Language transfer has
become an inevitable problem being faced by Nigerian speakers of English
Language.  Two or more languages will be
said to be in contradiction if they are used alternatively by the same
person.  In a situation where one has to
learn a language, there is usually the tendency to transfer habit from the first
language to the second.  One can hardly
say that, he uses one language without mixing it with another language in his
day to day interaction.
Background of the Study
The focus of this work is
to look at the influence of language transfer on students speaking skills i.e.
language transfer on the pronunciation of English words by Nigerian speaker of
English, a case study of three (3) secondary school in Ijero Local Government
Area of Ekiti State.  The schools were
randomly selected to determine the level of interference occurring in the use
of language among secondary school students and how this language transfer
influences the spoken form or speaking skills of these students.
et al (2009) refer to Language Transfer 
as; “when speaker’s or writer’s applying knowledge from their second
language but it can occur in any situation where someone does not  have a native level command of a
language  as when translating into second
           According to Olagoke (2010), Transfer” can
also be seen or define as, “The movement or shift of some linguistic or speed
habit it from one language to another.”
          In essence to this language transfer usually occur in the
pronunciation of a particular speaker of a particular language when such a
person does not poses adequate characteristics features of that second language
like that of first language, for example, in Nigeria, English has the status of
a second language and is used as official language.  According to Olagoke (2010), English is “in
fact the language of science and technology, a passport to Educational
advancement and prestigious employment, the language of commerce, trade and
administration and a means of national and international communication”.  It is an important language of study in any
tertiary institution in the country or even in securing a white collar job.
          However, English language is not an indigenous language or
mother tongue.  One must be grounded in
basic skills of this language before one can communicate well either in written
or spoken forms.  So, when the speaker of
a particular language comes across some sounds which do not occur in its
language, what such a person do is to substitute those sound that occur in its
language to those that do not occur.  The
importance of this is to create and enable possibility for smooth and effective
          Equally, this research work will look into the cause of
language transfer among Nigerian students. 
It has become part and parcel of Nigerian speakers of English language
that whenever they are speaking or pronouncing English words, the features of
their language would definitely affects pronunciation of English words, and
this really affects the communicative competence of Nigerian students because,
majority of this Semantic Transfer:  Some
items in Nigerian English are present in native English, but the concept they
expresses in the former are absent in the latter e.g. Olu’s wife (suggesting
          In mixed transfer items partly from the mother tongue and
partly from English are conjugated or collated e.g. ‘bukateria’ (buka) in
Yoruba means carteen, while ‘teria’ is clipped from English cafeteria.
(d)     Discourse Transfer
          At the level of discourse, there are some transfers.  This is more pronouncing at the level of
greetings. For example, the system of greetings in Yoruba differs considerably
from that of English. And a Yoruba English bilingual transfers the system of
greetings in Yoruba into English.  For
example, the Yoruba people have different greetings for every human endeavour
as in:
Appreciation:                                             Transfer
( A)  E se ana
 ( A) Thanks for yesterday
( B)   Ko tope
  ( B) Don’t mention
For Bereavement:
( P)  E ku ofo
(P. (You) Accept my sympathy
(J)    E se
(J)  Thank you
Expectant Mother:
(F)  Asokale anfaani
(F.  (I wish you)  A safe delivery
( B)  E se
( B)  Thank you
system of greetings is also observed in via the pronunciation of length
greetings in place casual greetings which characterized the discourse.  I.e. in a place of “hello/hello”.  The Yoruba bilingual goes further to say “how
is your car” as in the following example;

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