"The Francophones have all the strategic government jobs...and they consider the Anglophones to be stateless," says Richard Mandessi, who teaches English at a secondary school in Mendong, a suburb of the capital, Yaounde.
"I think it's important for the Anglophone provinces to secede from Cameroon and demand independence as 'Southern Cameroon'," he adds.
A declaration by the colonial powers caused Cameroon to be placed under British and French control in 1919. Britain was put in charge of about 20 percent of Cameroonian territory, which was divided into two zones: Northern and Southern Cameroons. France controlled the remaining 80 percent of land.
In 1960, the French zone became independent. A 1961 referendum saw British-controlled Southern Cameroons join the former French territory to create the Federal Republic of Cameroon, while Northern Cameroons voted to become part of Nigeria.
According to government statistics, English is the first language for 20 percent of Cameroon's 16.7 million people. These persons form a majority in the present day South-West and North-West Provinces.
"The text of the federal constitution, which was adopted September 1, 1961, created a very centralised system that progressively eroded Anglophone autonomy," says Jocelyne Eko, who teaches at the Central Catholic University in Yaounde.
"It is this process that caused the former Southern Cameroons to dissolve in February of 1972 when a united, centralised state was formed," she adds.
Similar sentiments are expressed by Odile Nganang of New Human Rights, a non-governmental organisation based in Yaounde.
"By putting an end to the federalist system which had prevailed until then (1972), the successive Cameroonian governments skillfully wiped out Anglophone identity. This opened the door to all types of discrimination against them (English speakers)," she says.
"The language of Shakespeare is very under-represented in the public media, which is supposed to promote the two official languages, French and English, equitably," Nganang adds. The fact that this does not happen, she notes, promotes resentment amongst English speakers.
The dissatisfaction of the Anglophone community also appears to stem from economic factors.
"The Anglophones argue that they have not benefited from the offshore petroleum windfall along the peninsula that borders the Gulf of Guinea," Aboya Endong Manasse, a professor of political science at the University of Douala, told IPS.
"The development of the Rio del Rey oilfields was given to Elf, a French company...The same was true for the new Lokele and Mundi oilfields in 1978," he added. "More generally, these policies were developed without the consent of the federated states."
Initially, a repressive political environment in the West African country prevented discontent on the part of English speakers from coming to the fore. However, the introduction of multi-party politics in Cameroon in the early 1990s appears to have lifted the lid on resentment felt by English speakers.
On the Day of Bilingualism, celebrated earlier this month, members of the banned Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) issued a statement highlighting what it called "the government's obligation to deal with the problem of Anglophones". (The Day of Bilingualism is intended to promote the use of both English and French in Cameroon.)
The SCNC, a secessionist group, said a return to federalism would provide a solution to the current problems, as it would lead to "equality of opportunity and rights, and (promote) Anglophones in the upper echelons of government and the armed forces."
The Liberal Democratic Party, an Anglophone grouping created last year, also looks to the past in attempting to plot Cameroon's future.
Party chairman Boniface Forbin told IPS that he wanted to "find solutions to the 40-year-old Anglophone problem by implementing effective decentralisation and transferring most political power back out to the provinces." Forbin hopes this would lead to "biculturalism, freedom and equality of opportunity for all Cameroonians".
However, government denies that discontent amongst English speakers poses a real challenge to Cameroon.
"There is no Anglophone problem in Cameroon," Pierre Essomba, an official at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, told IPS.
"All of the 250 ethnic groups that comprise this country have problems that the government is trying to resolve within the decentralisation framework of the constitution. This will confer greater autonomy to the country's ten regions," he added.
The government presently has seven Anglophone ministers, including Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni, in a cabinet of more than 60. Inoni was appointed to his post in December 2004.
His two immediate predecessors, Peter Mafany Musonge and Simon Acidu Achu, were also English speakers. All three of these prime ministers were selected by President Paul Biya, who is French-speaking.
Separatist sentiments notwithstanding, many Anglophones identify deeply with what is termed, in French, "camerounité" - best translated as "Cameroon-ness". The debate now concerns whether shared customs and traditions will prevent English speakers from translating reminiscences about federalism into plans for secession.