Friday, 8 March 2013

Mother tongue

It has been great to have various readers, both staff and parents come to read to the children in their native tongue this week.

I really enjoyed listening to the stories and found that I could understand the 'feeling' of the story through the reader's intonation and by looking at the pictures. Obviously, our students found this too, as the readers had an audience that extended beyond the native speakers of that language.

Sometimes, I am aware that for some families, it can be difficult to decide what language should be 'mother tongue'. For example, when the parents each have a different language and that is also different to the language spoken in the country in which they are living.

What I do know about this dilemma, is that it is important that children have a solid foundation in at least one language and that there is a strong model of that language in the home.

The term 'mother tongue' is often called this because it is the one learned from birth and is the one that the child first hears from their mother. The richness and quality of this language heard often, even before the child is verbal, makes this a strong base on which to build.







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