Learning to speak in the mother tongue is very important for a child's overall development. Being fluent in the mother tongue, which is also known as the native language, benefits the child in many ways. It connects him to his culture, ensures better cognitive development, and aids in the learning of other languages. Read on to know more about this.
A child's first comprehension of the world around him, the learning of concepts and skills, starts with the language that is first taught to him. Mother language has such an important role in framing our thinking and emotions.
More at: multilingualparenting.com
Mother language has a very powerful impact in the formation of the individual. Our first language, the beautiful sounds which one hears and gets familiar with before being born while in the womb, has such an important role in shaping our thoughts and emotions. A child's psychological and personality development will depend upon what has been conveyed through the mother tongue...
More at: www.fountainmagazine.com
It doesn't matter whether you still speak it fluently or can't remember a single word of it, the first language you learnt as a child has already irreversibly changed your brain. Canadian researchers have discovered that being exposed to a language early in life influences how a person's brain deals with another language many years later...
More at: www.dailymail.co.uk
Globally, there are 50-75 million 'marginalized' children who are not enrolled in school. Children whose primary language is not the language of instruction in school are more likely to drop out of school or fail in early grades. Research has shown that children's first language is the optimal language for literacy and learning throughout primary school (UNESCO, 2008a)...
More at: www.globalpartnership.org
Studying mathematics scores of the same set of kids in multiple rounds of tests, a researcher has concluded that kids learn better in their mother-tongue. Kids attending Telugu medium schools - data was gathered in Andhra Pradesh - "on average perform significantly better as compared to English medium students" once factors such as native ability, household characteristics and "parental aspirations" are considered and "controlled for."
More at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Can children learn a second language before they even learn to speak their mother tongue? Many children are brought up listening to and hearing 3 or 4 languages. My grandson is a perfect example: his mother speaks to him in her mother tongue, Korean, his father speaks Hebrew, his mother tongue to him and the child has an English environment at home because his parents speak to each other in English and of course, I speak to him in English...
More at: www.helendoron.com
Imagine yourself as a child attending school only to realize that you cannot understand anything said by your teachers (and vice-versa) ...
Yet this has long been the unenviable situation faced by "tribal" children all over the world including India, a country whose constitution protects the right of children to learn through their mother tongue:
Across the region, strategies for a more equitable development, including in education, have been developed. Education has also been identified as a major priority area in the Post 2015 development agenda discussions. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that millions of children in South Asia are still out of school. [...] Girls in rural areas, particularly those from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in India also have higher rates of exclusion. In Bangladesh, boys are more excluded in both levels of education.
Source: ALL CHILDREN IN SCHOOL BY 2015: Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children
Address : http://www.unicef.org/education/files/SouthAsia_OOSCI_Study__Executive_Summary_26Jan_14Final.pdf
Date Visited: Fri Oct 24 2014 17:30:20 GMT+0200 (CEST)
Many Indian institutions, NGOs and individuals are devoted to the formidable task of developing suitable teaching materials and methods. Their success stories prove that using one's mother-tongue in primary education is no obstacle to learning an official language including English; on the contrary, this approach benefits teachers, learners and their parents:
Our methods of education have drastically reduced the school dropout rate, and children discover a lot of joy and enthusiasm for learning. While our villages were basically illiterate up to my generation, all children now learn to read and write. Many ex-students of our school are doing very well academically in higher-level schools, colleges and universities. Some of our alumni have government jobs; many more are self-employed. Many educated youths have also taken up the school and organizational responsibilities to carry on the initiative we started a generation ago. Santal villagers are beginning to understand that education makes a difference. - Boro Baski (M.S.W., Ph.D.) co-founder and principal of Rolf Schoembs Vidyashram | Read more >>
More at: www.indiantribalheritage.org
The best way for a child to excel in English is to be good in her own native language. The message from academic research is that, at home, smart parents should stick with the language they know best. Speak that with your children - even if you can't read it with them. English will take care of itself in time...
More at: childandfamilyblog.com
Why is mother tongue-based multilingual education important? It's a question I've been asked often over the past five years in my role as the coordinator of the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group, which advocates removing barriers to quality education for ethnolinguistic minorities in Asia.
Let me begin with my story.
The first day of school after my family emigrated from South Korea to Canada was the most frustrating and alienating experience I had ever had. I felt like I was lost on another planet. I could hear my teachers and classmates but couldn't communicate with them. Once an active and talkative student, I grew quiet and shy. School was no longer a fun place and I felt excluded most of the time.
A few months later, I started to make progress. Using my strong reading and maths skills in my mother tongue, Korean, I was able to translate and convert concepts and catch up on learning in English. With support from my teachers, classmates and parents, I slowly started to speak in English and raise my hand in the classroom. Finally, I felt a sense of belonging at school and in Canadian society.
"Inclusive education through and with language - language matters" is the theme of this year's International Mother Language Day, to be held on Saturday. It resonates with my experience and it speaks to the challenges faced by the 2.3 billion people worldwide who don't have access to education in their mother tongue. For many of them, the barriers I faced are exacerbated by poverty and other factors.
Language is a key to inclusion. If children cannot understand, they won't learn. Even if children from ethnolinguistic minorities manage to enrol in school, they are often unable to follow classroom instruction and end up being pushed out of the education system. This results in further marginalisation and exclusion from society.
When language barriers are combined with other marginalising factors such as gender, ethnicity, disability and geographical remoteness, the chances of children entering and completing basic education become very low. According to a recent Unesco Institute for Statistics report, children from marginalised groups in Bolivia, Ecuador, India and Laos, for example, are two to three times less likely to be in school.
Looking back on my own experience, I realise that the crucial factor in successfully transitioning from one language - and one education system - to another was the grounding I had in my mother tongue.
During my six years of primary education, I developed a strong understanding of concrete and abstract ideas, learning vocabulary and concepts that were transferable to my second language. Without this foundation, it would have been extremely difficult for me to become functionally bilingual and continue my education.
Research has increasingly shown that teaching in a mother tongue early in school helps reduce dropout rates and makes education more engaging for marginalised groups. Children who benefit from mother tongue-based-multilingual education (MTB-MLE) also perform better in their second language.
When I was studying in my mother tongue, my parents took a more active role in my learning than they were able to after we emigrated. This parental engagement is important for children's intellectual and social development and is a good indicator of student survival rates. Parents of ethnolinguistic minority students are often unable to provide this support.
MTB-MLE programmes also bridge the gap between the culture at home and the one at school and in mainstream society. They not only improve learning, they also broaden outlooks, increase tolerance and foster a respect for cultural diversity. These programmes are also effective in promoting a culture of peace and building equitable and inclusive societies.
Multilingual education initially costs more than monolingual education. However, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial investment. Monolingual education is not sustainable in multilingual nations, and thus MTB-MLE programmes are likely to result in considerable savings over the long term, while also tapping the previously untouched potential of billions of students.
Kyungah Kristy Bang is the project officer for Multilingual Education at Unesco Bangkok
More at: www.thenational.ae
Jerry Pinto, the Mumbai-based author and journalist, underlines the importance of encouraging our children to learn their mother tongue, in this video.
ParentCircle is a magazine that empowers parents to raise successful and happy children. SUBSCRIBE NOW