What English for the Cameroonian Classroom Today?

Louis Mbibeh

Abstract


The linguistic imperialism of the English language across the globe and the consequent adoption of various identities has plunged the L2 speaker and learner into a kind of bewilderment, owing to the difficulty in choosing the variety of English to use. This article examines the foregoing question with the specificity of the ESL acquisition context in Cameroon. To a common user of English, the question of variety may sound inconsequential. However, the pedagogue finds this question primordial given his status as the beholder of the linguistic etiquette in the classroom context. The survey research design is used to sample opinions of 60 ESL teachers within the North West Region of Cameroon on this question. According to the findings, the choice of CamE is related to its simplicity and closeness to the learner’s social realities, whereas the choice of BrE is based on the necessity to meet the exigencies of the global village. AmE is rejected on stereotypical bases, with the claim that the variety is related to youthful language imbedded with crime oriented undertones. Statistically speaking, CamE should be used in the classroom, but given that language revolves around a plethora of other sociolinguistic intricacies, it is necessary to consider the challenges of codification and documentation raised by previous researchers. However, there is need for a take off point.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v5i1.3302

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