Bilinguals and Monolinguals' Performance in English Language Learning in Nigeria

Abolaji Samuel Mustapha


Some linguists argue that bilinguals’ knowledge and competence in their first language contribute to effective second language learning. On the contrary, other linguists who favour monolingualism hold that the first language stands as an obstacle for bilinguals. These opposing views motivated the present undertaking. Thus this study investigates the performance of both bilingual and monolingual learners’ of English Language in a second language situation in Nigeria. Terminal results in English Language tests of 108 Yoruba/English bilinguals and 108 Nigerian English monolinguals at the Senior Secondary School level were compared. Findings revealed that, on the one hand, more bilinguals are found in the pass region than monolinguals; on the other hand, more monolinguals were found in the fail region than bilinguals. These results confirm the position that bilingualism plays supportive role in second language learning, especially in second language situation. Consequently, stakeholders in second language learning might need to strengthen the learning and use of bilinguals’ first language in order to enhance effective second language learning.

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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