Nigeria is certainly one of the linguistically diverse nations with a projected 516 languages (Gordon, 2005), each one has an important function and a significant role in the society wherever it is in use. It is exciting to know that Pidgin separately exists from several local languages which constitute the mother tongue or second language of Nigerians,foreign languages such as English, French, and Arabic, similarly exist. English has become an official language, and for most people a second language in Nigeria. On the other hand, Nigerian Pidgin English, with possibly the largest number of speakers, has also developed as an outcome of contact of English alongside the native languages (Dada 2007:87).
Language conduct implicates social meanings relative to social customs in an identified speech community. Language attitude study is not only a way of understanding how language is used, for example, as a symbol of identity or in-group membership, but also helps to inform the social importance of a given code or language (see Adegbija, 1994; Ihemere 2006; Salami 1991). Therefore, attitudinal studies of language are important to linguistics because they could help to explain language maintenance and shift, which is distinctly influenced by the change or maintenance, which is favored or disfavored by members of the speech community (Mann 1993; 1998).
One of the most important differences between man and animal is man’s ability to speak and make others understand him. Language is only possible because within each society, people agree to understand a particular pattern of sound in a particular way. For instance, all English speaking countries understand the meaning of the word ‘water’. According to Akindele and Adegbije, language is:
“A human phenomenon that has form which can be described in terms of units of sound (phonemes), word, morphemes, phrases, sentences and paragraphs or discourse”
This definition shows that language has often been identified as the most unique attribute of man. It is through language that human beings grasp and understand reality and transmit it from one generation to another. This view is buttressed by Blakar who asserts that “we actually live and behave in a world of language”. Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman quoted Noam Chomoky as saying that:
“When we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the human essence. The distributive qualities of the mind that are so far as we know unique to man”
Language, which OyewoYinka describe as “the medium or vehicle for conveying ideas, a system of arbitrary vocal symbol based on social cooperation; the totality of meaningful utterance in any given society” is by far the most important means of human communication.
The effect of Nigerian Pidgin English on students is the focus of this research work. Pidgin has their different histories about language contact and subsequent borrowing and code-mixing. The origin of Nigerian pidgin can be traced to the contact which was established between multilingual coastal communities and Portuguese merchants, who were joined later by the Dutch and the English. Nigerian Pidgin English is in fact becoming very popular in the country, especially in the secondary schools and in the universities; even at public function as well as in the offices. It is a lingua franca for social integration among diverse ethnic groups in the country.