Research Key

Lamso As A Deterrent To The Acquisition Of English Language

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International: $20
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Qualitative research
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
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Background of the Study

Lamnso’ is one of Africa’s mother tongues and is widely spoken in the

North West Region of Cameroon. This Language co-exists with the English Language which serves as one of the official languages in Cameron.

The language is spoken by about 20.0000 people, Grebe, K. and Winifred, K, (1973) who lives in the north-eastern part of Bamenda in the United Republic of Cameroon. According to Moye Judith (1996), Lamnso is one of the Cameroonian languages in the Grass field- Bantu group that is the TIKAR group of the North West Region.

Towards the end of the late 19 century, the linguistic history of Africa witnessed a dramatic change. This was because of the uncontrolled manner with European infiltration into the continent.

The common claim, that Africa was a” dark continent” so the introduction of European civilization with the language being the most dominant aspect of it. Africa traditional societies inherited and assimilated a variety of languages stemming from Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English.

By the dawn of independence, beginning from the 1960s, these countries that were under the influence of these European powers adopted European languages as their national languages. The languages were thus given priority positions as either first or second language.

In the case of Cameroon, world events in 1914, the introduction of English and French after the partition endorsed by the mandate commission of the League of Nation. This colonial linguistic legacy remained not only a reality but categorically imperative in national life.

It is important to mention that this legacy has remained a disturbing and challenging reality as postcolonial life and career orientation entirely depends on it.

English, the language of former British Cameroonians is a bone of contention. Certain phonological aspects have been a subject discussed within ethnic groups that occupy the Bamenda grass fields. The case of the Banso has been so peculiar. This is because some of their usage of phonology in English has been attributed to the mother tongue.

This has resulted in phobia by some for Banso pronunciation. They are often being laughed at by many for poor or mal- pronunciation of English words. It is vital thus to clarify this subject pointing out reasons for mispronunciation.

However, two languages exist in Cameroon (English and French) but the focus of this study is on Anglophones Cameroonians who among them are the Banso people who are notorious for mispronouncing certain English words as a result of their mother tongue. They are often mocked and criticized more so identified for the way they speak the English language. If a Cameroonian who is a Banso speaks English, lie is being known to be a Banso because of the way he speaks English.

Lamnso’ is even taught in some primary schools of Bui Division from classes one to five. This discourages attempts to have a much more former method of acquiring the language.

The Banso people are being complained because of the inaccuracy in the phonology of their second language (English language). This inaccuracy brings problem and their language is a deterrent to the acquisition of the English language.

Taking the case of G.H.S Mbiame, this study goes further to identify those phonological aspects of Lamnso’ native Language that act as an interference to the acquisition of the English language.

The Banso people suffer embarrassment from the non-Banso when they speak the English language. This peculiar way with which the Banso people pronounce English words is described by many as Banso tongue. This peculiarity in pronunciation is identified in songs, Interviews, speeches, chats and through other means of communication.

Lamnso’ has become an aspect of the Nso’ culture. This is because certain pronunciations in English are very identical and common with the people of Nso’ origin. Although this provokes a phobia among the Nso’ and the non-Nso speakers, it is not untrue that the Nso’ man remains peculiar.

General Description of the Study Area

G.H.S Mbiame is located at the outskirts of the main town (Rifem) of Mbiame

Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that in Mbiame, many students who speak Lamnso’ have got a poor accent. This illuminates the truism that it is a result of their mother tongue. As a result, there is the fear that this could lead to poor performances in examinations, speeches, interviews and other forms of verbal and non-verbal communication because most of these Lamnso’ speakers spellings comes from the way they pronounce.

Therefore, a study of the phonological aspects of Lamnso’ which deters the proper acquisition of the English language becomes a necessity, as it will help to accurately discuss the problem and so proffer concrete solutions to it.

Purpose of the Study


  • The aim of this study is to describe those phonological peculiarities which characterize Lamnso’ as a deterrent to the acquisition of the English language. Within this aim are the following objective


  • To create a clear dichotomy between the phonological features of Lamnso’ and those of the English language
  • To identify the deviant forms of pronunciation in the speech of form four students of G.H.S Mbiame (study area)
  • To demonstrate how certain phonological aspects of Lamnso’ deter the acquisition of the English language with an explanation of the major causes of such interference.

Research Questions


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