Evaluating the Degree of Individual Bilingualism in Yaounde

Simplice Magloire Essomba Fouda


This paper seeks to determine the degree of individual bilingualism in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon. It builds on findings got from the answers of 240 informants selected randomly from both sections of three bilingual High Schools in this town. The data were collected by means of two instruments: a questionnaire and a language achievement test.  The findings reveal that learners of English and French in both school sections are from the two speech communities of the country. Besides, the study population is deemed representative of the whole Cameroonian population, for it was found that participants were from all ten regions of the country (however with an imbalance in number). The questionnaire revealed that speakers made alternate use of English and French at varying degrees, and possessed each at least one language skill in these languages. Results of the language test revealed that most participants had a fair mastery of the grammars of both languages (allowing them to qualify as intermediate or upper intermediate users). In addition, a significantly high number of participants came out with sensible translations from each language into the other.The above results provide sufficient evidence for one to validly discard the general statement that it is Cameroon which is bilingual and not Cameroonians; they hint at the point that Cameroonians from both linguistic groups living in Yaounde can unequivocally be termed bilingual individuals.

Keywords: Individual bilingualism, Yaounde, Anglophone, Francophone

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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