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Pidgin English is for the birds

A Ghanian teacher is requesting that students be taught in innovative ways to encourage their interest in learning English, reports Modern Ghana.

Michael Kwame Appiah, an English language teacher with over 10 years’ experience and a junior assistant registrar at the Ghana Communication Technology University, is concerned that students are getting too accustomed to using social media English and that it’s creeping into their written school work. His fear is that they will use the slang and pidgin English used on apps and messaging platforms in their exams and hinder their progression to further education.

“Social media language usage has negatively affected performance of several students in their final examination, particularly English language,” Appiah told local media, speaking before the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, which takes place until the 27th of September.

He is asking students to refrain from using short-cut words and abbreviations and, of their teachers, he asks that they encourage their students to write using standard English. 

He also called on both government and those who run private schools to hire qualified teachers and support staff who can deliver a high quality education.

West African Pidgin is not a slang dialect of English, it is an established variant which is widely used as a lingua franca throughout the region and is used by the BBC for regional news. However standard British English, not Pidgin, is the official language of Ghana and is the form required in the education system.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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