speakers in Nigeria, and it is also a creole since some communities use it as a first language (Faraclas 2013Mazzoli 2017). It is a common lingua franca in former English colonies in West Africa and has potential for transnational use. Notwithstanding its importance at multiple levels, Naijá is not mentioned in language-related policies in Nigeria, and its use in education is limited and stigmatized. This is due to aggressive ideologies that identify Naijá as an inferior language, especially with respect to English in Nigeria. In this paper, based on fieldwork data collected in southern Nigeria, I outline positive and negative ideologies related to Naijá, and argue that innovative ideologies have emerged among Naijá native speakers, which constitute a base for elaborating endoglossic policies and introducing Naijá into the classroom.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Achebe, Chinua
    1966A Man of the People. London: Heinemann.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Adegbija, Efurosibina
    2004 “Language Policy and Planning in Nigeria”. Current Issues in Language Planning5: 181–246. 10.1080/14664200408668258
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14664200408668258 [Google Scholar]
  3. Agheyisi, Rebecca Nogieru
    1988 “The Standardization of Nigerian Pidgin English”. English World-Wide9: 227–241. 10.1075/eww.9.2.06agh
    https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.9.2.06agh [Google Scholar]
  4. Akinnaso, F. Niyi
    1990 “The Politics of Language Planning in Education in Nigeria”. Word41: 235–253. 10.1080/00437956.1990.11435827
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00437956.1990.11435827 [Google Scholar]
  5. Aldana, Carlos Alberto
    2006 “Making Languages Visible: Exploiting Contrastive Analysis in the Sanandrean Creole-Speaking Environment”. Revista Cuadernos del Caribe191: 97–103.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Amao, Temitayo
    2012 “The Use of Pidgin English as a Medium of Social Discourse among Osun State University Students”. African Nebula5: 42–52.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Anchimbe, Eric A.
    2013Language Policy and Identity Construction: The Dynamics of Cameroon’s Multilingualism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/impact.32
    https://doi.org/10.1075/impact.32 [Google Scholar]
  8. Apostolou, Fotini
    2012 “Interpreting Services for Immigrants: A New Reality in Greece”. The Interpreters’ Newsletter17: 213–222.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Asker, Adel, and Marilyn Martin-Jones
    2013 “‘A Classroom is Not a Classroom if Students are Talking to Me in Berber’: Language Ideologies and Multilingual Resources in Secondary School English Classes in Libya”. Language and Education27: 343–355. 10.1080/09500782.2013.788189
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2013.788189 [Google Scholar]
  10. Aziza, Rose
    2003 “Pidgin and the Indigenous Languages of the Warri of Delta State”. InOzo-Mekuri Ndimele, ed.Four Decades in the Study of Languages and Linguistics in Nigeria. A Festschrift for Kay Williamson. Aba: National Institute for Nigerian Languages, 131–139.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Balogun, Temitope Abiodun
    2013 “In Defense of Nigerian Pidgin”. Journal of Languages and Culture4: 90–98.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Bamgbose, Ayọ
    1996 “Post-Imperial English in Nigeria 1940–1990”. InJoshua A. Fishman, Andrew W. Conrad, and Alma Rubal-Lopez, eds.Post-Imperial English: Status Change in Former British and American Colonies, 1940–1990. Berlin: De Gruyter, 357–372. 10.1515/9783110872187.357
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110872187.357 [Google Scholar]
  13. Bamgbose, Ayo
    2000Language and Exclusion: The Consequences of Language Policies in Africa. Vol.12. Hamburg: LIT Verlag Münster.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. BBC Pidgin News
    BBC Pidgin News 2021 <https://www.bbc.com/pidgin (accessedJuly 05, 2021).
  15. “BBC Vacancy Advertisement for Pidgin Broadcaster” 2017BBC Careers careerssearch.bbc.co.uk/jobs/job/Senior-Broadcast-Journalist-social-media-Pidgin/22136?ocid=socialflow_facebook (accessedJuly 05, 2021).
