Parents gleam proudly when their toddler uses English words or even converse averagely in English. One would have witnessed such a situation in a mall or at a friend’s place or you could be one of them too. While it is perfectly alright for a toddler to speak in English, it is absolutely essential that the child also learns her/his native language.
Post-liberalization and in the need to look savvy and modern, the English language has gained a lot of importance, also the language playing as an aspirational “must have” has led to the alienation of local language.
Bygones are only to be used to learn, and here are the top four reasons why parents need to make sure their child learns their native language:
1. Keeping In Touch With Your Roots & Building Bond
Your mother tongue is your legacy, it helps connect you to your ancestors and culture in a way that many other things don’t. Our native language not only allows us to communicate and connect with one another, but it allows us to understand and appreciate the history of our ancestors and our upbringing. It cultivates an appreciation and understanding that is beyond beneficial for children, especially those from diverse backgrounds.
Speaking and teaching your mother tongue help to strengthen ties with family members. If the native language isn’t maintained, important links to family members may be lost. Parents can help their children learn their mother tongue and culture at home while, at the same time, incorporate the elements of the new language (English) into their life.
2. Helps in cognitive and intellectual development
The children who are learners are able to speak their mother tongue well, not only do they experience better cognitive development but also better intellectual development.
It is a well-known fact that children with a solid foundation in their mother tongue have better educational success.
3. Investing in the future
Learning your native language and English is a blessing in disguise. Learning your mother tongue, the local language which could be different from your mother tongue and English at an early stage will help your child communicate better with the world. By encouraging, teaching, and learning along with them you are also making your bond stronger and teaching them something they could cherish for life.
Being multilingual helps your child will be better in all the languages he/she knows, helping in better development and furthermore adding interpersonal skills early in life.
4. Raising A Bilingual Child
As a parent we want our child to speak fluent and good English. Research shows that children learn English(as a second language) more effectively if they continue to develop their first language at the same time making them bilingual.
Bilingual learners’ brains are more flexible as they are able to store and access information in two languages using both sides of their brain simultaneously, developing memory, concentration, multitasking, creativity, problem-solving.
While this may all seem challenging, it is essential, as a parent to a young child, that you teach them their mother tongue and also teach them English in ways which are fun and enjoyable, equipping them to face the world.