The Impact of Language Socialization on the Linguistic Identity of Selected Nigerian Generation Z Students

Author: Uzoma Okoro (Pan-Atlantic University)
Speaker: Uzoma Okoro
Topic: Applied Sociolinguistics
The GLOCAL AFALA 2023 General Session


Language Socialisation is the use of language to convey and transmit culture to younger ones (Hudson, 2001). Through social interactions, children can easily learn a language and make various inferences when exposed to a speech community. Ochs and Schieffelin (2011) explain that communicative competence in a language involves the child or learner’s process in passively acquiring the language through cultural interactions: a deviation from the early innate language ideologies. Language Socialisation stems from Linguistic Anthropology which investigates the interference of culture and language (and vice versa). A recurrent problem for African linguists has been the younger generations declined competence in their native languages; the inversely proportioned rise of English as opposed to native or tribal language. Generation Z, also known as Digital Natives, have been most surrounded by technology, and have faced the most divergence from their tribal languages. This research investigates the extent of Language Socialisation on selected Generation Z students by identifying the factors affecting the socialisation process as well as analysing the successes and the failures of the process. The research aims to ascertain the impact of the linguistic socialisation process on their identity, and their notion of the speech community they belong to; by which the membership invariably affects their communicative pattern and language style (Gould and Rankin, 2019). Through the results from questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and observations, interesting findings and revelations emerge on the role linguistic socialization plays on the identity (linguistic) of the students focusing more on the reasons and motivations than the sociolinguistic variables.


Gould, M., & Rankin, M. (2019). Cambridge International AS and A English Language: Coursebook. Cambridge University Press

Hudson, R.A. (2001). Sociolinguistics. Cambridge University Press

Ochs, E., & Schieffelin B.B. (2011). The theory of language socialization. In Duranti, A., Ochs,E, and Schieffelin, B.B. (Eds.), The Handbook of Language Socialization. (pp. 1–21). Wiley‐Blackwell, Malden MA

Keywords: Language Socialisation, Linguistic Anthropology, Identity, Generation Z, speech community, sociolinguistic variable