It's time to work on your mother tongue! - mother tongue (2023)

It's time to work on your mother tongue!

Improve your child's language skills during this forced isolation

It's time to work on your mother tongue! - mother tongue (1)

Due to COVID-19, schools are closed, kids are home! Why not spend this time working on improving your child's language skills! Mother Tongues founder, Dr. Francesca La Morgia, has put together a series of daily blogs with tips, resources, and ideas for bilingual children that you can easily use in the comfort of your own home.

Share stories in your native language

One of the main challenges for the success of bilingualism is thelack of opportunities for the child to hear and use the languagethat is not spoken by the majority or at school. Normal daily routines can be packed with activities and some parents struggle to find what I call a "special time" to talk with their child, without distractions, focused on a single activity in the parent's language.

In some families, this special moment can be difficult to find if the parents speak different languages ​​and the common language is the language of the country and the language of the school. For example, I am the only Italian speaker in my family and our common language at home is English, so for me, creating special time focused on homework with my children, without parental interference, is creating physical contact. . a game or a story and they only speak Italian.

Sharing stories has been my favorite tool to connect with my children through my native language., so I think this is the best topic to start this series of blog posts.

Stories are a powerful communication tool.

Telling stories and reading stories is an amazing promote language and literacy, but also to build bonds through their language, and that's something that can start at a very young age.

The language used in books is different from spoken language.Think about the last conversation you had with your child over dinner... and now compare it to the last story you read to him. Words, phrases, and themes in books are very different from those in our dinnertime conversations, and for a child to truly experience language it is important for them to acquire both everyday language and more complex literacy. In the case of bilingual children who are developing their parents' language in a context where there are not many opportunities to use it, parents tend to oversimplify the language they use with their children.That is why reading is so important.Children can listen to a storybook many times and learn to listen patiently. Listening to a story several times helps the child learn new sounds and spontaneously learn the meaning of new words.

It's time to work on your mother tongue! - mother tongue (2)

(Video) Bring Me The Horizon - mother tongue (Official Video)

Sharing a book can also involve talking to the child about the pictures, asking questions, role-playing🇧🇷 This is extremely important for bilingual children, because talking about the story in their parents' language helps develop speaking skills. The physical book is an extremely useful object that can be used in very creative ways. You can start by describing what you see in the picture, pointing and asking the child to help you build the story.

In some cases, parents may have difficulty finding printed books in their native language and may resort to tablets or mobile phones. The WHO recommends avoiding or limiting the time a child under 5 spends using screens, so I think that if you have the time and resources it is better to use images (you can print some from the web, you can use old photos or take pictures of a magazine) to tell their own story in their native language.Sharing a story involves parents taking an active role...yes, it means “voicing”, acting sad or surprised… in general, reacting and showing your own impression of the story. Children learn much more from face-to-face interaction than they do from a story they watch for a few minutes on their cell phone.

For older children, this can take a different form. You can co-write a story and read it to younger siblings, and ask them what kind of story they'd like to hear (more ideas for older kids in later posts!)

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Sharing stories also means telling real stories or making up your own.Do you remember the last time you did something embarrassing? Do you have an old story from the city you grew up in? Can you remember a time when your own parents found themselves in a bind and had to bail out? How do you feel?

Depending on the age of the child, you will need to adapt your story. My grandparents told me war stories, my mother told me stories about her when she had a motorcycle, and she also made up stories with characters that were children my age. Years later, I still remember most of those stories and I am very grateful for the time that people took in my house to tell me stories of all kinds.

It's time to work on your mother tongue! - mother tongue (3)

So how are you going to achieve this? my opinion is thatIf there is a set routine or time of day that you spend telling stories, your child will quickly learn to adapt to that routine.

Parents living outside of their home country may have difficulty obtaining age-appropriate materials for their children.

(Video) Learning a second language? Develop your mother tongue | Shane Leaning | TEDxXiguanED

In Ireland, you can borrow children's books in many different languages ​​and drop them off at your local library (note that libraries will be closed until the end of March 2020). It is also worth asking at your local embassy, ​​cultural institute or library where to find books in your language.

More ideas please!

In contexts where a physical book is hard to find, you can use one of these techniques:

record a story(most smartphones have an audio recording device) and make your own playlist of stories that your child can listen to (in bed or while playing).

