Sep 11, 2023
Mother language is one of the crucial components in child’s cognitive and emotional development. According to German researchers, the cry of a newborn baby is shaped by the sounds of their mother language. Familiarity with the mother language acts as a bridge from one generation to another, helps preserve cultural heritage and identity, provides the foundation for future language acquisition and communication skills. Studies also indicate that children proficient in their Mother Language can learn other languages, Math and Science with ease.
Unfortunately, despite its importance, many children are not aware of the importance of the mother language. Children today speak a sandwich language, unlike earlier generations that were fluent in their mother language. Interestingly, the role of parents in encouraging organic learning of the mother language for children is significant. This article discusses the ways to encourage children to learn and love their mother language.
Children are more likely to fall in love with a new language when they find it fun and engaging. Language-related games and activities, such as singing songs, telling stories, word games, picture identification games, or playing charades can create interest in developing vocabulary.
Providing opportunities to participate in family gatherings, festival celebrations, and cultural activities will introduce children to learn language appropriate for the situations. The more possibilities they have to use the language, the more comfortable they will become with it.
Create an ambiance at home where children gain scope to hear and speak their mother language. Simple tasks such as encouraging children to listen to music, read books, or watch movies in their native language can work wonders in cultivating love towards Mother Language.
Similarly, parents must make it mandatory to speak in the mother tongue at home to increase language fluency in children. With time, children would develop their skills and feel more confident speaking the language.
Celebrating festivals and cultural occasions provides a rich opportunity to encourage children to learn and love their mother language. Explaining the significance of the celebration, telling the stories related to the occasion, and connecting with extended family and grandparents makes them familiar with the advanced vocabulary, such as idioms and phrases in the native language.
Language exchange can be through language classes, pen-pals, or cultural exchange programs. Children can write short stories, poems, and rhymes in their mother language and exchange them with their friends. This opens up a friendly and exciting way for children to gain a grasp of the language semantics.
See that your children are properly educated in the rudiments of their mother tongue, and then let them proceed to higher branches of learning. – Brigham Young
Children may start appreciating anything once they understand its importance. The same holds for the mother language too. Explain to children how a native language is a valuable tool for communication and a foundation of their cultural heritage. Narrate the stories of accomplished personalities who gained global recognition due to their expertise in their mother language. Make them understand that one should be proud of their mother language and consider it a valuable asset.
Include language-based learning resources such as books, word games, and language learning apps as gifts. Encourage your child to explore these resources and find their best interest.
Appreciation can make children love doing a task more. Admire them when they write words, poems, sentences, stories, etc. in their mother language. It will motivate them to bigger goals and would solidify their love to learn the mother language in depth.
For children to grow holistically, fluency and love for Mother Language is essential. Parents must provide learning opportunities as and when possible, emphasize the importance of the language, and create a language-rich ambiance, so that children can develop a love and appreciation for their mother language. On the other hand, parents must also be role models in speaking and appreciating the mother language.
Together, these efforts will equip the children with the skills and cultural understanding needed to succeed in a multilingual and multicultural world.
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