Mother tongue is the initial language one learns as a baby; the language one grows up knowing, which is also known as the native language. A child first comprehends what is around them through the language they hear their mother communicating in from before they are born and throughout their lives. Mother tongue is valuable due to several reasons.
Mother tongue is crucial in framing the thinking and emotions of people. A language plays an essential part in the life of a human being. The language facilitates a comprehension of the surrounding, learning of concepts and attaining of various skills. A child who ably learns their mother tongue from the initial parts of their lives, amass extensive language skills that help them to express themselves and developing their thinking capacity. Additionally, this language cultivates confidence and a sense of self-worth to a child in learning other things.
Learning in school accentuates with the use of mother tongue. Mother tongue is a powerful tool in advancing the learning in people. In childhood, when children spend their time with parents, they develop communication skills, skills that become paramount in school settings, for them to participate in class. Also, when parents tell stories and discuss matters with their children, it develops their terminology and concepts. Thus, when learning is conducted, the children effortlessly follow and understand, resulting in educational success.
Mother tongue develops a strong foundation for learning additional languages. Children are capable of learning multiple languages while young. Therefore, having a strong foundation in their mother’s language equips them the skills to learn other languages. Children achieve this by transferring the different structure of a language to other languages. Grammar that develops when a child learns their native language is easily transferable, whereby; a child can easily guess the meaning or read between the meanings of words in different languages.
Mother language develops a personal and cultural identity. Personal identity emerges out of a person’s understanding of themselves, their surroundings and their history. An individual hears their native language first when in the womb, and it subconsciously begins shaping their thoughts and emotions. Nelson Mandela said, “Talk to a person in their language, and it goes to their heart.” Thus, it becomes the source of instance connection with family, society, culture, and identity. Its strong foundation creates a strong accepting of oneself through an understanding of social origin and character in the most basic and natural manner. Moreover, by upholding of the different languages spoken in society, cultural identity arises that flows undoubtedly in other aspects of an individual’s life.
The mother tongue creates job opportunities. Increased immigration and population growth of international students who speak other languages other than English characterize the society. Thus, to facilitate effective communication and understanding of each other, different sectors of the economy, such as schools, health and in businesses, necessitates the need for an understanding of different languages. Consequently, the necessity for persons competent in different languages arises in the job market. Understanding and fluency in various native dialects hence give individuals an upper hand in becoming language specialist, thus, gainfully employed.
Mother tongue elicits the development of strong family bonds. In various households, particularly those of immigrants, some family members such as grandparents and parents do not understand English commonly utilized in different countries. Thus, when a child grows up with particular emphasis on speaking in a language other than their mother tongue, results in a linguistic gap with some family members, consequencing in an emotional disconnect with other family members.
The knowledge of the native language is a crucial aspect of a person’s life. It not only stimulates their confidence but also creates awareness of their individual and cultural identity, facilitates learning and adoption of other languages, creates job opportunities and keeps families tightly knit.