Importance of learning the mother tongue (2023)

Importance of learning the mother tongue (1)


The mother tongue is valuable for several reasons. The mother's language is crucial in shaping people's thinking and feelings. Learning the mother tongue is very important for the comprehensive development of a child. Being fluent in the native language, also known as the mother tongue, benefits the child in many ways. It connects them with their culture, improves cognitive development and supports the learning of other languages. A child first understands what surrounds him through the language in which he listens to his mother communicate before being born and thinks about her life. Many children in the developing world learn very little in school, a reality that may be related to being taught a language they do not fully understand. It is a practice that results in learning and the acquisition of limited or non-existent knowledge and skills, alienating experiences, and high dropout and repetition rates. To improve the quality of education, language policies must take into account the learning of the mother tongue. Educational models that ignore the mother tongue in the early years can be unproductive, ineffective and have a negative impact on children's learning. Instruction in the native language, at least in the early years, can enable teachers to teach more effectively and students to learn more effectively.


Language shows an essential part of a person's life. Language facilitates the understanding of the environment, the learning of concepts and the acquisition of various skills. A child who skillfully learns life from him accumulates extensive language skills that help him express himself and develop his thinking skills. Also, this language promotes a child's confidence and self-esteem while he learns other things. "When you speak to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head. If you speak to a man in his language, it will go to his head: Nelson Mandela's native language is the first language you learn as a baby, the language you grow up with, also known as your mother tongue.A child first understands his surroundings through the language in which he hears his mother communicate before birth and think through his life.The mother tongue is valued for many reasons. The mother tongue is essential to shape people's thinking and feelings.School learning emphasizes the use of the mother tongue.The mother tongue is a powerful tool to promote learning in people.

The importance of the mother tongue is explored because as children develop their mother tongue, they also develop a variety of other essential skills, such as critical thinking and literacy.


intellectual development

Studies have shown that cognitive development, as well as intellectual improvement, is relatively faster in those who are fluent in their native language. It has also been found that when a student is taught in their native language, their educational attainment rate is higher than that of someone who is taught in a medium other than their native language.

Develop a personal and cultural identity.

The mother tongue develops a personal and cultural identity. Personal identity arises from a person's understanding of himself, his environment, and his history. A person first hears his mother tongue in the womb and subconsciously begins to determine her views and emotions. In this way, it develops the bases for an immediate connection with the family, society, culture and identity. Its solid foundation is a strong self-acceptance through an understanding of social background and character in the most basic and natural way. Furthermore, respect for the different languages ​​spoken in society creates a cultural identity that undoubtedly flows into other stages of an individual's life.

Better connection with culture

Languages ​​are the most important way to keep our culture alive. Repeatedly, direct translation from one language to another may not contain the same gist as in the source language. Therefore, the best way to fully discern the culture is to know the language. The mother tongue benefits us and stays connected to our culture and roots.

Build a solid foundation for learning additional languages

If you understand your native language well, it will be easier for you to master a new language. If a child has been reading in her native language since childhood, she will have better literacy skills in other languages. The mother tongue provides a solid foundation for learning additional languages. Children are capable of learning numerous languages ​​from an early age.

Therefore, a strong foundation in your mother's language equips her with the skills to learn additional languages. Children do this by transferring different language structures to other languages. The grammar that develops as a child learns her native language is easily transferable, allowing her to easily guess meaning or read between the meanings of words in different languages.

Commercial Benefits

Develop and understand communication skills.

During childhood, as children spend their time with their parents, their communication skills improve, skills that are essential in schools so that they can attend classes. Even as parents tell their children stories and think about things, their terminology and concepts grow. In this way, children effortlessly follow and understand when learning, leading to pedagogical success. As companies go the native language route, the importance of the native language has increased exponentially. Therefore, in such a scenario, knowing your native language and being literate will go a long way when considering becoming an entrepreneur. The possibilities associated with monetization for the benefit of the mother tongue are enormous in today's market scenario.

Create employment opportunities

The mother tongue creates job opportunities. The society is characterized by increased immigration and a growing population of international students who speak languages ​​other than English. Therefore, to facilitate effective communication and mutual understanding, understanding different languages ​​is required for various sectors of the economy, such as schools, healthcare, and business. This translates into the need for people with language skills in the labor market. Therefore, understanding and being fluent in various native dialects gives people the upper hand when it comes to becoming a language specialist and thus seeking gainful employment.

Promotes the development of strong family ties

The mother tongue favors the growth of strong family ties. In many, mostly immigrant households, some family members, such as grandparents and parents, do not understand English, which is universally useful in different countries. Therefore, when a child grows up with a particular emphasis on speaking a language that is not her native language, this creates a language gap between some family members that is the result of emotional disconnection from other members of the family. family.

It stimulates their self-confidence, but it also creates an awareness of themselves.

Knowledge of the mother tongue is a fundamental aspect in a person's life. It not only strengthens their self-confidence, but also creates an awareness of their individual and cultural identity. It facilitates language learning and adoption, creates job opportunities and keeps families together.

Importance of learning the mother tongue (2)


Knowing your mother tongue well is a matter of pride. It increases self-confidence and raises awareness in the mind of the individual while helping him to better connect with his cultural identity. The mother tongue has a great positive influence on the definition of an individual's personality; However, the largely English educational environment also encourages parents to speak to their children in their second language. Thus, this leads to confusion in the minds of the children and thus they have a difficult time in mastering both the first and second languages.


