The Impact of Cameroonian Pidgin English on the Spoken English of Level 300 Students of the English Department of the University of Buea
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This project entitled ‘The Impact of Cameroon Pidgin English on the Spoken English of level 300 Students of the English Department of the University of Buea is aimed at investigating the ways through which spoken English of level 300 English majors is influenced by their use of/their interaction with Cameroonian Pidgin English. Before carrying out this research, it was observed that these students do not speak proper English.
It is, therefore, necessary to see in what aspects their spoken English is influenced by their use of Pidgin English. Since they are exposed to Cameroonian Pidgin English which is a sub-standard variety of English, it can be hypothesized that Cameroonian Pidgin English has a negative influence on spoken English of these students.
The research shows that these students are actually influenced by Cameroonian Pidgin English through their poor mastery of word categories, inability to form questions and inability to report statements and questions.
This chapter aims at giving a general overview of what this research project is about. This project is entitled ‘The Impact of Cameroon Pidgin English on the Spoken English of 300 level students of the English Department of the University of Buea’.
It aims to investigate how Cameroonian Pidgin English influences the way level 300 English majors speak English. This work will be done in five chapters. This first chapter, therefore, gives a general introduction to study. The second chapter shall discuss what other researchers have done concerning Cameroonian Pidgin English.
The third chapter shall talk about where and the methods through which data will be collected to carry out this research. The fourth chapter shall concern itself with presenting and analysing the data that are collected through the designs that the chapter talks about. The fifth chapter shall give a general conclusion, it will also summarise the whole work.
The work in this first chapter shall be divided under background study which shows how the English came to Cameroon and how it spread, motivation, research question, aims and objectives of the study, hypothesis, significance of the study, the population of the study and a definition of the key terms concerned with this study.
Background to the study
Prior to the coming of European nations to Cameroon, Cameroonians spoke only their native languages. These native languages are about two hundred and fifty (250) in number and none dominated the other.
Before the end of the First World War, the Germans ruled Cameroon. During the period of German rule in Cameroon, German was the language of instruction in schools. The Germans tried to suppress the Isubu and Duala languages which were first used for instruction in schools.
These languages were put in place for instruction in schools by the early missionaries Joseph Merrick, and Alfred Saker who was the leader of the London Baptist Missionary Society (LBMS), who arrived in Cameroon in 1840.
By 1884 when the Germans annexed Cameroon, Duala and Isubu were already widespread and accepted by coastal village people who had made contact with the missionaries. After the defeat of the Germans during the First World War, Cameroon was given to Britain and France to be ruled as a mandated territory of the League of Nations (1916 to 1960).
French and English only came to being as official languages in Cameroon as a result of British colonial rule in Cameroon. It is spoken predominantly in two out of the ten regions in Cameroon while French is spoken in eight regions.
Pidgin English preceded English in Cameroon. It was adopted by Baptist Missionaries as the language of their evangelical crusade. It is spoken by about
5% of Cameroonians as a native language. It is used as a lingua franca at the informal level in the English speaking regions of Cameroon. Its widespread has brought a negative influence on the English language and on second language learners and users of English.
Etchu (2004), states that the widespread and dominance of Pidgin English at the informal level in the English speaking regions of Cameroon has been one of the major factors responsible for the decline of English.
Motivation for the study
It has been observed that the use of Cameroon Pidgin-English by level 300 students of the English department at the University of Buea interferes or disturbs their learning of the English language. Even after taking the Use of English Programme by the university, they still speak poor English.
Aims and Objectives of the study
This research aims at finding out how or if at all the spoken English of level 300 students of the English department has improved after taking two semesters of Use of English courses, that is, to see if Cameroonian Pidgin English is still impacting on them.
The purpose of this investigation is also to find out if the poor constructions in spoken English of level 300 English majors are influenced by their interaction with or their use of Cameroonian Pidgin English.
The general objective of this research is to investigate the impact of Cameroonian Pidgin English on spoken English of level 300 English language majors.