1.1 BACKGROUND STUDY
English is the language of formal education in the country, so students seeking admission into any tertiary institution need to prove their capabilities to acquire tertiary education and express knowledge in correct and acceptable English language. However, there has been a recurring grave concern about the poor performance of students at these public examinations.
Students, parents, teachers and the government are often shocked by the results of, notably, English language released by the examination bodies. The performance of very many students in the language has continued to be unimpressive and worrisome.
Stakeholders in education have adduced many other factors for student’s unsatisfactory performance in English language. But one crucial factor which contributes to this dismal performance of students in the language is a linguistic problem, which unfortunately is obvious, but is yet to receive concerted efforts to solve. Bamgbose (2013) asserts that ‘a major problem with the educational system of most African States is educational failure, which may be traced to the language of instruction.’ Though a large percentage of students in Nigeria learn English as a second language and are instructed in it, the Nigerian pidgin seems to interfere with their acquisition of the language and their performance in it much more than their mother tongues. The interference of the pidgin contributes in no small measure to the dismal performance of students in the language.