The sudden burst of mother tongue related posts and videos doing round is not because of a campaign or a contest. February 21 is observed as International mother language day worldwide. If this is observed worldwide that shows the importance of mother tongue. This is observed to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity. This also familiarizes or brings awareness of a concept called multilingualism.
Going to the history of when and how this came to existence, it was Bangladesh who came up with the initiative and was approved at the UNESCO in 1999.This has been observed since the year 2000. The utmost powerful tools of conserving and evolving our physical and insubstantial heritage are the languages we speak.
Necessity of teaching your child mother tongue
Mother tongue has a major role to play in the child’s overall development. If the foundation of learning the mother tongue is strong, it is easier for the child to learn other languages. When your child is given exposure to learn to develop skills in more than one language, the easier it is for them to learn how to use them effectively. This will not be the case with a child who knows only one language. Children when exposed to learn more languages are capable of processing information in different language thereby making them more flexible.
Learning the mother tongue also helps in developing better literacy in turn increasing the vocabulary of the child; thereby making it easier when the kid goes to kindergarten.
Learning the mother tongue helps the child to feel more connected with the roots and culture. That will not be the case with children who are brought up in a place where they do not have much exposure to their mother tongue. As a result, they feel left out when they are back to where they belong.
How do you teach mother tongue?
- Start teaching mother tongue at home
- Communicate to them in mother tongue
- Grandparents are a great learning source to teach mother tongue
- Gatherings of like-minded people, in this case people who have same mother tongue
- Read books in mother tongue.
How did I incorporate mother tongue in my toddler’s vocabulary?
- I always teach my daughter the name of an object in tamil(my mother tongue) and English. In that way she is able to identify the object in both languages.
- I always insist she calls me Amma(mother in tamil) and not mummy or mom. Same goes with Appa(father). She is taught the various terms for relatives only in mother tongue tamil.
- Though she enjoys watching rhymes in English, there are equally good rhymes available in tamil as well. So she is exposed to both cultures.
- The people in the house converse with her in Tamil to which she responds back well and I can also see that since us the elders talk in mother tongue at home she has picked up words from conversations and is able to use them in situations as she needs.
So let us be strong in teaching our kids the mother tongue so that they do not forget their roots and also help in preserving the vast heritage.
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