Teach early learners using local languages
EDITOR —The teaching and learning in local languages in early learning classes is a good method that needs to be pursued and strengthened for the benefit of our children especially in this E- learning that has been fast tracked by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The idea of teaching in local languages generally enhances children’s early learning abilities.
It is now evident from research that learners in schools that use local languages easily acquire skills in letter identification, letter sounds, vocabulary, listening, comprehension and oral passage reading.
This is worth trying and should be supported with provision of more local language books so that the skills are transferred even to upper primary classes.
Children love reading stories in their own languages with a focus on their immediate communities. Children’s pursuit of reading stories is developed once they are able to describe things around them.
These stories are the window to their world of fantasy, reality as well as developing competencies.
Books written in local language are often developed basing on what is found in the areas that these children are found.
This is captivating, engaging and connected to their souls with the reading materials.
Children cannot learn to read effectively, if there are few or no reading materials to read. The Education ministry should focus more on purchase of books to support the initiative. Children learn even faster when reading materials are available.
Teaching a child in their mother tongue is very important as it gives them identity. The thematic curriculum, which stresses the lower primary teaching in local languages is good for our children.
The government has a language policy that supports mother language instruction and learning at the early grade level. This should be supported by all stakeholders, including our development partners, to enable schools to have local language reading materials.