Research Key

The influence of Cameroon Pidgin English on the English language use of students

Project Details

Project ID
International: $20
No of pages
Qualitative method
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
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This study examines the influence of C.P.E on the English language use of level 400 students of the English and French Department. This study aims at identifying the effects caused by the influence of Pidgin English on the English language use of students. The main theory used was polygenic theory.

The method of data collection was done through questionnaire administration. The data collected through a questionnaire were analyzed using a descriptive statistical method. From the analysis, we discovered that 87% of the students speak Pidgin English.

Thus Pidgin English has a negative influence on the English language use of students. Therefore, we recommended parents avoid speaking Pidgin English to their children at home and use the English language in their various houses with their children, after all, learning begins at home.



Background of the Study

It is common knowledge that people often learn or speak the language that is commonly used around them. For instance, people born and bred in the Littoral, Centre or in the six other Regions of the French part of Cameroon would naturally speak French, and those born and bred in the South-West, North-West Regions of Cameroon would speak English.

This is due to the fact that English or French is their official language. Pidgin English came as a means to simplify communication to the non-native speakers of English and since then, it forever left its traces. Pidgin English disrupts the smoothness of communication in English because it has an upper hand over English. More so, it is a lingua franca in Cameroon, and mostly to the Anglophones.

People who acquired Pidgin as their first language, or who also grew in an environment having as first language Pidgin English, tend to use its pronunciation and intonation in English, taking little or no note that any other language could be spoken differently.

This, therefore, leaves a mark and it is often hard to change or discard as it is often said: “old habits die hard”. Thus the influence of Pidgin English on the level 400 students can be seen in their use of the English language especially in the following areas: pronunciation, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and syntax.

Definition of terms

  • Pidgin: According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. The term pidgin means “a language which has developed from a mixture of two languages. It is used as a way of communicating with people who do not speak each other’s languages. (1070)
  • English: According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the term English means “the language, originally of England, know spoken in many other countries and used as a language of international communication throughout the world.” 486)?
  • Influence: According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the term influence means “the effect that somebody or something has on the way a person thinks or behaves, or on the way that something works or develops” (768)
  • Language: According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the term language is defined as “the system of communication in speech and written (writing?) that is used by people of a particular country or area”. It can still be “the use of humans of a system of sounds and words to communicate”. (834)

Statement of the Problem

English is an official language in Cameroon, and it is used in all areas of administration, media, education, or public life. Despite the fact that English is taught to students from the primary to the tertiary level, students still face difficulties in using it both in writing and speaking. This is a serious problem that needs to be taken into consideration.

Objectives of the study

  1. To identify the effects caused by the influence of Pidgin English on the English language of level 400 students in the faculty of arts in UB.
  2. To identify the different areas in the English language that is affected by Pidgin language.
  3. To identify possible proposals to be made in order to reduce the effects of Pidgin English on the English language of the level 400 students in the Faculty of arts in UB.
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