Media Influence On Cameroon Spoken English: A Case Study Of The Speech Patterns of English Speaking Students In The University of Dschang-Cameroon

The paper examines foreign media contact and use in Cameroon; with a special focus on the English speaking students in the University of Dschang. Films from Nigeria, Ghana and the Philippines have flooded the Cameroon market and are being consumed by thousands of students. These media texts consumed are influencing or affecting the speech patterns of the student in Dschang. In order to study the phenomenon three research questions were proposed: How do media influence the speech
patterns of English speaking students in Dschang? How and in what areas have the speech patterns been influenced? How has this impacted on their educational outcomes or performances of the students? These led us to three hypotheses: The films watched, the news listened to by students have had and are having an influence on their speech patterns. English speakers in Dschang copy the prosodic features in the media the watch and either code mixing or integrating them directly into Cameroon Spoken English. The English speaking students’ performances in prosody is affected influenced by what the media they watch and listen.   We used two theories: the Media Effects theory by Gerbner George & Gross and the Communication Accommodation Theory developed by Howard Gilles. Using the Media Effects theory, we examined the influence that the audio-visual media has on the students and the society. Within this, we picked out the Cultivation Theory as the particular model. The Communication Accommodation Theory asserts that when people interact, they adjust their speech, vocal patterns and their gestures to accommodation to others.
Data was collected through interviews and at times eavesdropping. Informal observations were also carried out in the English Speaking Community in Dschang between 2013 and 2016. 180 respondents were involved in the study. After using appropriate data analytical tools and methods we saw that the modification in speech patterns is one-way; with 90% of the respondents copying the prosodic features in the media texts they watched. They either code mixed or integrated them directly into their Cameroon Spoken English. We conclude that 80.5% of the spoken forms adopted by the respondents constituted error usage of English in Cameroon spoken English. Advice is then suggested for viewers on how to avoid these identified shortcomings from entering into their academic spoken English performances. 
KEY WORDS: Media influence, Cameroon Spoken English, Cultivation and Communication Accommodation Theory, error usage, English Speakers’ performances.

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