Language and Learning - Rajeshree Shihag

Bilingual, tri-lingual, multilingual or vernacularism how does it impact learning?

While the world is imbibing the idea of bilingual learning, India has practiced tri-lingual learning since ages. Most of the Indian students learn three languages by default; English, Hindi and the mother tongue which is the vernacular language. India has a rich heritage of languages; most Indians speak multiple languages. 

Learning of the mother tongue happens naturally through interactions within the family, mother tongue develops a comfort and warmth towards people and towards learning. Mother tongue greatly impacts on developing the cultural, social and personal identities of children. 

Research has proven that kids who learn in their mother tongue develop creativity and a better sense of critical thinking. Children with a strong foundation in their mother tongue can accept the structure of their language and use this knowledge to pick up other languages more easily. Former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam has favoured imparting science education to children in vernacular languages to encourage creativity and enable easy grasp of subjects.

Language is a pathway to communicate thoughts, ideas, information and data. Creativity, innovations, critical thinking are the keys to success and to build these the core subjects should be taught in a language which the child understands, as only then he or she will be able to create. Children should be treated like humans and not like robots. If things are taught in their native language, they will learn the toughest of the things.

To state a fact, most of our scientists working in ISRO have had their schooling in vernacular languages. A language can never be a hindrance in the path of success.

Rajeshree Shihag
The Fabindia School 

Good Schools of India Journal @ www.GSI.IN

Blog Archive