Research Article

The English Language and the Second Language Learners’ Perception in a Multicultural Nigeria: An Appraisal


  • Ijeoma C. Ojilere Department of English/Literary Studies, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
  • Chinomso P. Dozie Use of English Unit, Directorate of General Studies, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria
  • Mmachi Akudo Chidozie Department of English Language, School of Languages, Imo State College of Education, Ihitte-Uboma, Imo State


The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of English as language of formal learning using some schools from the three senatorial zones in Imo State as well as teachers’ challenges in the use of this target language as a pedagogical tool. Through a random sampling process, 1200 copies of pretested and validated questionnaire written in English were administered to selected students from these regions. Key Persons Interview was also used to supplement the questionnaire data. 895 copies of questionnaire representing 74.6% were duly completed and returned for analysis. Studies showed that students’ perception of English as a language of education is one in which they feel compelled and have rather come to terms with its usage as a result of its imposition by the British colonialists, acceptance by the Nigerian government and general implementation as an official language. Findings revealed that 68.5% feel the need to fall back on their local language for clarification of some sort while 14.5% of the respondents have little or no need to use the mother tongue but 17% have occasional inkling to resort to their mother tongue for proper understanding. This interference is expected in a multilingual nation like Nigeria which has instituted bilingualism and multilingualism to her citizenry. The study established that the use of English accounts for some of the challenges in academic performance of students and therefore recommends that teachers, parents and government must strive to reiterate the need to inculcate and acculturate this official language as an ineluctable tool for academic success and societal integration.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

2 (6)





How to Cite

Ojilere, I. C. ., Dozie, C. P. ., & Chidozie, M. A. . (2019). The English Language and the Second Language Learners’ Perception in a Multicultural Nigeria: An Appraisal . International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 2(6), 268–278. Retrieved from



Multilingualism, Language, Academic, Learning, Interference