Identity and Language Attitudes among Sierra Leonean Refugees in Oru Camp, Ogun State, Nigeria
Lagos Notes and Records, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos
The concern of this study is to investigate the language attitudes of Sierra Leonean refugees in Oru camp with respect to their indigenous languages and the language of the host community, Yoruba. This is with a view to ascertaining their identity patterns. A mixed method (qualitative and quantitative) was adopted and consequently questionnaires and interviews were used to elicit data from teenagers, young adults and full adults purposively drawn from each of the three ethnic groups sampled: Mende, Temne, Limba. The result indicated that a significant majority of teenagers and young adults positively evaluated their indigenous languages although their proficiency was very poor. The full adults expressed a high evaluation of their indigenous tongues and also reported a high proficiency in them. In terms of attitude towards Yoruba, the teenagers highly evaluated Yoruba and correspondingly had a high proficiency in it. The young and full adults negatively regarded Yoruba (as a result of the negative attitude of the host community towards them) and had a very poor proficiency in it. Refugees need to identify with their host community for purposes of inclusion and the benefits of diversity.