THE ROLE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Keywords:English Language, science and technical education, national development
English Language is accorded a prominent status as a medium of academic instruction in the Nigerian education system for being the only language that enjoys mutual linguistic intelligibility in the country in the absence of an indigenous Lingual Franca. Over the years,and even in recent time, some scholars have tenaciously contended that the much anticipated
scientific and technological development in Nigeria would continue to elude the county so long as the medium of instruction in science and technical education remains the English Language (cf Nnolim, 2007; Olarenwaju, 2015 citing Nnabuenyi, 1998; Ike, 1998 echoing Bamgbose, 1983). This view probably accounts for the nonchalant attitude exhibited by
science and technical students towards the study of English Language. This paper therefore, examined the role of English Language in the advancement of science and technical education in Nigeria for national development. It traced the history. of English in Nigeria and discussed the problems of evolving a national language for the county. It further explored
the place of the language in the heterogeneous and multilingual Nigeria as well as in the 2I" century global world of science and technology. The paper concluded that the acquisition of scientific and technological knowledge would be impossible in the contemporary Nigeria without the English Language, and that the language constitutes no impediment to the scientific and technological advancement of the country. It was strongly recommended, among others, that science and technical students should befully exposed toEnglish for Specific Purpose alongside English for General Purpose to enable them excel in their chosen fields of specialty as well as fit well- into the
contemporary global village.