Mother Language Day, sponsored by the United Nations, recognizes the critical role of languages in sustaining the growth and development of a global society.
Each family has their own unique story and knowledge bank which when shared in the mother/home language with their children has a lifelong impact and creates amazing familiar bonds.
What can you do?
- Encourage all families to share at home with their children the stories, songs, rhymes, and sayings of their childhood
- Help families record the songs they sing in their mother/heritage/home languages.
- Encourage families to talk with their children about how people speak different languages and why that is a positive experience for all.
- Share word and language games that families can play at home such as lotto games.
- Help get the message out to families and community members that children who are proficient in their home language have a better foundation for learning English and do well in school.
In Clarkston, the national Brimstone award has provided a small grant to help collect and preserve Sudanese children’s stories in Dinka and Arabic. Members of The Darfur Communities Network and the United Sudan and South Sudan Communities Association (USASSCA) are currently collecting stories from Sudanese residents of Clarkston so that these stories can be told by Sudanese families in their home language as well as English.
If you are interested in the research on dual-language learning and how Clarkston can promote the importance of home language, please join us at the monthly meeting of the Clarkston Early Learning Network, February 19, 12 noon, at the Clarkston Library. Contact Roberta Malavenda for more information about this article or the Clarkston Early Learning Network.
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