I won’t let my child learn "useless" local languages
Some parents don’t see the value in their children learning African languages.
I’ve heard several black African parents in my circles tell their children “Why are you wasting your time studying an African language? What will it help you in life? It definitely won’t help you get a job!” The same parents will go boasting to their peers if their child is studying languages such as German, French or Chinese.
Because of these parents’ negative attitude towards local languages some students don’t take studying them seriously or they drop those local subjects as soon as their school allows it.
Other tribalistic parents discourage their children from studying a local language of another tribe saying such dogmatic remarks as “Why do you want to learn that language? Are you from that tribe?” I wonder if the same parents would ask: “Why do you want to learn French? Are you from France?”
But are local languages ‘useless’ as some parents lead their trusting children to believe?
Every language is amazing in itself. A language can tell you so much about a particular group of people. I am happy that my parents encouraged me to study my native language up to high school. I was blown away by the clever proverbs, novels and poems in a language that many people now look down upon and shun.
I would never discourage my child from enjoying this unique heritage passed down to me by generations before.
It is a big lie that local languages offer no benefit. If your child learns at least one local language it helps to integrate him or her into the community.
There are many benefits from your child learning more than one language. The website bhlingual.com lists the benefits that bilingual children have over their monolingual peers.
According to the website bilingual children:
- Are smarter and have better analytical skills
- Easily adjust to change
- Score higher in tests at school due to advanced thinking skills
- Are good in Mathematics
- Have an increased sense of self worth and identity
- Learn to read sooner than children who speak only one language.
- They easily accept people of other cultures.
Parents need to encourage their children to learn as many languages as they can. Not only will this benefit the child now but also later when they are adults.Are your kids learning an African language?
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