English is the language of instruction, study, and testing in all institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. Despite the fact that Nigerian English and Pidgin are means of communication in Nigeria, they pose many problems in learning English in the universities. They are sources of errors and non-standard expressions in English. The two varieties are non-standard and constitute impediment to the learning of accepted official usage. They are widely spoken and understood by many Nigerians. Quite often, a great number of students prefer to express themselves in Pidgin English and Nigerian English rather than go through the mental rigours of speaking simple correct English. Students sometimes use them interchangeably in speech and writing in the course of their studies and assignments. The use of these nonstandard varieties discourages the learning of the accepted standard usage and orthography. This paper discusses the learning problems created by Nigerian English and Pidgin English in our university and recommends strategies for discouraging the negative effects these nonstandard varieties have on sound learning of English as a second language in Nigeria.
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