Let's teach kids to speak and read our languages

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Countries across the globe celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 21, declared by Unesco to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

South Africa being a multilingual country with 11 official languages also observed this day to create awareness on the importance of mother tongues.

The usage of English around the world is growing and in SA it has become one of the most used language in many homes. This is because many children are going to the former model C schools where English is the medium of teaching and learning.

Indigenous languages have taken the back seat because parents want their children to "fit in". It is now "normal" hearing an African mother speaking English with her children or kids talking to each other in English.

However, children need to be taught that speaking in their mother language does not make them any less intelligent. They should be proud of being multilinguists.

Indigenous languages need to be preserved. Parents should invest in buying books written in them. This will assist this generation and generations to come to be proud of their languages. They should also know that no language is superior to the other.

Mpolokeng M. Moloi

Mofolo Central, Soweto

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