Let’s continue to promote our mother tongue

 Dear Editor,

Somewhere last week, the United Nations Inter­national Mother Language Day was observed. The com­memoration held in February 21 every year is to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to pro­mote multilingualism.

Since 2000, the United Na­tions Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNES­CO) has fulfilled its mandate to use the day to promote indigenous languages.

Language users observe this day by paying attention to the mother tongue or first language for its crucial, di­verse role in communication, education and cultural and linguistic diversity for harmo­nious co-existence.

UNESCO advocates teach­ing children in the mother tongue or first language since they grasp content better in the home language.

Following the ceremony and other calls to action, I believe it would be prudent for Ghanaians to use the local languages as part of teach­ing and learning instruction in classrooms, especially for young people.

Apart from English Lan­guage, parents must do well to inculcate the habit of com­municating with their wards in their local languages as it would give them the opportu­nity to understand and apply our indigenous languages.

On the other hand, teachers must refrain from ‘restraining’ students from speaking their mother tongue, popularly known as ‘vernacular’. They should rather encourage them to converse freely in their local languages aside giving atten­tion to English, French and other languages.

The use of local and international languages, if combined effectively, would go a long way to help pupil grasp what is being taught in class quicker and contribute to overall academic perfor­mance in schools.

By Yunusah Essandoh,


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