n African Renaissance - The power of mother tongue in effecting change in the family : the Igbo case

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


The paper sets out to examine the importance of mother tongue, Igbo language, in the educational development of Igbo children, and the result of recent studies on the importance of mother tongue, and recommends how the Igbo language can be utilised to improve the educational development of Igbo children at home and in Diaspora.

It has been discovered that children are capable of acquiring more than one language, which brings a range of educational benefits, including cognitive advantages, enhanced communication skills and openness to different cultural perspectives. The appropriate use of the mother tongue in addition to English language can improve children's literacy and understanding. It has been recognised that 'bilingualism is an asset and the first language has a significant and continuing role in child's identity, learning, and the acquisition of additional languages'. This helps in building pupils' confidence, self-esteem, intercultural awareness, social responsibility and language skills. A child with a high self-esteem and confidence generally succeeds, and is not engaged in anti-social behaviour. But a child with low self-esteem has a tougher time and tends to be withdrawn, always seeking for love and attention; he/she can be aggressive and indulging in anti-social behaviour in the community. Therefore, the more confident the child, the more likely is the overall motivation for learning across the school curriculum.

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