Ghana: Parents Urged to Use Local Language As Foundation for English Language Proficiency

The Municipal Director of Education for La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly, Mrs Bernice Addae has urged parents to cultivate the habit of speaking more local language at home with their children at the basic school as a foundation to satisfy the desire for their children to speak fluent English Language.

She said the ability of a child to speak and understand the local language meant the child better understands the cultural environment which to a large extent contributes to the child's fluency in the English language.

Speaking at the 6th graduation and awards ceremony of Osagyefo Leadership International School (OLIS) at Labone in Accra, she said "as parents we would be neglecting our rich culture if we fail to transmit important cultural values such as language to the child."

It was under the theme, "Quality basic education, a tool for nurturing Ghana's future leaders".

According to her, children should be proficient in their own tribal language if they were to better communicate in the English language some parents eagerly desire their children to speak during their formative years.

Furthermore, she said once a child could fluently speak any of the local languages, it became easier for that child's tongue to twist well to all the twenty-six alphabets, thus making it quite easy for the child to learn the English language.

"Until children are taught to understand their own language, they would not be natives of their own homeland and gradually they lose their cultural identity", she said.

Mrs Addae urged parents to let "the school" cater for the larger part of the child's need for English language fluency and proficiency, adding that even if the medium of communication with the child at home was English language, it should not in any way overshadow the use of local language.

The chairman of the occasion and board chairman of the school, Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim, said the school, in line with the directive of the Ghana Education Service continued to uphold the ban on the use of canes in the school.

He indicated that it had been established that children could become timid with low self-esteem on account of the physical punishment of caning and some become vengeful towards society because of the atrocities they suffered in school.

"Right here in Ghana, it is on record that caning sometimes resulted in the death of children", he said.

The principal of the school, Mr Seth Korgah said the management would not shirk its responsibility to discipline the children depending on the degree of offences with prescribed modes of punishment.

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