Sociolinguistic Functions of Igbo Language: Implications for Education and Mass Communication

Afoma R. Okudo, Patricia A. Ifeagwazi


This paper aims to investigate whether the plausibility of Igbo language being neglected and will soon suffer attrition is a reality or not. It takes a close look at some language functions which the Igbo language is able to perform over a stipulated period of time. The theoretical framework of ethnolinguistic vitality forms the basis of this study. This study used descriptive design and questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. The population of the study comprised three (3) Colleges of Education in the South East Educational Zone of Nigeria that offer courses for the acquisition of both Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) and Bachelor in Education (B.Ed), and six (6) radio stations were randomly selected; those that broadcast Igbo programmes from six (6) states in Nigeria viz : Abia, Anambra, Delta, Enugu, Imo and Lagos. Data collected were analyzed based on the language functionalities of education and mass communication. The analysis reveals that Igbo language still has strong ethnolinguistic vitality and a great chance of survival since it still serves as a veritable tool of communication in many sociolinguistic contexts such as educational school subjects and mass communication. The paper concludes by stating that Igbo language is not greatly endangered as some people think, and that the outcry that the Igbo language will soon go extinct is just an overstatement. However, the paper goes on to suggest some ways of concretizing and promoting Igbo language so as to prevent it from suffering extinction.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n11p28

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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