The Teaching of French as a Foreign Language in Nigeria: Federal Colleges of Education, Okene and Oyo (Special)


Babalola, J. O.


Foreign languages like French are studied for so many reasons (that vary) from country to country and from individual to individual depending on the individual needs and interests. This article focuses mainly on the study of French language as a second official language in Nigeria; particularly at the Colleges of Education level. It investigates the problems facing learners, teachers as well as the teaching of the subject itself as one of the College of Education courses in Nigeria. Though the French language stands to be the main thrust of this study, some of the findings and views expressed may equally be applicable to the acquisition of other foreign languages in the country.


French language, Students Foreign Languages, Language Acquisition, Colleges of Education, Nigeria.


For effective presentation of “the challenges of teaching French in Nigeria” the author considers it imperative in adopting the inverted pyramidal approach. Having done this, the discussion will start with the critical examination of the language in context, i.e. French language as an international and world language, and finally, a comprehensive discussion of the challenges of French language acquisition in Nigeria. This strategy is simply adopted, particularly in this kind of exposition because the ultimate goal will strictly be on the (challenges of French language acquisition), having commenced with the outermost layer (French language in Nigeria), this hopefully should provide a vivid outlook for clarity of exposition(s).


During the era of the scramble for Africa by the European and American colonial powers in the 19th Century, the British government recorded a tremendous success by conquering and seizing the territory around the River Niger Area. Following this conquest and seizure, the area was named “Nigeria”. Babajide (2001) observes that the name “Nigeria” is a derivational name from a blend of “Niger” and “Area”. Lord Lugard, a popular colonial administrator then, was appointed by the London government to oversee the new British colony. This originally marked the introduction of the British colonial rule in Nigeria. From that time up till this present moment, the English Language has been the original official language in the country. Bamgbose (1971) and Babajide (2001) observe that there are about 400 indigenous languages in Nigeria. These various languages, according to Achebe (2012), are spoken by about 250 different ethnic groups. Unfortunately, none of these languages is considered to be playing the roles of the official language for obvious indigenous language as the official language will be tantamount to conferring an official status on it and imposing it on the other ethnic groups thereby subjecting them to be playing minor functions under the one selected. Since each ethnic group is emotionally attached to its language, each ethnic group is bound to resist any attempt to impose the language of another ethnic group on them. This calls for why each successive Federal Government has been avoiding the idea of adopting one particular Nigerian indigenous language as the country’s official language, and that equally affirms the reasons English language has continued to remain the only official language.


The conclusion can be found in the main file..


References are available in the main file..

Main File