The relevance of mother tongue in the learning process

With the rise in migration and the growing popularity of international schools, the number of children learning a language apart from their actual mother tongue is growing rapidly.


However, learning to speak in the mother tongue is essential for a child's overall development. Being fluent in their mother tongue benefits the child in numerous ways. It connects him to his culture, facilitates better cognitive development, and aids in the learning of other languages.


Research indicates that having a strong mother tongue foundation leads to a much better understanding of the curriculum as well as a more positive attitude towards school, so it’s essential that children maintain their first language as they begin schooling in a different language.


The relevance of mother tongue


Mother tongue is important in the learning process because when children develop their mother tongue, they are simultaneously fostering a whole host of other essential skills, which include critical thinking and literacy skills. It is these skills that they take with them into formal education. Any skills and concepts gained in the learner’s home language need not be re-taught when they are transferred to a second language.

A child initially comprehends what is around them through the language they hear their mother communicating from the time they are born and throughout their lives. It is a good approach to learning for parents to teach second languages at home and also do their best to develop the child’s use of language and expression.


The indispensable role of the mother tongue in child development


It’s also well known that a strong mother tongue base equips children with the skills they need to learn additional languages, facilitating them to transfer their understanding of the structure of language to several new languages.


The intuitive understanding of grammar that develops when children learn their first language can easily be transferred to other languages. Language and mother tongue goes hand in hand in the development of personal, social, and cultural identity. Children with a strong base in their first language often display a deeper understanding of themselves and their place within society, together with an increased sense of wellbeing and confidence. Naturally, this flows down into every segment of their lives, including their academic achievement.


Parent workshops that outline the importance of the mother tongue are becoming increasingly popular since many parents mistakenly believe that they should only speak to their children in the school’s language of instruction. This can often contribute to children not gaining complete fluency in both their first and second languages.


The significance of the mother tongue in the learning  process


->  Mother tongue makes it easier for kids to grasp and effortlessly learn other languages


->  Mother tongue helps in developing a child's personal, social and cultural identity


->  Using the mother tongue assists a child to develop their critical thinking and literacy skills


->  It's proven that children learning in their mother tongue adopt a better understanding of the curriculum.


->  Children learning in their mother tongue enjoy school more and learn faster when compared to others


->  Self esteem is comparatively higher for children learning in their mother tongue


At Akshsharam, we offer beginner Malayalam learning classes online in the most interactive and fun way. We use the most effective method for each student which helps them learn how to read, write and most importantly speak the Malayalam language. Our Malayalam language communication class online aims at passing on the language to children in the most effective way thereby enabling them to connect to their roots.


Other benefits of mother tongue in learning


->  Intellectual development

->  Develops personal and cultural identity

->  Better connection with culture

->  Develops a strong foundation for learning additional languages

->  Develops and understands communication skills

->  Creates job opportunities

->  Facilitates the development of strong family bonds

->  Stimulates confidence and also facilitates self-awareness


How to improve mother tongue learning


  • Begin literacy teaching in the mother tongue

This prepares children for the acquisition of literacy and encourages fluency and confidence in both the mother tongue and later in other languages where it is necessary.


  • Ensure availability of mother tongue materials

Children need to be excited about reading and learning and this is possible only when the materials are the ones that they will understand and enjoy.


  • Provide early childhood education in the mother tongue

Literacy development starts early in life, & the home environment is an important factor in children’s learning achievement.


  • Support effective teaching methods

Apart from appropriate materials, teachers need to use engaging instructional strategies, where children are active in the learning process.


  • Train and deploy mother tongue teachers

It is required that teachers are trained in the same language they are to teach so as to effectively transfer the same to their students.


To develop the quality of learning, language policies need to take into account mother-tongue learning.  Those models of education that facilitate mother tongue learning in the early years of childhood can enable teachers to teach and learners to learn effectively.