Benefits of learning Mother Tongue
Due to the increase in migration and growing popularity of international schools, we are seeing a rapid growth in the number of kids who are learning in a language other than their mother tongue.
It's a well-known fact that, while we are moving towards a society, where the language for interaction is only English, our children are getting alienated from their mother tongue. As the medium of instruction is usually English, we tend to communicate with kids in the second language, which creates confusion in their minds, leading to difficulty in mastery of either of the languages.
Studies have revealed that having a strong mother tongue foundation helps a child to understand the curriculum better and have a positive attitude towards school.
What is Mother Tongue
Mother Tongue is the first language that a child learns from birth or it is the language that a child learns at home from their parents. It is also known as a first language or native language. Mother tongue includes the child's personal, social, and cultural identity. Children born in bi-lingual families have more than one mother tongue. Kids comprehend the world around them and interact, through the language that is first introduced to them.
Knowing one's mother tongue is essential and crucial for several reasons. It opens the doors to many benefits, which tend to stay with the children throughout their lives. Children need to be encouraged to talk more and learn their mother tongue, so that they can create their distinct identity through it.
Let's understand why it is important for your child to know your mother tongue well:
According to studies, it has been observed that cognitive and intellectual development are comparatively faster in children who are fluent in their mother tongue. When your child is taught their mother tongue, learning occurs more fruitfully. Learning the mother tongue helps improve speech. Since mother tongue is what a child hears from birth, it helps to give a definite shape to the feelings and thoughts of a child.
Better Connection with Culture
Language is one of the means by which cultures are kept alive. Literature in the source language upholds its essence in a better way, as compared to its translation into another language. So, in order to thoroughly understand one's culture, knowledge of the mother tongue is a must. It is with the help of the mother tongue that your child will stay connected to their traditions, cultural values, and roots.
They will know more about food and traditional dishes, music and instruments. They will pick up books of great writers once they understand the beauty of the language. A strong personal and social identity is built and a sense of deep understanding is instilled. The bond within the family grows.
Easy to learn new languages
Children are known to be enthusiastic learners and they have an innate ability to learn languages with ease from birth.If children have strong knowledge of their mother tongue, they will find it easier to learn new languages. When they start to read in their mother tongue from an early age, they are bound to develop more substantial reading and writing skills in other languages.
Languages are believed to act as a bridge for the transfer of skills and knowledge. This is why sentence structures and grammar learnt in the mother tongue get transferred to other languages and the child is able to relate to that transfer. For example, the skills to guess the meaning of a word through its context, or inferring the meaning by reading between the lines, are readily transferred.
When your child is able to process information in various languages, they become more focused and flexible. So mother tongue is a useful tool to learn other languages.
The feeling of Self-esteem
It is a matter of pride to know one's mother tongue. It boosts your child's confidence, develops their identity, and also enhances awareness. Mother tongue has a huge positive impact on one's personality. It leads to an increased sense of well-being and confidence.
Contributes to Overall Development
Learning one's mother tongue leads to the overall development of the child. Critical thinking and literacy skills are developed with a good understanding of one's mother tongue. These skills prove to be very crucial in the formative years.
Learning the mother tongue helps in brain growth and turns your child into a multi-tasker. It becomes easy for them to adapt to different cultures as their communication skills are enhanced to a great extent.
Ability to communicate with Grandparents
Grandparents play a prominent role in the upbringing of their children. Many of them do not know any other language except their mother tongue. With the knowledge of their mother tongue, your children would be able to converse with their grandparents and learn lots of life experiences from them.
By learning the mother tongue, your child will have the great advantage of communicating and forming bonds with the extended family, which helps in broadening social skills, and also expanding the family tree.
Akshharam is a learning initiative that helps Malayali parents living outside Kerala address the challenge of passing on Malayalam to the younger generation. Akshharam offers online Malayalam classes for kids of the age group of 5 years onwards. Online Malayalam language reading class and online Malayalam language writing class are conducted in a fun and interactive manner, taking all efforts to ensure the kids are trained well, so that they are able to utilize all the benefits of learning their mother tongue.