Ask a family member or friend to record a story or read a short story🇧🇷 This could be a good idea to give everyone a task in times of "social isolation". You and your child will enjoy this wonderful collection for years to come. We all have a story to tell and today technology allows us to easily send audio and video files.

- Listen to thisaudiolivrosor collection of stories on CD or MP3.

- Put theradio in your language🇧🇷 Online radio is now available in hundreds of languages ​​(including endangered minority and tribal languages!). Having the radio in the background is an easy thing that can create an "immersive" atmosphere. Some countries also have children's radios, so browse the internet and you might discover something new and wonderful!

- I dofinger puppetsto bring your story to life (see video).
You can make finger puppets for you and your child, and take turns talking, asking questions, etc.
You can adapt it to the age of the child. Older children may be able to saw a hand puppet.

(Video) The Importance Of Your Mother Tongue | Hantz Hessouh | TEDxYouth@ISBangkok

Finally, a question I regularly get from parents is how to get their children to use their heritage language more. The answer varies from case to case, but for me one of the big secrets is using stories to start the conversation. By telling a story, the parent provides a model, showing the child how the language is spoken. The child learns to understand the language, the meaning of words, etc., and needs to have time to rehearse, make mistakes, try again, and use the language as much as possible in order to become more and more comfortable with the language. This is why I advocate regular narrative in the heritage language. Since this language tends to have a smaller and smaller space in a child's life over time, using stories to discuss experiences, imagine scenarios, talk about feelings is a great way to start the language journey together.

In this video, you can see an interactive storytelling demo that you can model in your own language.

Good fun!

Dra Francesca La Morgia
Mother Tongues Founder

(Video) Mother Tongue - Damage

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(Video) Why Your Child Needs To Learn Their Mother Tongue P2| How To Teach Your Mother Tongue As A Diasporan


What is the answer of mother tongue? ›

Answer: Mother tongue is defined as the first language that a person learns and the language used in that person's home country. An example of mother tongue is English for someone born in America. ... The language one first learned; the language one grew up with; one's native language.

What is the importance of using your mother tongue in any? ›

Mother tongue makes it easier for children to pick up and learn other languages. Mother tongue develops a child's personal, social and cultural identity. Using mother tongue helps a child develop their critical thinking and literacy skills.

What is the importance of MTB MLE in your own opinion? ›

According to this interview of Teachers from different regions in the Philippines using their regional languages, the biggest benefit of MTB-MLE is that learners increased their understanding of classroom content (increased comprehension) that in mother tongue they can learn all the words and they can understand.

What is your mother tongue write few lines about your mother tongue? ›

The mother tongue is the language that we use most freely and actively in all cases of daily life. The child learns the world through the mother tongue. This term refers to the language we hear from our parents, which we are brought up in and which is common to the people and the place where we were born.

Why it is called mother tongue? ›

In this metaphor, language is seen as coming from your primary caregiver, the person who looked after you most when you were young, and traditionally this was mothers. So, this is perhaps the point of origin, the starting place,of the metaphorical phrase, mother tongue.

What is the summary of mother tongue? ›

In the essay, Mother Tongue, we see an article about Amy Tan contemplating how her background affected her life and her education, held her between two worlds, and brought her shame, but ultimately, she learns to embrace her background.

What is the name of mother tongue? ›

A first language, native tongue, native language, mother tongue or L1 is the first language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period.

What is your mother tongue in English? ›

The term "mother tongue" refers to a person's native language — that is, a language learned from birth. Also called a first language, dominant language, home language, and native tongue (although these terms are not necessarily synonymous).

What is first in mother tongue? ›

Mother tongue or first language is the language a person has been exposed to from the birth. It is usually the language one first learns. It is also the language a person is most fluent in.

Who found his mother tongue answer? ›

Pundit shouted in his mother tongue. In this way, Birbal found out pundit's mother tongue. 11.


1. You Speak Your Mother Tongue at Home
(Yiddish Book Center)
2. Learning with your mother tongue
3. Why Your Child Needs To Learn Their Mother Tongue | The Diaspora
(Team Bayayi)
4. Why Your Mother Tongue is Important - Tamil Vlog
5. Someone once said, "English Is Not Our Mother Tongue" 😂 | Laugh in your Language S2
(Comedy Central Africa)
6. Bring Me The Horizon - mother tongue (Official Audio)
(Bring Me The Horizon)
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