The Impact of the Use of Pidgin on Students’ Use of English Language: A Case Study of Selected Secondary Schools in Three Districts in Kwahu Area of Ghana

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There have been arguments and discussions as regards the impact of the use of Pidgin English by students of secondary schools in Ghana. One school of thought holds that Pidgin English negatively affects the performance of students in examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), but another school of thought holds a contrary opinion. This thesis sought to establish the correlation between the use of Pidgin English and performance in examinations. Pidgin English in Ghana has a stigma attached to it, but it enjoys some prestige among students at the secondary and tertiary levels of education. It is not probable that Pidgin English will ever be used as a medium of instruction in Ghanaian schools because of the social stigma attached to it. Many secondary and tertiary students are comfortable using Pidgin English in informal situations and the low performance of students in English language examinations may be attributed to the use of Pidgin English. This research is considered as part of an on-going search to find the correlation between the speaking of Pidgin English and performance in examinations especially the WASSCE. Apart from the link that may be established between performance in examinations and the speaking of non-standard English or Pidgin English, problems may be rife in the secondary schools where most students do not perform well in examinations, more especially in English language papers. There is the need therefore to find the factors that cause students in Ghanaian secondary schools not to perform well in examinations. The research findings did not clearly establish a link between performance in examinations and the speaking of non-standard English or Pidgin English
A Dissertation Presented to the Department of English Language, Faculty of Social Sciences of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Award of M. Phil. in English Degree, 2010