Today, on International Mother Language Day, which is focused on the importance of linguistic diversity for sustainable development, it is important to remember what difference being taught in your mother tongue can make one one’s ability to learn. Choices over the language of instruction can have a huge impact on learning outcomes In most countries […]
The research is not new, that children taught in their mother tongue , in the early years, at least, are more likely to develop literacy skills but also to achieve in formal schooling, with its demands for literacy across the curriculum. What is also important is children’s cultural and linguistic roots and their feeling of self worth, knowing that teachers respect their families, home language and the cultural diversity.
Unfortunately, having worked in both Vietnam and Tanzania, political issues come before child rights and the national language is the only one that can be accepted. Some countries, such as Zambia, have recently heeded the call and have allowed children to learn in their mother language during the first three years of formal schooling, which at least gives them time to develop their literacy frameworks, so that learning in a second language is much easier.