The mother tongue/second language debate has been ongoing for a while now. We believe parents have the exclusive right to choose the language their children would employ in their daily life. However, we realise some parents seem to really have no idea the importance their children stand to gain by speaking in their mother tongue. So, we have highlighted some of the advantages of the mother tongue in this piece.
1) HELPS PRESERVE CULTURE
Language helps preserve culture; linguists opine that language and culture are intrinsically related and cannot be separated. So, endow your child with your indigenous language and help him grab the culture of that language.
2) HELPS UNDERSTAND SECOND LANGUAGE BETTER
Skills like translation, punctuation and other syntactic rubrics are better understood by kids who have a perfect understanding of their indigenous language. If you want your child to have a good command of a foreign language that you love, arm them with an adept knowledge of their Igbo or Yoruba language.
3) INSTILLS LOVE FOR FATHER’S LAND
Kids who understand, speak and use their indigenous language will likely be emotionally attachment and love their homeland; this is not the case with kids who are detached linguistically from their homeland.
4) HELPS UNDERSTAND CUISINE
There is more to understanding an indigenous language than speaking it; kids whose parents endow with a good knowledge of their mother tongue get to understand the rationale behind the choice of food or cuisine of such a culture; what food is forbidden and other important landmarks.
5) INCREASES SELF WORTH
A sort of self-esteem comes with one being able to speak one’s indigenous language very well; that way kids get to boost their self worth as they see their language not as inferior but important.
6) HELPS AVERT EMBARASSMENT
You never can tell, imagine your kid in a situation where he or she has to speak your indigenous language for very important purposes and pressingly at that; imagine how embarrassed he or she will feel when other kids easily takes up such tasks when he or she is found wanting. You don’t want to wait till such a time!
7) HELPS IDENTIFY WITH KIN FOLK
When kids speak their indigenous language well, they are able to relate with their fellow kith and kin effortlessly and this in turn engenders unity within the family and by extension, in the society at large.
8) HELPS UNDERSTAND HISTORY
How do you explain your nation’s history to your child who doesn’t even speak nor understand its language? And isn’t there this popular saying that one who does not understand his history does not know where he is coming from nor where he is going?
9) PROMOTE MULTI LINGUALISM
Multilinguals usually have an edge over monolinguals. Help your child become, at least, a bilingual by equipping him or he with your native tongue, trust me, he will ever be grateful to you for that.
10) BROADENS LIFE VIEW
When your kids understand his native language, it will go a long way in expanding the perspective from which he or she sees life. With ingredients such as proverbs, idioms, maxims, songs, folklores and other “language vitamins”; your kids are never going to be the same again once they have a staggering knack of that language.
11) REFLECTS ON PARENTS’ SELF WORTH
Show me a parent who shies away from imbibing kids with indigenous knowledge and I will show you a parent whose doesn’t have self worth. The fact that you want your kids to speak your native language like you do shows you do have a whole lot of self-worth and you’re proud of your language.
12) PROMOTES LOVE AND HARMONY
Love and harmony sprouts from speaking one’s indigenous language, first, between parents and kids; among children and even among larger family members. More so, there is a sort of serenity that comes with family members speaking their indigenous language; that way, the closeness of members of the family is guaranteed.
13) SEREVES AS AN IDENTITY
Speaking one’s native language can be likened to an identity card that identifies one as being from a particular part of the world; it’s very important your kids have such identification so they are not denied of any future opportunities.
14) FOR SECURITY PURPOSES
Now, to sound a little gossipy, do you know that native language speakers actually use their languages to do really sneaky stuffs? – You want to lambast a non-black who’s been rude to you and you don’t really want to make it obvious, do it in your coded Igbo! Lol. Seriously, one could use one’s native tongue to do crazy stuff in an unsecure environment.
15) IT’S FUN
Yeah, its fun to speak one’s indigenous language and that is why you don’t want to deny your kid the fun!