English Language & Literature

The Effects of Language Diversity on National Development

The Effects of Language Diversity on National Development


This research work focuses on the Effect of Language Diversity on National Development. It adopts descriptive and comparative approaches in analyzing the nature of Language and the policy situation in Nigeria, considering in clear terms the complex ethnolinguistics setting. Sequel to the look warm attitudes of both governments over the years, the research, therefore, evaluates the value of an effective language policy and implementation to the development of nations across the globe. On the foregoing, the research identifies the low level of technology and science development in Nigeria as a product of purposeless approaches to language policy-making and implementation. The study observes that little or no functional language policy exists in Nigeria even at the age of 50 years of independence. Recourse to this, Nigerian languages ought to be central to national development and should occupy an important place in the development discourse. In line with these and many more, the study recommends that urgent attention and responsibilities ought to be given to language experts (linguists) in making language policies and possible implementation strategies for the country. This research further advocates for a national language system, however, calls for the adoption of respective indigenous languages for vocational training in their given speech communities. The Nigerian Pidgin English has the likely majority of speakers and needs to be developed to the status of a national language alongside English. These positions can only be achieved if our central policymaker (government) is sincere with the reality on the ground and avoid mere political interest and propaganda.


Title page- – – – – i
Declaration – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – iii
Dedication- – – – – iv
Acknowledgment- – – – – – v
Abstract- – – – – – vi
Table of content – – – – – vii-viii

1.1 background of the study – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the problem – – 2
1.3 Hypothesis – – – – 2
1.4 Aims of the Study – – – 2
1.5 Scope and Delimitation of the study – 3
1.6 Significance of the Study – – 3
1.7 Methodology of the Study – – 3



2.1 Introduction – – – – 4-5
2.2 Meaning of Language – – – 5-8
2.3 Characteristics of Language – – 8
2.3.1 Language is a system of speech sound – 8
2.3.2 It is acquired from childhood – – 8
2.3.3 Language is dynamic – – – 9
2.3.4 It is conventional – – – 9
2.3.5 it is complex and systematic – – 9-10
2.4 Multilingualism (Language Diversity) – 10-13
2.4.1 Plurality (Origin) – – – 14-15
2.5 Strengths and Weaknesses of Language Diversity – 15-16
2.6 National Development –(Different View) – – 16-18
2.7 National Language – – – – 18-21
2.8 Theoretical frameWork – – – – 21-23


3.0 Introduction – – – – – 24
3.1 Methodology – – – – – 24-25
3.2 Data Analysis – – – – – 25-27
3.3 Research findings – – – – 27-28
3.4 Strength of findings – – – – 28
3.5 Weakness of findings. – – – – 28


4.1 Summary – – – – – 29
4.2 Conclusion – – – – – 29
4.3 Recommendation – – – – – 30-31
WORK CITED – – – – – – 32-34
APPENDIX – – – – – – 35



Human Beings are social animals and language is an instrument of the society which is acculturated into a given society. Through the instrumentality of language, a man identifies and makes a finding of his environment.

Thus, language, in the hand of man preserves, conserves, transmits, and appropriates functions and does so across space and time, thereby enabling him to overcome those physical limitations to human endeavors and achievements.

Armed with his linguistic tool, man appropriates all that others before him have acquired, persuades and convinces others of his line of reasoning and action, deceives and dominates others, controls his entire environment and exploits whatever is found therein, and also achieves as much as it is within his capacity.

The problems of man’s development and growth become increasingly complex and intricate when the individual is not monolingual and mono-cultural. The failure of any development program becomes greater and more dismal when the individual has got to operate within a multilingual and multicultural community. It is these problems that Nigeria encounters as a result of her multilingual and multi-cultural composition that this research intends to highlight. At the end of the exercise, solutions will be proffered to help solve the challenges we have as a country.


Despite all efforts to unite and develop a society such as Nigeria politically, economically, and socially, the state remains an underdeveloped state. This is due to her multilingual and multicultural nature. Language pluralism has generated a lot of problems in the state. Prominent among them include;

The communication gap between the various people, each sees his language as important, thus creating an impediment to commerce and industry. A warped sense of nationhood whereby genuine unity becomes difficult due to suspicion as various ethnic groups pursue selfish and sectional interests. Picking a national language that is acceptable to the people, therefore, becomes difficult.


The hypotheses of the study are:

(a) Language is a hindrance to national unity

(b) Language is an instrument for National development

(c) How is language diversity a deciding factor toward national development?


The research aims to discover the effect of linguistic plurality in a given multi-ethnic society like Nigeria, particularly in Nasarawa State where I live, and the University of Abuja where I school. It also intends to prove the success or failure of any society. And if language diversity has helped in national growth and development, such as economic, social, political, religious growth, and educational advancement of mankind. The study also hopes to attempt in resolving the issue of “lingua Franca”


The scope of the research is on the use of language to achieve national development, especially in a multilingual environment which is delimited to the sociolinguistics of language and society.


The importance of this study is that it will showcase how to promote ethnic harmony among all linguistically and ethnically diverse communities in Nigeria. The study is also significant because it will contribute to many of the existing works in this regard especially for both academic and social utilization respectively. It is also significant because it will provide a picture of the issue in question from the perspective of a university community.


The methodology of the research is empirical, in which the researcher intends to administer a questionnaire as well as an observation within the chosen area of the study the University of Abuja, FCT.

The respondents to be administered with the questionnaire are selected through a single random selection method of one out of every ten respondents in the delimited areas of the research.


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