College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Nigeria
The current trend in many homes in Nigeria, particularly, the elites is that parents try to communicate with their children in English rather than in the various indigenous languages of the environment. Hence, the Nursery and Primary schools around have started using English language as the sole medium of instruction against what the National Policy on Education stipulates. The objective of this study therefore is to find out what is the view of both parents and the teachers in the Nursery and primary schools on this trend and its implication on the emotional and intellectual development of the children. The research was carried out in five major cities in the south-western part of Nigeria with five hundred teachers and five hundred parents as respondents. The parents include both the educated and uneducated ones. The instruments for gathering data included structured interview and self-prepared questionnaire. The responses were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The major findings include: that many parents are ignorant of the implications of the trend on the emotional and intellectual development of the children in terms of creativity; that the Nursery and Primary schools involved in this practice are mainly private schools whose proprietors want to gain cheap popularity for high patronage; that it is due to the fact that the government pays lip service to the importance of language policy. We therefore conclude that the use of English as medium of instruction in early childhood classes in multilingual Nigeria is indeed a threat to the indigenous languages as well as the creative ability of Nigerian Child.
Medium, instruction, Language, Nigerian, policy