Displacement of indigenous languages in families: a case study of some selected Nigerian families in Botswana
PublisherUniversity of Botswana; www.ub.bw
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This study examines the phenomenon of language displacement in the family domain. It looks at the languages that are spoken in the families of some educated Nigerians living in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. It has been observed that Nigerian families, especially those in diaspora, do not speak their mother tongue at home, preferring to interact and socialize with their children in English. This practice results in the displacement of indigenous languages in the family domain. The study focuses on fourteen (14) Nigerian families at the University of Botswana, who are from three (3) demographically more populous language groups: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, and two (2) comparatively demographically smaller language groups (Efik and Degema), in order to find out the languages spoken by these families and ascertain the reason(s) for language choice. The fifty (50) participants in the study were purposively sampled. Two (2) research instruments were used for data collection: the questionnaire and an interview schedule. Data were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively, using insights from domain analysis. The most significant finding is that native languages are being displaced in most of the homes because most parents in the study preferred to interact with their children in English. The study therefore recommends that educated Nigerian parents should give their children a decided opportunity to be bilingual in both English and the mother tongue in order not to aggravate the endangerment of Nigerian indigenous languages both within and outside the country.
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