Volume 103, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
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This paper examines issues of language choice and language use patterns, attitudes to English and to indigenous languages in official communicative interaction in Nigeria as they exist in the offices today. The report is projected against the background of the claim that English is 'the language of government, education, commerce, etc.' in Nigeria; a claim that does not present the current roster of functions performed or shared by English and the other languages. It does not correctly portray workers' preferences of language medium in participating in the numerous communicative interactions they get into in the course of their day's work.

This report acclaims the importance of English particularly in a multiplex society such as Nigeria's, but also goes on to role-sharing and competition for certain communicative functions is actually going on between English and the indigenous languages in the offices today. The report therefore represents a state of the art commentary on language use practice and preferences in the offices. It is a signal to the writers of the Nigerian Constitution and drafters of the National Language Policy per se that a reworking is due. And for other English as a Second Language (ESL) nations, the report is a hint that assessment of the actual roles of English in national life is a continuous process rather than a once-and-for-all issue.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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