[lg policy] Nigeria: Don Tasks FG on Viable Language Policy, Blames mass failure on poor mastery of languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 28 13:12:49 UTC 2010

Don Tasks FG on Viable Language Policy

•Blames mass failure on poor mastery of languages
By Uchechukwu Nnaike, 07.27.2010

A Professor French Language, John Abioye has called on the Federal
Government to formulate a viable language policy that would clearly
state and determine the use of certain languages in the country. He
made the call at an inter school French Language debate, essay and
drama contest, organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education
Multilingual Centre held at Government College, Eric Moore Surulere.
According to him, government had not been sincere about language
policy and had made no effort to ensure an effective study of the
English Language in schools, adding that none of the country's
indigenous languages has been mastered. The result, he said was the
main cause of the poor performance among candidates in Senior School
Certificate Examinations in the country.

While expressing concern that though some schools in the country
commenced French Language studies in the 1930s, not made much impact
has been made, Abioye said a policy on languages would help people to
develop interest in their culture, as well as the culture of other
countries. “We need to meet other world's civilization, not with empty
hands, but with our own contributions.”  He therefore recommended the
involvement of foreign and local language experts to develop a
language policy that would lead to the mastery of the English Language
as the official language, indigenous languages and foreign languages.

The don also advised French Language teachers under the auspices of
the Association of Professors of French and the Nigerian Association
of French Teachers (NAFT) to work together to promote the teaching and
learning of the language in the country, as they could not function in
isolation. Director of the Centre, Mrs. Olayinka Bello, who stressed
the importance of learning foreign languages, said it contributes to
self development, as it would enable professionals to consult book s,
journals and other materials written in other languages to acquire
more information on their chosen careers. She said it also enhances
communication, relationship and the sharing of knowledge between two


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