It seems counterproductive - but the truth is that the more proficient a child is in their mother tongue, the easier it will be for them to acquire additional languages and reach proficiency in these. This is why when students and parents are making language choice, wherever possible, we encourage them to choose their mother tongue.
What is a child’s mother tongue?
A mother tongue is the first language that you learn when you are a baby, rather than a language learned at school or as an adult.
Why is it important?
Research has shown that an important step in learning an additional language is first developing one’s mother tongue. It has also been shown that in order to have strong language skills later in life a person should continue to develop their mother tongue from when they are young right through to adulthood. This not only helps them to communicate well with people, but it also helps connect them to their culture and history.
What can you as a parent do to support your child’s language development?
Children who come to school with a solid foundation in their mother tongue don’t only benefit personally by connecting with their culture and family members, but they also benefit intellectually and develop stronger literacy skills including learning an additional language.