What age is appropriate for a child to learn his or her mother tongue?
Learning a language comes naturally to newborns as they grow, they pick first the most commonly spoken language around, so in cases where their mother tongue is the dominant language around them, then it’s easy for them to learn without major extra efforts.
In cases where their mother tongue is not commonly spoken around them, then parents have to put in extra effort to help them learn.
Below are some tips you can adopt to teach your toddler Yoruba language:
1. Willingness and intentionality is key as you start early
There is no right or wrong age for your child to start learning his or her mother tongue, however, the earlier the better. If you want to see result then you have to be ready to put in the work.
2. Use children friendly resources
Simplicity and fun is what children are used to. To teach you toddler, you will need to provide an atmosphere of fun that he or she can relate with. Songs and other children friendly resources can is a great way to teach them. Check out our YouTube channel for some resources that can help.
3. Be a story teller!
Stories are good a good way of teaching, children love good stories that stretches their imagination. You can use story books that feature Yoruba language contents. You can also use their favorite all time stories to teach them some things in Yoruba. For example, you can help them translate important things that their favorite character in the story did into Yoruba.
4. Charts of different objects
Charts that show different object that can be found around the house is another important ways to teach your kids Yoruba language. The catch with the charts is that they are already familiar with those objects in the primary language that they speak, so you can leverage that knowledge to throw in the Yoruba name for what they already know.
Now you don’t to create the charts by yourself, we have free charts available on our website, simply follow this link to download the free charts that you can put around the house for them to see and remember as they learn gradually.
5. Leverage family and friends
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, kids learn naturally the prevailing language around them easily. Having friends and family speak Yoruba language to them helps them to be better at it, they get encouraged to try again and again. So the next time they visit or call their grand parents, let them speak with them in Yoruba language.
6. Let the professionals help you
You honestly want your child to learn his or her mother tongue but you don’t have all the skills or the time to them effectively, that is why professionals like Akonilede Yoruba exist, to ease you of the extra burden of teaching the children by yourself. This is what we do daily and it’s a course we are committed to. Getting started is all easy, just leave us a message here and we will get them started immediately.
On a final note…
Learning a language is a journey, so don’t be in a hurry. Allow them to learn at their own pace, no pressure, give them all the support they need. For our students, we always give them something to do that will make them interact with their parents in Yoruba language and in no time their progress is visible. Once you start, don’t stop them abruptly because you risk having them forget what they already know especially if they don’t live in an environment where Yoruba language is not widely spoken.