The Role of Language and Communication in National Transfromation

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THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION IN NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION

BY

ONUOHA BEATRICE N. (MRS.)

DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL STUDIES
HUSSAINI ADAMU FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC,
KAZAURE, JIGAWA STATE

BEING A PAPER PRESENTED AT WOMEN IN TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT (WITED) NATIONAL CONFERENCE

AT
THE FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC ILARO, OGUN STATE

8TH – 11TH OCTOBER, 2012

ABSTRACT
The relationship between language and communication in the business of information encoding and dissemination cannot be over looked. Despite the fact that the two concepts are different in meaning, the roles they play are complementary in many ways. Language is a process by which information can be carried out from one party to another, while communication refers to the chain of activities that make it possible for information, ideas, emotions and experiences to be conveyed from one party to the other. The process of communication starts with the source that first puts the message information in a code or language before it is sent to the receiver. The major focus of this work is to examine how language and communication agree in achieving effective information delivery for National Transformation. A documentary approach was applied. It was found out that the issue of language and communication is at the core of national transformation in Nigeria. Some variables that are relevant to this work are examined. These findings led to the conclusion that for Nigeria to move forward in its transformational strides in the 21st century, language and communication must be strengthened at all cost.

1.0: INTRODUCTION
Language plays a very vital role in human society. The language of any human society tells a lot about that society. Therefore, it can be further emphasized that language and communication are inseparable. In any human society, language and communication occupy a very important seat, more than it appears to all. The functions of language and communication in any human community include the following; expression of thoughts, political, administration, education, social, religious, legislation and so on. It is imperative to note that of all the channels of communication, language is the most important. This is because all other means of communication like gestures and signs are only needful in the face-to-face circumstance. Language plays a vital role in this and still remains the most effective means of communication. Through language and communication, we can see the heart of a people. This implies that language makes it possible to express feelings, emotions, views, ideas, opinions, perceptions, as well as judgment about people, objects, places, things, information and situations, Obuh and Omenogor (2012). 2.0: WHAT IS LANGUAGE?

Language is a viable implement used by man for the purpose of communication. It is human-specific and this differentiates man from other creatures. Language has contributed enormously to the great transformation of our society politically, religiously, socially and economically. For the sake of this paper, we need a definition of language. There is a plethora of definitions of the concept of language. Sapir (1963) asserts that: “language is the key to the heart of a people” this means that language is a purely human and non-instinctive type of communication. Moreso, Moulton (1974), sees language as: “a wonderful and rich vehicle of communication, which is: expression of ideas, wishes, commands, conveyance of truths and lies.” He also said that only human beings have the attribute of sending and receiving an unlimited number of messages. This implies that language is a feature common to human beings. Haugen (1974) explains language as: “a man’s most distinctive and significant type of social behaviour… learned anew by every child.” Language and communication are inseparably linked in the heart of a people. According to Allen and Corder (1973:27), “language is purely a human and...
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