Research Key

English Language usage patterns and social status. The case of Molyko

Project Details

Project ID
International: $20
No of pages
Qualitative research
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
 MS Word & PDF

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This work set out to analyse the relationship between English Language usage patterns and social status. It sought to verify the hypothesis that, students from educated homes will use English better while those from less educated homes will not. In order to do this, data was collected through observation and reading of literature related to this work.

The researcher discovered that there is a high proportion of use of the English language by students from educated homes or the upper class compared to the less educated and the moderately educated class.

Apart from that, the moderately educated class uses the English Language more than the less educated. In all, the less educated classes are the least users of the English language.

In order to increase the usage of the English language by the less educated class, students and pupils should be discouraged from speaking Pidgin English in all institutions both government, private and mission schools and universities.

This will enable students who are deficient due to their home environment to improve their mastery of the language. Also, parents should endeavour to use the English Language when communicating with their children at homes.



English language in Cameroon is used by Cameroonians west of the Mungo as their second language. That is the language of courts, administration, school and international communication. English language in Cameroon is also used by people from different social backgrounds.

That is the upper class or the highly educated, the middle class and the low class.

It is assumed that people with a high level of education have a higher command of English language use while people with a low level of education have a lower command of language use. This is attributed to factors such as the educational background of parents, the income of parents and the level of instruction of parents

Background of the Study

The linguistic situation in Cameroon with a population of 15,803,220 inhabitants and a surface area of 475,442km, Cameroon is a highly dense multilingual African country having 247 indigenous languages two official languages (English and French) and a lingua franca (Cameron pidgin)English).

In addition, some foreign languages like Spanish and German are very present in the school system while Arabic is the language of Islam.

During the colonial period, language policy put in place by the Germans (1884-1916), the British and the French (1916-1960) tended to promote the language of the colonizers to the detriment of indigenous languages.

The later suffered severe linguistic administrators sought to educate them from the school system. At independence, one should have expected a complete change in tide with the change in the power structure. Unfortunately, foreign languages are still largely dominant while indigenous languages are relegated to the background.

In addition to the policy of official languages, bilingualism which seeks to promote the use of English and French nationwide, Spanish and German equally occupy an important place in the school system. Unfortunately enough neither Cameroonians indigenous languages nor Arabic are finding their way into the public school syllables, let alone tolerate in official circles.

Thus, in spite of the timid efforts made in the standardization of the alphabetical system of Cameroon indigenous languages as well as the translation of the bible into some indigenous languages, the absence of a clearly defined language policy in Cameroon constitutes a major handicap to the development of these languages.

Such a situation calls for a major revolution in the conception and implementation of a language policy that will take into cognizance the place of indigenous languages within the Cameroonian society while at the same time promoting the two official languages

Purpose of the Study

In general terms, this study is designed to find out why English language standards are dropping in Cameroon

Specifically, this study seeks to find out the reasons why students from educated homes will use English better while those from less educated homes will not.

Research Questions

This project will be guided by the following research questions:

Why is it that, children from educated background or homes use English better while those from less educated homes do not?

Why is it that, people with high educational background have a higher command for English language use while those with a lower command for English language use do not?

Why do lecturers of the University of Buea sometimes prefer to use Pidgin English amongst themselves instead of the English language?

English Language usage patterns and social status. The case of Molyko

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