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Bernstein, Basil
    1975Class, Codes, and Control. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Bourdieu, Pierre
    1991Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Bourdieu, Pierre, and Jean-Claude Passeron
    1990Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Carpenter, Karen, and Hubert Devonish
    2010 “Swimming Against the Tide: Jamaican Creole in Education”. InBettina Migge, Isabelle Léglise, and Angela Bartens, eds.Creoles in Education: An Appraisal of Current Programs and Projects. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 167–181. 10.1075/cll.36.07car
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.36.07car [Google Scholar]
  20. Collins, James
    1999 “The Ebonics Controversy in Context: Literacies, Subjectivities, and Language Ideologies in the United States”. InJan Blommaert, ed.Language Ideological Debates. Berlin: De Gruyter, 201–234. 10.1515/9783110808049.201
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110808049.201 [Google Scholar]
  21. “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
    “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” 1999 [1989]International Centre for Nigerian Law www.nigeria-law.org/ConstitutionOfTheFederalRepublicOfNigeria.htm (accessedJuly 05, 2021).
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Deuber, Dagmar
    2005Nigerian Pidgin in Lagos. Language Contact, Variation and Change in an African Urban Setting. London: Battlebridge.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Deuber, Dagmar, and Lars Hinrichs
    2007 “Dynamics of Orthographic Standardization in Jamaican Creole and Nigerian Pidgin”. World Englishes26: 22–47. 10.1111/j.1467‑971X.2007.00486.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-971X.2007.00486.x [Google Scholar]
  24. Djité, Paulin G.
    2008The Sociolinguistics of Development in Africa. Toronto: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847690470
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847690470 [Google Scholar]
  25. Endong, Floribert Patrick
    2015 “The Use of Nigerian Pidgin English in Print Advertising: Deviation from Standard Orthography and Effectiveness”. International Journal of Art, Culture, Design and Language Works1: 1–7.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Elega, Adeola A.
    2016 “Investigating the Use and Perception of West African Pidgin English among West African University Students in Northern Cyprus”. Globe: A Journal of Language, Culture and Communication4: 23–38.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Elugbe, Ben O., and Augusta P. Omamor
    1991Nigerian Pidgin: Background and Prospects. Ibadan: Heinemann.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Fairclough, Norman
    1989Language and Power. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Faraclas, Nicholas
    1996Nigerian Pidgin. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 2004 “Nigerian Pidgin English: Morphology and Syntax”. InBernd Kortmann, and Edgar W. Schneider, eds.A Handbook of Varieties of English. Vol.2. Amsterdam: De Gruyter, 828–853.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. 2013 “Nigerian Pidgin”. InSusanne M. Michaelis, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath, and Magnus Huber, eds.The Survey of Pidgin and Creole Languages. Vol. 1: English-Based and Dutch-Based Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 176–184.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Gani-Ikilama, Taiwo O.
    1990 “Use of Nigerian Pidgin in Education? Why Not?”. InNolue E. Emenanjo, ed.Multilingualism, Minority Languages, and Language Policy in Nigeria. Agbor: Central Books, 219–227.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Gaudio, P. Rudolf
    2011 “The Blackness of ‘Broken English’”. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology21: 230–246. 10.1111/j.1548‑1395.2011.01108.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1395.2011.01108.x [Google Scholar]
  34. Gogolin, Ingrid
    1997 “The ‘Monolingual Habitus’ as the Common Feature in Teaching in the Language of the Majority in Different Countries”. Per Linguam13: 38–49.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Görlach, Manfred
    1984 “English in Africa – African English?” Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses8: 33–56. [Reprinted inGörlach, Manfred 1991 Englishes. Studies in Varieties of English 1984–1988. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 36–68.]
