ABUJA – Miss Ijeoma Idika-Chima of Teen Global Foundation, an Abuja-based NGO, on Wednesday in Abuja called on parents to communicate with their children in their mother tongue to preserve local dialects.
Idika-Chima told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that some indigenous languages were gradually going into extinction due to the embrace of Western culture.
According to her, the mother tongue is what a person has learnt from birth, and thus becomes the basis for social identity.
She said that there was a need for teenagers to change their perception about the country’s indigenous languages.
“Most teenagers think that speaking their local dialects is “old school’’ and therefore prefer to speak English to prove to their peers that they can speak better than them.
“The Western people are proud of their languages; we should also be proud of ours. Some children and teenagers cannot even speak their mother tongues at all; that is not good,’’ Idika-Chima said.
She underscored the role of language in the preservation of values and morals of societies.
Idika-Chima said that if Nigerians must continue to hold their heads high amongst other people of the globe, they must preserve their true identities.
“We should not forget our language, which is part of our culture, if the language dies, the culture dies,’’ she said.
Idika-Chima noted that some parents discourage their young children from speaking in their dialects.
She further advised schools, parents and the society in general to encourage the youths to learn to speak and read in their indigenous languages.
NAN reports that the foundation’s aim is to train teenagers through the difficult phase of their lives using various programmes that will positively impact them as they become adults.
Other objectives is to promote and organise programmes to teach teenagers their different mother tongues. (NAN)
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