Adopting the Igbo Alphabet for Literacy in English as a Second Language
Uchenna David Uwakwe
General Studies Unit, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria
This work explores the possibilities of adopting the alphabet of the Igbo language in acquiring English as a second language. This study is based on the premise that learning to read and write in English as a second language has continued to pose problems to Nigerian. This problem is occasioned by the negligence of the alphabet as a starting point for language learning. It is the view of this writer that obstacles to leaming English as L2 in Nigeria because the comparison between the alphabet of indigenous languages and those of the English language have not been given serious consideration. It is in this light that this work undertakes the study of the Igbo alphabet to elucidate the
relationship between the letters and the sounds of the language. The inadequacies of the English letters are briefly examined and the lgbo letters are shown to take care of these letter—sound dichotomy. This work also identifies the importance of a careful synthesis of the letter—sound relationship at this rudimentary stage. There is, here, the emphasis on the breaking up of structures into syllables because it is easier to leam how to read by taking one syllable at a time.