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The Influence of Pidgin English on Written English: The Case of Level 200 Students Faculty of Arts, University of Buea

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International: $20
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Qualitative research
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
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This work sets out to assess the influence of Pidgin English on written English of English Language Learners. To achieve this, data was collected through one set of Questionnaires. (50) sets were administered to level 200 students in the Department of English.

Data were analyzed using tables and percentages. The Behaviorist Theory was used. This is a theory that only focuses on objectively observable behaviours and discounts any independent activities of the mind.

Which shows that infants learn language through imitations and the environments provide the stimuli and reward practice. It was discovered that most students enjoyed speaking Pidgin than English Language and this has a negative influence on their writing and speech.

It is recommended that students should try to develop a positive interest in the English language and to make it a habit of always speaking the English Language no matter the situation in which they find themselves.



Cameroon is a country with two official languages: English and French. Despite this fact, Cameroon pidgin is used in diverse degrees in different parts of the country and it has become a lingua-franca for many.

Eight out of ten regions of the Nation, housing 83% of the population of Cameroon are francophone e.g. the Far North, North, Adamawa, East, Central, Littoral, South and the remaining two regions, representing 17% of Cameroon’s population is mainly Anglophones: south-west and North West.

However, the proportion of Anglophones in the country is gradually decreasing. Cameroon is a member of both the la francophone as well as the commonwealth of the nation.

The government of Cameroon has set up several bilingual schools in the country to encourage the learning of both the official languages of Cameroon. However, very few Cameroonians actually speak the two languages, and some even do not speak either of the languages.

Historical Background from the Study

Cameroon pidgin is an English based creole language. About 5% of Cameroonians are native speakers of the language while an estimated 50% of the population speaks it in some form. Singh Ishtla. “Pidgin and Creole.” Vol 2 2000, pp.4-9).

The term “Cameroon pidgin”, “Cameroon Pidgin English”, “Cameroonian creole” and “Kamtok” are synonyms or what Cameroonians call Cameroon Pidgin English. Many speakers are unaware that this language is different from English proper. It is a variety of West African

Pidgin English’s spoken along the coast from Ghana to Cameroon. It is a vehicular language that has been inactive use in the country for over 200 years. It came into being in the slave trade years (1440 to early 1800s). It preceded English in Cameroon. The first Baptist missionaries to arrive in Cameroon in 1845 and introduced formal education in English and people had to learn.

A few decades later, during the German annexation period (1884 to 1914), pidgin resisted a German ban. It took flight when it became a makeshift language used in German plantations and undertaken by force labourers who were drawn from the hinterlands and spoke different indigenous languages.

With time, it invaded the market places and was adopted by Baptist missionaries as the language of their evangelical crusades for many years. It has been used in school playgrounds and campuses and in political campaigns and today it is forcing its way into the spoken media scene. (Singh Ishtla).

Definition of terms

Pidgin English

Cameroon Pidgin English or Cameroon creole is a grammatically simplified form of English that has developed from a mixture of 2 languages. It is used as a means of communication by people who do not speak each other’s language. . (Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 2008 p 1070).

English Language: It is a language originally from England now spoken in many countries and used as a language of international communication throughout the world. (Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary 2008 p 465).


An influence is an effect that a person or thing has oh someone or something or it could still be to affect someone or something that is the way something develops or works. (Macmillan School Dictionary 2006 p381).

Statement of the problem

It has been observed that the use of Pidgin English by English language learners in the University Of Buea Department Of English interferes or disturbs them in writing it properly.

Purpose or objectives of the study

This work intends to look into the effectiveness and status of Cameroonian Pidgin English. It is inherent that for a long period of time, that Cameroonian Pidgin English has been the means of communication among students in the higher institutes, thus affecting writing (vocabulary).

This research will be into the light if the use of Cameroon Pidgin English has any effect on the students writing and their academic performance. The findings should be regarded to be generic that is, also affecting students in other institutions who equally exalt Cameroonian Pidgin English above Standard English language.

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