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What are some disadvantages of the mother tongue?

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This is our 1st language but English is becoming dominant as a global language.The other language may be important for thoir culture & values.English can be used as a language in any part of the world.It is like a universal language.

It is the language of science world-wide. English speaking countries have always been at the forefront of science and technology. Air-traffic control and pilots use English wherever and whatever country they fly from. But this doesn’t answer the question. The disadvantages of the mother tongue are demonstrated when it is incorrectly used more often verbally. Our language is constantly evolving but certain grammatic rules are being broken along with those changes; ‘I love it’ is irritatingly being changed for ‘I am loving it’ because of fashionable idiosyncracies. ‘How’s yourself?’ Is a question used instead of ‘How are you?’ Plain English is no longer used and the disadvantage of what is now considered the mother tongue has entered our lives.

Another disadvantage of the mother tongue is an obstinacy to learn another language which undoubtedly gets you better service in France and Germany. It is polite to learn a little and to use it, even badly, whenever the oportunity arises. Speak in French in paris and they will answer in English as is the same in Germany, regardless of competency. Speak English in New York and you are treated like a moron. ”Ill get a pastrami on rye” or “gimme a pastrami on rye” is magic but almost needs as much thought as any foreign language. Debate about mother tongue education

Matric results show that learners educated in their mother tongue do better than those educated in a second language says Kallie Kriel, CEO of Afriforum. Kriel has called on parents to put pressure on government to provide mother tongue education. While such statements may alarm some of the parents who have sacrificed much to sent their children to English medium schools there are many issues to consider. Research suggests that mother tongue education has substantial benefits. However, there are also advantages to learning in a second language.

In Canada, where English and French are official languages, some parents choose to have their children educated in their second language so that they will become bilingual. As to be expected these children tend to become more proficient in their second language than those who attend a mother tongue institution. Also they appear not to suffer any educational disadvantage. However, if you take for example a French mother tongue speaker in an English school, their level of English does not quite match that of mother tongue speakers, and their proficiency in French remains greater than their command of English.

But the Canadian experience must be looked at in context. In whichever language they are taught, whether it be mother tongue or not, they receive good quality education with an emphasis on developing a strong literacy foundation in the early years. Children educated in a second language are taught their mother tongue as a subject, they have access to plenty of books in both languages, and there is support for language and literacy development in the home. In fact, these children usually choose to read for pleasure in their home language. In South Africa, the majority of children are educated in an African home language from Grade R until Grade 3, switching to English in Grade 4.

This policy is designed to ensure that children have a strong foundation of literacy in their mother tongue. However, in urban areas, some children learn in their second language from the outset of their schooling. Evaluations carried out by the Department of Education at the end of Grade 3 suggest that children’s socio-economic background and the quality of education they receive make more difference with regard to academic achievement than the language of instruction. In 2006, South Africa participated in an international study of children’s reading proficiency. Grade 4 and 5 learners’ were tested in the language in which they had learned to read, usually their mother tongue. Children tested in English and Afrikaans performed much better than those tested in African languages.

African children tested in English did better than those tested in African languages. However, they did not perform as well as mother tongue speakers of English, as would be expected from the Canadian findings above. How do we explain why children who learn to read in African languages generally do not reach the same levels of achievement as those learning to read in English and Afrikaans? Aside from socio-economic factors, the answer would seem to be that children learning to read in African languages do not have sufficient exposure to text to become proficient readers and writers. Research carried out by Elizabeth Pretorius and Sally Currin of UNISA has shown that when children in a township primary school were given access to books in their mother tongue (Sepedi) and English, as part of a well designed reading programme, they made gains in achievement.

Reading scores in English were somewhat higher than those in Sepedi, probably because there was a greater range of books available in English and children chose to read more in this language. There was a strong relationship between learners’ proficiency in their mother tongue and English, and between reading proficiency and academic achievement. So how does this research help parents to make decisions about their children’s education? I would suggest they should: •choose a school which provides the best quality education they can afford even if this means that their children will be educated in their second language. •ensure that their children are being taught to read and write well, in both their mother tongue and English. •ensure that the school they choose has plenty of books in both languages. •put pressure on the school to support mother tongue literacy as well as English, if necessary. •support their children’s literacy development at home, especially in the mother tongue – buy the children books, take them to the local library, read to them when they’re young and listen to them read as they get older.

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