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Haig, Yvonne, Patricia Konigsberg, and Glenys Collard
    2005 “Teaching Students who Speak Aboriginal English”. Journal of the Primary English Teaching Association (PEN)150: 1–12.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Higgins, Christina
    2010 “Raising Critical Language Awareness in Hawai’i at Da Pidgin Coup”. InBettina Migge, Isabelle Léglise, and Angela Bartens, eds.Creoles in Education: An Appraisal of Current Programs and Projects. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 31–54. 10.1075/cll.36.02hig
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.36.02hig [Google Scholar]
  38. Huber, Magnus
    1999Ghanaian Pidgin English in its West African Context: A Sociohistorical and Structural Analysis. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/veaw.g24
    https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g24 [Google Scholar]
  39. Hundt, Marianne, Lena Zipp, and André Huber
    2015 “Attitudes in Fiji Towards Varieties of English”. World Englishes34: 688–707. 10.1111/weng.12160
    https://doi.org/10.1111/weng.12160 [Google Scholar]
  40. Igboanusi, Herbert
    2008 “Empowering Nigerian Pidgin: A Challenge for Status Planning?”. World Englishes27: 68–82. 10.1111/j.1467‑971X.2008.00536.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-971X.2008.00536.x [Google Scholar]
  41. Ihemere, Kelechukwu Uchechukwu
    2006 “A Basic Description and Analytic Treatment of Noun Clauses in Nigerian Pidgin”. Nordic Journal of African Studies15: 296–313.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Jowitt, David
    1995 “Nigerian’s National Language Problem: Choices and Constraints”. InAyo Bamgbose, Ayo Banjo, and Andrew Thomas, eds.New Englishes. A West African Perspective. Ibadan: Mosuro, 34–56.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Kiramba, Lydiah Kananu
    2018 “Language Ideologies and Epistemic Exclusion”. Language and Education32: 291–312. 10.1080/09500782.2018.1438469
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2018.1438469 [Google Scholar]
  44. Koliopoulou, Maria and Torsten Leuschner
    2014 “Einleitung: Perspektiven der kontrastiven Linguistik“. Germanistische Mitteilungen4: 5–14. 10.33675/GM/2014/1/3
    https://doi.org/10.33675/GM/2014/1/3 [Google Scholar]
  45. Lasagabaster, David
    2004 “Attitude/Einstellung”. InUlrich Ammon, Norbert Dittmar, Klaus J. Mattheier, and Peter Trudgill, eds.Sociolinguistics. An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society. Berlin: De Gruyter, 399–405. 10.1515/9783110141894.1.3.399
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110141894.1.3.399 [Google Scholar]
  46. Lareau, Annette
    2003Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life. Berkeley: University California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Lin, Amy
    1996 “Bilingualism or Linguistic Segregation? Symbolic Domination, Resistance and Code Switching in Hong Kong Schools”. Linguistics and Education8: 49–84. 10.1016/S0898‑5898(96)90006‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0898-5898(96)90006-6 [Google Scholar]
  48. Makihara, Miki
    2004 “Linguistic Syncretism and Language Ideologies: Transforming Sociolinguistic Hierarchy on Rapa Nui (Easter Island)”. American Anthropologist106: 529–540. 10.1525/aa.2004.106.3.529
    https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.2004.106.3.529 [Google Scholar]
  49. Mann, Charles C.
    1996 “Anglo-Nigerian Pidgin in Nigerian Education: A Survey of Policy, Practice and Attitudes”. InTina Hickey, and Jenny Williams, eds.Language, Education and Society in a Changing World. Dublin: IRAAL/Multilingual Matters, 93–106.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Mazzoli, Maria
    2013 “Copulas in Nigerian Pidgin”. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Padova.
  51. 2015 “Complexity in Gradience. The Serial Verb take in Nigerian Pidgin”. InAndrew D. M. Smith, Graeme Trousdale, and Richard Waltereit, eds.New Directions in Grammaticalization Research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 231–260.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. 2017 “Language Nativisation and Ideologies in Ajégúnlè (Lagos)”. InEeva Sippola, Britta Schneider, and Carsten Levisen, eds.Language and Communication52: 88–101. 10.1016/j.langcom.2016.08.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2016.08.008 [Google Scholar]
  53. . f.c. “Tone in Naijá: An Elicitation Experiment on the Prosodic Realization of Copular and Imperfective /de/ and its Consequences for Spelling”. InAloysius Ngefac ed. World Englishes and Creole Languages Today. Vol.1. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Mair, Christian
    2014 “Globalisation and the Transnational Impact of Non-Standard Varieties”. InEugene Green, and Charles F. Meyer, eds.The Variability of Current World Englishes. Berlin: De Gruyter, 65–96. 10.1515/9783110352108.65
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110352108.65 [Google Scholar]
  55. Mair, Christian, and Theresa Heyd
    2014 “From Vernacular to Digital Ethnolinguistic Repertoire: The Case of Nigerian Pidgin”. InVéronique Lacoste, Jakob Leimgruber, and Thiemo Breyer, eds.Indexing Authenticity: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. Berlin: De Gruyter, 244–268.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Migge, Bettina, Isabelle Léglise, and Angela Bartens
    2010Creoles in Education. A Discussion of Pertinent Issues. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.36
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.36 [Google Scholar]
  57. McKinney, Carolyn
    2016Language and Power in Post-Colonial Schooling: Ideologies in Practice. New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315730646
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315730646 [Google Scholar]
  58. “National Policy on Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” 2014 [1981]Federal Ministry of Education https://education.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/NATIONAL-POLICY-ON-EDUCATION.pdf (accessedJuly 05, 2021).
