Prof. Gabriel Egbe, a professor of English Language from Veritas University, Abuja, has called on Nigerians to begin to examine candidates for external examinations on the use of standard english.
Egbe, who is the first professor of the university, made this call on Monday at a news conference to herald the first inaugural lecture of instruction titled ” Of New Englishes and New Literacies”.
He noted that no one owns any language, saying those who owns the language are those who speak the language.
According to him, there is no need copying or mimicking the ascent of a Briton and I will not expect a Nigerian studying in a Nigerian school to speak what we call queens English because it is imaginary.
” Those who owns English are those who speak it in any part of the world. This means that no one has the right to determine what is good or bad English.
” What we speak in Nigeria is not inferior to what anyone speak in any part of the world and so our standard cannot be drawn from British English, American English or any other English.
” No language is inferior to any other language and every language is sufficient for those who use it for whatever they want to use it for,” he said.
Egbe added that Nigeria as a country must begin to own English language with efficiency, effectiveness and this must start from examining candidates with the use of the standard English.
He noted that the concept of new English had created the popularity of the language to the extent that we cannot talk about English language without literacy.
He said it was not enough to speak English but understanding the linguistic of English was necessary.
He, therefore, said there was need to appropriate Literacies of academic English to the English we use in schools or homes for living and learning.
” The world is driven by new literacies and that has further shaped Englishes by the spread of ICT.
” What is then important is to see how to develop English and use it for the purposes we want to use it for and no longer to see English as a colonial language but as a language of constitutional right.
” We must begin to use it to achieve feats as high as winning Nobel laureates for literatures and other endeavours,” Egbe added.
Meanwhile, Prof. Hyacinth Ichoku, Vice Chancellor of the university, said the inaugural lecture would afford Egbe the opportunity to demystify the topic.
He added that the institution for the first time would be admitting candidates into Ph.D programmes in political science and Economics after being given approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC)
Edited by Felix Ajide
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