French Language Teaching in Nigeria and the Indigenisation Philosophy: Mutual Bedfellows or Implacable Arch-Foes?
Essoh, Ndobo Eugenie Grace; Endong, Floribert Patrick Calvain

Nigeria, like most contemporary African states, has resorted to indigenisation as a functional and dominant paradigm to combat cultural imperialism and preserve her cultures. This has enabled the indigenisation philosophy to reign or be envisaged in many sensitive sectors of the country’s life, including education. In line with this French language teaching in primary and secondary levels of education are visibly indigenized as it appears more afro-centric than franco/Euro-centric. The teaching of the language clearly gives privileges to the francophone African cultures over French cultures. This thinking is founded on the belief that Nigerian learners of the French language are likely to seek communication and integration first with their African counterparts before any other francophone (western) community. This paper critically analyses some of the challenges of this indigenisation philosophy with respect to foreign language teaching in Nigeria. It argues that this indigenisation of French language teaching is confronted to a westernisation of Nigerians learners of the language; caused partly by the Franco-centric nature of French teaching at university level and the influence of such bodies as the French Cultural Cooperation and Alliance Françaises, which adopt a more Franco-centric approach in their teaching and promotion of the language French in Nigeria.

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