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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mother Tongue Going Extinction In Nigeria? 

Mother-tongue which happens to be the first-native-language a child learned or   exposed to from birth is being pushed aside in Nigeria where most parents always speak English language to their children undermining their native language.

Our Correspondent, Abdulmalik Magwe Bello, went to town and carried out interviews on the subject under review.

By Abdulmalik Magwe Bello

Speaking to me in Jos on the issue, a Journalist, Sylvia Akpan said, “it is quite unfortunate, disheartening and petrifying for allowing native language going into extinction.”

“It is a first-hand language that needs to be preserved, protected and learn by every member of a society. It helps to know the true culture of the society; norms, values, and their backgrounds,” she said.

What are factors bedeviling mother-tongue in Nigeria?

Sylvia Akpan, shared her views saying, the introduction of formal education and the acceptability of English as a language for instruction is one the factors. She said this has affected and led to the decline of using mother-tongue as an official language in schools.

“Someone has to abandon his language and learn the alien language for communication. Also, parents tends to speak more of English to their children than their mother-tongue.

“Aging is a contributing factor because the more the generation pass on to the next, the nutrients of the mother tongue is lost.

” Stigmatization is also a factor. If one uses his/her mother tongue in a public domain, they could be regarded as one who is not educated and will be laughed at.

In her view, “there should be documentation of language to safeguard it from going into extinction. It will serve as an evidence to next generation and it will help them to learn how to communicate with it effectively and efficiently”.

“Schools should not shun or forbid the use of vanacular. It should be used as a language of instruction in schools. Science subjects are not well-understood, it is as result of not teaching in mother-tongue language.

On his part, Salman Yakubu opined that, there are five major factors, which are; globalization, urbanization, migration, government policies favoring dominant languages and influence of mass media.

Yakubu explained that, these factors has led to the decline of the usage of mother-tongue in Nigeria. People demote their language and priorities English as superior over theirs.

In other hand, he provided possible ways to revive this language by implementing bilingual educational programs, raising awareness about the important of linguistics diversity, supporting community language, and integrating mother-tongue into formal education curriculum.

“In an advanced counties like China, Japan and France, they promote their language, integrate it in school as language of instruction. Look at how they are fast-paced advance in terms of technology, economy, and other spheres of life,” he said.

Share your thoughts on the Story Mother Tongue Going Extinction In Nigeria?  with Nigerian Kicker in the comments section.

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