Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
As a way of ensuring peaceful co-existence among individuals of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, scholars of English language have called for the language to be used as a tool for conflict resolution in the society.
Mr. Edem Ene, a lecturer at the department of English and Literary Studies, University of Calabar made the call during an interview with TNN on the occasion of this year’s World English Language day.
He advised every speaker of the language to employ simplicity and avoid ambiguity so as to solve relational problems which could emanate during interactions as a result of misunderstanding.
“The usage of English Language is dependent on the context. It therefore poses a challenge whenever a speaker does not have a proper understanding of the context or cultural environment of their audience”, he noted.
He added that the language had been a blessing to humanity as it was used across board for different purposes especially in communication and commerce. He revealed that English language has evolved over the years especially when compared with the works of Shakespeare and other literary icons.
Ene further noted that the development of the language depended on its interaction with different cultures, environment and users.
On her part, another lecturer of the same department, Beatrice Ebingha affirmed that the language has been of tremendous benefit to humanity especially in international trade and politics.
“If there is a world conference, the language that is being used is English while there will be translators of other languages, including French. And that is to tell you how the language has grown today”, she expressed.
Ebingha who believed that the British version of the language has come to be the most widely used called for consistency in whichever version one chooses to adopt as there is no rule mandating anyone to use a particular version.
She also encouraged everyone never to downplay African languages because of English Language, advising that the indigenous languages should be introduced in the curriculum of primary education.
English Language Day is a United Nations (UN) annual observance that is celebrated on April 23 each year. It coincides with William Shakespeare’s birthday and World Book and Copyright Day.
The day aims to entertain and inform people about the history, culture and achievements associated with the language. The day often features book-reading events, English quizzes, poetry and literature exchanges, and other activities that promote the English language.
Recall that English language that was used by only three tribes about 1500 years ago, now has official or special status in at least 75 countries with a total population of over two billion.