sociolinguistics

Topics: Multilingualism, English language, Linguistics Pages: 9 (3801 words) Published: July 8, 2014
Journal of Education and Practice
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol 2, No 5, 2011

www.iiste.org

Code-switching and its Literacy Effects on the Acquisition of English Language by Yoruba / English Language Bilinguals
Otemuyiwa Abosede Adebola
Department of English, College of Humanities
Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji- Arakeji,
PMB 5006 Ilesa 233001, Osun State, Nigeria , otemuyiwa2011@yahoo.com Abstract
This study identified the reasons why people codes-switch, studied the influence parents, teachers and peers had on the code choice of students and recommendations were given to solving the problems of codesswitching. Questionnaires were administered on two hundred (200) students, fifty from each school who are predominantly speakers of Yoruba language and they were randomly drawn from SSS1to SSS3 of the following schools: Saint Magarets School, Ilesa, Ilesa Grammar School, Ilesa, African Church Grammar School, Ilesa, and Saint Lawrences Grammar School, Ilesa. The result on the test of educational background revealed that students with sub-standard educational background use code-switching more than those with standard educational background. Another fact revealed was that nearly all the teachers that were involved in the research do code-switch. And lastly it revealed that the language individuals speak at home has tremendous influence on them. The study concluded that students should be warned about the danger inherent in switching if made to become a habit and that students should be discouraged in the use of switching in informal settings so as to facilitate the free flow of communication between or among the speakers.

Keywords: Code-switching, Literacy-Effects, Language Acquisition, Bilinguals Global Communication 1 .1 Introduction
English Language is a West Germanic language that arose in England and South Eastern Scotland in the time of the Anglo Saxon. Following the economic, military, scientific, cultural and colonial influence of Britain and United Kingdom from the 18th century United States since the 20th century, it has been widely dispersed around the world becoming the leading language of international discourse and has acquired use as lingua franca in many regions including Nigeria. The Briton administered the country in English, established schools and required that all students be taught in English. Literacy is largely dependent upon teaching. While some local indigenous scripts are taught relatively informally by parents or someone who knows the script well, widespread or universal literacy is dependent upon schooling. Indeed, in many societies schooling and literacy have been almost synonymous. Schools in such diverse places as Sumer and China developed concurrently with the development of a full writing system and were concerned primarily with teaching first adults and later children to read and write. And it is inconceivable that modern technological societies could survive without schools to develop high levels of literacy.

Code-switching is the mixing of more than one language in a discourse and it is an evidence of language contact. In Nigeria situation, the contact is often between one local language and English regardless of one’s tribe or background. Many people see code-mixing as a sign of linguistic decay, the unsystematic result of not knowing at least one of the involved language very well. (Appel and Muysken, 1988).

The use of more than one language alternatively in a discourse situation can further be explained if a distinction is made between code-switching and borrowing. Borrowing is an importation of certain

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Journal of Education and Practice
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol 2, No 5, 2011

www.iiste.org

linguistic items from one language to another. This phenomenon is as a result of language contact which happens mostly in bilingual communities.
2.1 The nature of Human Language.
Language is characterized by a set...

References: Akindele, F. and Adegbite, W. (1992). The Sociology and Politics of English in Nigeria, Debiyi- Iwa
Press, Ile-Ife.
Washington D.C, 1977.
Gumperz, J.J and Hymes, D. (1971). Direction in Sociolinguistics, Holt, Reinhart and Winston, New York.
Gumperz, John J. (1971). Language in Social Groups. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
Maaw, Joan (1971) ”Socio-Linguistics problems and potentialities of Education through a foreign
language” in Language use and Social Change: Problems of Multilingualism with special reference to
Eastern Africa, W.E Whiteley (ed.), Oxford
University Press, 1971.
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol 2, No 5, 2011
www.iiste.org
Lambert, W.E (1977) “Effects of Bilinbualism on the individual” in Bilingualism: psychological, Social
and Educational Implications, Hornby P. (ed.) Academic Press, New York, 1977.
Rene Appel, and Pieter Muysken, (1988),Language Contact and Bilingualism, Edward Arnold, London.
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol 2, No 5, 2011
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