The reality of the English language
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms for 70 years. Born on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom at age 25.
She died on September 8, 2022, making her reign of 70 years and 214 days the longest of any British monarch and the longest in history of any female ruler since the creation of mankind.
The composition of the United Kingdom is worth clarifying for clarification. Sports activities make many people around the world think that nations like England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are independent countries.
Although these nations enjoy autonomy in sporting and other activities, they constitute nations within the United Kingdom, just like the many nations of Nigeria.
After acknowledging the Queen and her empire, the rest of this treatise will discuss the reality of the Queen’s English and the way forward for second language users of English in Nigeria.
Queen’s English is the form of spoken and written British English that is considered correct by most people. It is considered to be the elite variety used by renowned and sophisticated people.
Its spoken form is called Received Pronunciation, otherwise known as RP. RP is a way of pronouncing British English that is often considered the standard accent.
Many notable dictionaries follow the RP standard in representing words as sounds. Given the spread of English and its status as the most geographically dispersed language in the world, countries around the world have developed their describable varieties of the language.
For example, while we “sit” or “take”, not “write”, tests and exams in standard English, the Oxford Dictionary of English recognizes the tests/exams as “Canadian” English and ” South African “. Moreover, it is no longer news that Nigerian usages such as “Barbing Salon” (instead of “Barber’s”), “qualitative” (to mean “quality”), “barb” (verb; instead of ” barber”), “to rub spirits’ (instead of ‘confer’) now exist in the aforementioned dictionary.
Also Read: Teaching English in the 21st Century
In the wake of the above, since the English language has been domesticated and nativized in Nigeria, there is a need to intensify efforts to codify Nigerian English for formal and educational purposes. As things stand, the economic and political might of the United States has anchored American English in the world.
It is, for example, the default language of many technological devices. For this reason, it is even difficult to mark US uses as false in tests. As a result, students are now confused about whether to use British English or American English; that is even if they are able to tell the difference between the two main varieties.
This culminates with the urgent need to develop Nigerian English to serve our formal and educational purposes. As such, here are the steps towards codifying the language in Nigeria.
First, a unified effort to develop Nigerian English codes at all linguistic levels, such as grammar, phonology, idioms and so on, must be intensified.
While many researchers have worked on all these different aspects, their efforts have not synergized to produce known books that can be used for teaching in secondary schools. It should also be mentioned that what becomes Nigerian English must be the product of thorough corpus-driven endeavours.
It shouldn’t be what a bunch of scholars assume people are talking about. Therefore, there must be extensive fieldwork to develop Standard Nigerian English. In particular, secondary school teachers are important points of reference for the appreciation of usages that can truly be termed Nigerian English, from the writings of their students.
In addition, academic and professional bodies must step up their efforts to ensure that Nigerian English is recognized and accepted for academic testing at all levels, just as Americans examine people’s communicative competence on the basis of American English. . This step must obviously be preceded by the codification phase.
Of course, there is no denying that government involvement is crucial to the development of Standard Nigerian English. This will be possible through adequate and timely funding for education, in addition to the required legislation.
In conclusion, this article establishes commiseration with the whole world over the Queen’s disappearance. Additionally, it highlights the need for a full-fledged Nigerian English and the means to establish it.