Mastery of non-native language teaching

In many developing countries, a significant proportion of children enter school without speaking the language of instruction. Many education systems prefer the use of national or 'global' languages ​​to the teaching of the mother tongue. Instruction is often given in the old colonial language or in an international language such as English.

This is based on the belief that certain internationally 'important' languages ​​give children a competitive advantage later in life. UNESCO states: "Africa is the only continent where the majority of children go to school with a foreign language." Classes are offered almost everywhere in the old colonial languages ​​of French, English or Portuguese, which most young people do not speak at home.

It was found that by the end of primary school, children could not read fluently or write clearly. Many exams failed because they couldn't read and understand the instructions. Reading skills were low even among high school kids. Literacy skills in tertiary education were unsatisfactory: students were unable to read or understand information due to lack of literacy skills.

The lack of learning the mother tongue underlines the existing inequalities

The lack of education in the mother tongue has a strong dimension of justice. The language in which children are taught often reflects broader social inequities or power asymmetries.

For example, marginalized tribal groups struggle to have their identity and language fully recognized, respected or understood within the broader society. The lack of education in the mother tongue is a form of discrimination that perpetuates these inequalities. Children from the poorest rural areas or from ethnic and linguistic minorities are less likely to receive a quality education and are more likely to become illiterate adults.

Many children in minority language communities, particularly those who live in remote areas, face significant challenges when it comes to accessing a quality education. When pre-existing exclusion, poverty, or poor quality teaching overlap with instruction in an unfamiliar language, children may never make it to school or, if they do, find little purpose in the classroom to keep them there.

Minority groups continue to make up a large proportion of those excluded from the classroom. Ensuring more inclusive education policies that guarantee the right of all children to education will include providing education to minority groups in their own language.


Start literacy classes in the mother tongue

A curriculum rooted in the child's familiar language, culture and environment, with locally developed and appropriate reading and teaching materials, is critical to early learning success. The use of the mother tongue in the early stages of schooling in multilingual contexts supports child-centred policies. Start with what is known and incorporate new knowledge. Create a smooth transition between home and school; stimulates interest and increases participation and commitment. This prepares children for literacy acquisition and promotes fluency and confidence in both the mother tongue and subsequently in other languages ​​where required.

Ensure the availability of material in the native language

Children need to be engaged and interested in reading and learning, and this can only be achieved if the materials are ones they understand and enjoy. In most developing countries, children only see school books as reading material, which is often in very short supply. There are hardly any other learning support materials available. Without access to good materials, children find it difficult to learn to read and write. In most low- and middle-income countries, most primary schools do not have libraries, and books are a luxury that families cannot afford. For children from minority language communities, the situation is even bleaker. Textbooks are rarely available in local languages.

Provide early childhood education in the mother tongue.

Literacy development begins early in life, and the home environment is an important factor in children's learning success. Helps develop the knowledge and skills children need to learn to read. When parents and the community support literacy development, the results show marked improvement. The earlier children are exposed to stories, the better they read: Just 15 minutes of reading a day can expose children to a million written words in a year and help them build a rich vocabulary. Children who have access to materials at home are more likely to develop fluent reading.

Support effective teaching methods.

The success of teaching early literacy skills depends not only on the provision of appropriate materials, but also on the way in which these skills are introduced and taught. Memorizing and memorizing with a textbook approach is likely to limit a child's reading fluency and comprehension. Teachers must use engaging teaching strategies that actively involve children in the learning process. Such strategies can only be implemented if children understand the language of instruction and can therefore participate interactively.

Train and employ native speakers

Instruction in the native language requires teachers who share the language and culture of the children. It also requires that teachers be trained in the same language they are to teach. Some teachers may not be proficient in the language of instruction and may have difficulty teaching in a "dominant language" that they themselves are not fluent in, or may come from a minority language group and have been excluded from the learning process due to a Lack of teaching material in their language. Sometimes a lack of understanding can transcend generations when a teacher who never fully understood her own teacher tries to teach a child who barely understands the language.


Many children in all corners of the developing world learn very little in school, a truth that may have to do with being taught a language they do not fully understand. It is a practice that leads to inadequate or non-existent learning and acquisition of knowledge and skills, alienating experiences, and high dropout and repetition rates. To improve the quality of education, language policies must take into account the learning of the mother tongue. Educational models that ignore the mother tongue in the early years can be unproductive, ineffective and have a negative impact on children's learning. Teaching in the native language, at least in the early years, can enable teachers to teach effectively and students to continue to learn effectively. For too long, politicians have largely ignored the teaching of the mother tongue. While there are encouraging signs that the policy pendulum is beginning to swing towards greater understanding of the importance of mother tongue learning, there is still a long way to go. More and more governments are developing policies and programs that take into account the mother tongue in the early stages of learning, but there is still a need to formulate better policies, ensure better preparation for the adoption of a second language and ensure that adequate resources are allocated . The Global Campaign for Education believes that the evidence suggests that there are specific areas that need to be prioritized in policy development to validate more responsive and differentiated policy development in the area of ​​mother tongue learning.

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