SHOULD ENGLISH LANGUAGE BE A PRIORITY OVER OUR MOTHER LANGUAGE?





As I mentioned in my previous post, “I am an English Language Literate but an Igbo Language illiterate” and this is a major problem, the society feels English brings more than food to the table. The fact remains that we are putting our culture at stake and our children will grow without being able to relate with their origin because they are been forced by the society to focus on the holy grail “English”. I believe there are two major reasons why children don't know how to speak their first language.

THE PARENTS

Children are greatly influenced by their parents and most parents make the mistake of using foreign languages to communicate to their children. In my own case, I remembered growing up in a house where another language aside English is forbidden. If my daddy catches you speaking Pidgin English, Yoruba or any other language, be sure to have your ass ready for some strokes of the cane. His argument was always “did I send you to a good school to speak those rubbish?” I remembered growing up feeling like English is the ultimate language in life, I don't hate the fact I speak English but I despise the fact I can't speak Igbo, though I understand when people speak to me and thank God I speak Yoruba fluently, I sincerely can't tell how I learnt and understood these languages.

SCHOOLS

This institution hides under the shadow of we “Teach Local languages”. If you don't know, teaching local language is different from allowing the pupils exercise their tongues speaking that language. I remember one of my secondary school constitutions which states “Any student caught speaking vernacular will be punished”. They also went as far as instructing someone in the class to write names of people who spoke vernacular so as to punish them as due.

My question is, you claim you teach me Local languages and you punish me if I speak those languages except am in class to study that subject.

I don't speak my first language and I think these factors contributed greatly to making It possible. SHOULD ENGLISH LANGUAGE BE A PRIORITY OVER OUR MOTHER LANGUAGE? I will appreciate you let me know in the comment section below and make sure you share this post, it will mean a lot to me.

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