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Ofulue, Christine I.
    2009 “Developing a Standard Orthography: A Case Study of Nigerian Pidgin”. Paper presented at the40th African Conference on African Languages (ACAL), University of Illinois.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Omoniyi, Tope
    2009 “‘So I Choose to Do am Naija Style’: Hip Hop, Language, and Postcolonial Identities”. InH. Samy Alim, Awad Ibrahim, and Alastair Pennycook, eds.Global Linguistic Flows: Hip-Hop Cultures, Youth Identities, and the Politics of Language. New York: Routledge, 113–135.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Oxfam Italia
  62. “Pidgin UDHR” 1998OHCHR www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=pcm (accessedJuly 05, 2021).
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Rampton Ben, Roxy Harris, James Collins, and Jan Blommaert
    2008 “Language, Class and Education”. InNancy Hornberger, ed.Encyclopedia of Language and Education. New York: Springer, 71–81. 10.1007/978‑0‑387‑30424‑3_6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_6 [Google Scholar]
  64. Reh, Mechthild, and Bernd Heine
    1982Sprachpolitik in Afrika. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Ricento, Thomas
    2005 “Problems with the ‘Language-as-Resource’ Discourse in the Promotion of Heritage Languages in the U.S.A.”. Journal of Sociolinguistics9: 348–368. 10.1111/j.1360‑6441.2005.00296.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-6441.2005.00296.x [Google Scholar]
  66. 2013 “Language Policy, Ideology, and Attitudes in English-Dominant Countries”. InRobert Bayley, Richard Cameron, and Ceil Lucas, eds.The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 525–544.
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Ruíz, Richard
    1984 “Orientations in Language Planning”. Journal of the National Association for Bilingual Education8: 15–34. 10.1080/08855072.1984.10668464
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08855072.1984.10668464 [Google Scholar]
  68. Schieffelin, Bambi B., and Rachelle C. Doucet
    1994 “The ‘Real’ Haitian Creole: Ideology, Metalinguistics, and Orthographic Choice”. American Ethnologist21: 176–200. 10.1525/ae.1994.21.1.02a00090
    https://doi.org/10.1525/ae.1994.21.1.02a00090 [Google Scholar]
  69. Schiffman, Harold F.
    2006 “Language Policy and Linguistic Culture”. InThomas Ricento, ed.An Introduction to Language Policy: Theory and Method. Malden: Blackwell, 111–125.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Sebba, Mark
    2000 “Writing Switching in British Creole”. InMarilyn Martin-Jones, and Kathryn Jones, eds.Multilingual Literacies: Reading and Writing Different Worlds. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 171–187.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Siegel, Jeff
    1999 “Creoles and Minority Dialects in Education: An Overview”. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development20: 508–531. 10.1080/01434639908666387
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01434639908666387 [Google Scholar]
  72. Thomas, Wayne, and Virginia Collier
    1997School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students. Washington: Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Wigglesworth, Gillian, Rosey Billington, and Deborah Loakes
    2013 “Creole Speakers and Standard Language Education”. Language and Linguistics Compass7: 388–397. 10.1111/lnc3.12035
    https://doi.org/10.1111/lnc3.12035 [Google Scholar]
  74. Yakpo, Kofi
    2016 “‘The Only Language We Speak Really Well’: The English Creoles of Equatorial Guinea and West Africa at the Intersection of Language Ideologies and Language Policies”. International Journal of the Sociology of Language239: 211–233. 10.1515/ijsl‑2016‑0010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2016-0010 [Google Scholar]
  75. Zabus, Chantal
    1996 “Water Don Pass Gari: EnPi as the New Voice of Ethnicity”. InClaudine Raynaud, ed.Ethnic Voices. Vol.2. Tours: GRAAT, 17–25.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error