Bilingualism: A Tool for Turning Diversity to Strength between Anglophone Nigeria and her Francophone Neighbours of the West African Sub-region

By Anthonia Affiong Dickson.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Communication is a sine qua non for globalization. Barriers to communication are man’s wariness of another, uneasy silence engendering suspicion, mistrust, fear and “guarded” communication between man and his “foreign” counterpart who speaks a language different from his own. West African countries can’t claim freedom from this cankerworm. To put to flight the curses of Babel, this paper advocates Nigeria’s adoption of French as her second official language, English being her first, as she is surrounded all over by francophone neighbours. Linguistic diversity is a source of cultural, socio-economic and political enrichment (Tscharner, 1999:8). By highlighting the pivotal roles of English and French in globalization, the paper projects bilingualism as a tool for turning diversity into strength between Nigeria and her neighbours, while respecting the status of her various mother tongues. Our presentation, based on Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic determinism and relativity, concludes that since communication is the “inner-wheel” for humanity’s existence and humanity is established on diversity, then Nigeria’s adoption of French will turn the linguistic diversity between her and her neighbours into peaceful co-existence and strength.

Keywords: Communication, Integration, Understaning, Globalization

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp.123-134. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 799.040KB).

Dr. Anthonia Affiong Dickson

Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Head of Foreign Languages Department, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Dr. Dickson holds a B.A. Hons. in French and education, a M.A. in French linguistics, and a Ph.D French linguistics (syntax). She teaches French phonology, phonetics, grammar, and applied and contrastive linguistics. She is the coordinator for the foreign language students year abroad programme and Head of Department of Foreign languages for the University of Uyo. She is a member of the Nigeria Union of French Teachers, College Language Association, USA, and Linguistic Assoc.of Nigeria. She is editor for several journals and is accredited with 21 publications in both national and international journals, and books. She has traveled extensively in the USA, Europe, and West Africa, especially in Francophone countries.


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