We Punish the African Child for Speaking his own Language
Why preventing the African child from developing her full potentials by preventing him from speaking her own language?
Let us not forget that language is one of the most important (if not the most important) drives for development.
At the macro level, language is used for communication, share information, and transferring knowledge.
However, the most important functions of language occur at the micro-level; cognitive tasks. Here, it is used in forming imaginations and translate that into innovations and inventions.
Some scientific studies on language and development have concluded that it takes 5 times an effort to use a second language compared to using the first language.
This means that individuals and societies that use first languages have as high as 500% chances of developing innovations and inventions as those who depend on second languages.
This cannot be too difficult to validate, as it is clear in principle that no country on the planet has ever achieved a developed status while using the language of others’.
Africa is gradually losing focus; we have come to equate colonial languages with intelligence and capabilities. Despondently, many young children in our society have had their dreams shattered because they were not able to perform excellently in these colonial languages. Unfortunately, we may never develop with these languages.
In a very nice way Engineer Sami Oduro described the sad situation in Ghana which I have attached below:
“I have been ridiculed on several occasions in most government agencies and educational institutions for speaking in my own language (Ashanti Twi).
My recent encounter was last week. I met a national service person in one of the departments of a technical university. I greeted her and the response was, don’t you know how to speak English?
Frankly speaking, I was charitable. The rest is history.
Gradually we are losing the speaking of our mother tongue. Speaking Twi or any local language should not be a crime. Some schools have the caption *SPEAK ENGLISH*. Gone are the days, pupils were subjected to beatings for speaking a local language.
For once we should be proud of our own languages and dialects and learn other languages when we can.”
Gabriel Djabatey Odonkor is the Executive Editor of 4PM GH, Ghanaian blogger, social media marketer and event promoter. Professionally he is known as Gabbie GH.