Do you think home language education is absolutely necessary?

I live in South Africa and we have 11 national languages that are recognized and probably a lot more that aren’t officially recognized. Our current government is trying to implement home language education. On the other hand most private institutions and most learning institutions are moving away from other languages and are starting to use English exclusively. Do you think it is better to have everything change to home language or is it better to make everything one language?

Answer #1

I think its a great idea. Knowing other languages is great tool and comes in handy, not to mention broadens your education. Thats one of the USAs downfalls imo, that we are taught only english. In highschool only two credits of a foreign language are neccasary, and its usualy only french and spanish. Two semesters is definatly not long enough to learn anything useful…i remember maybe three words.

Answer #2

Actually where I graduated from foreign langue classes where completely optional, so its not even mandatory in all high schools.

Answer #3

Learning languages is hard yet I think it’s a skill that is worthy. If you’re good at learning languages then it is impressive!

I think that most institutions think it’s mandatory to enforce the English language because they think it will be easier to get jobs when you can speak a language that a lot of the world speak for obvious reasons. Although I think it would be a good idea, unfortunatelythe world seems to be moving torwards speaking just one language. I think that’s mainly due to convenience.

Answer #4

i think learning a language is important. in England we learn either French,Spanish or German. as we have european workers over here and its a great way to comunicate with them but it depends how long its taught for i was taught french for 2 years german for 1 and spanish for 2 and i can only remember the german. in my opinion i think its useful to have a second language.

Answer #5

yea,its totaly a great skil to learn.. Nt only is it an advantage when ur goin abroad,it helps u appreciate other cultures more. Makes u more open minded in a way :)

Answer #6

Statistically, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. But in my opinion English is much more useful. I think that everybody should make an effort to know English, and one other language of importance. Weather it be your ancestor’s language, your native people’s language, or just a language that to you sounds beautiful. I think that our world is becoming closer than ever with things like the internet pulling continents right next door. I think that children should definitely learn languages in school, and be offered the chance to step inside a culture. Languages enrich our world’s cultures. I don’t think everywhere should change to their home language as their primary language, but I think that there should be an effective place of learning for children to learn their home language, after they have learned a broader used language.

Answer #7

I would guess that they are doing this in an attempt to stop the languages from entirely disappearing. I mean you look at India, and a large percent of the younger generation cannot speak the native languages without adding english. I mean they literally do not know the words in their own language. Thus they’ve created this hybrid language that isnt even a language. You’ve got spanish speakers in the U.S. who can’t speak spanish or english fluently. It’s a serious problem. I definitely think people need to learn separate languages and the earlier the better. I know many people who can speak between 3 and 6 languages, I dont think it is unreasonable to teach 2.

Answer #8

To an extent I agree with you, but then again we are talking about 11 languages here and India has many more than 11. Practically its really tough and expensive to implement and on the other hand, when everyone speaks a different language it creates a lot of problems between cultures as they struggle to communicate with each other.

Answer #9

What has having 11 languages and India having more got to do with anything? As for creating problems, most places have one common language and then they speak their own native language as well. Teaching a home language as well as english isnt exactly a burden. Most of the Asians where I come from (Uganda, yes I’m only a few countries away) speak a few asian languages, english, and the local language. If they’ve figured it out, surely South Africans can figure out two languages. Most Africans speak two languages anyhow, english and their native language. I really dont see how this is an issue.

Answer #10

Most South Africans do speak 2 languages (in fact more than half of them speak more than 2), the government wants to implement all 11. That isn’t practical. I think it’s better to have everything in English or another business language of the world. I do understand mother tongue education, but to me that should not be the government’s main issu.

Answer #11

Wait, the government wants everyone to speak 11 languages?

Answer #12

I guess I should clear up my question, Government wants to teach less English and focus on the other languages. So depending on your specific culture you will learn that language almost exclusively with a little bit of basic English on the side. So effectively maths, science, geography and everything will be taught in Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho or whatever.

Answer #13

And yes, having 11 or more languages is relevant. It is a lot more difficult to implement 11 languages in a country that 2 or 3. Imagine having to translate all English text books and things like tax laws to 10 other languages or more in India

Answer #14

I hope you all read this, but I feel I need to clarify my question. We already learn 2 or 3 languages. We generally have English and one other language depending on the culture of the majority of the people in an area. So if you live in an area which is predominantly Xhosa, you will learn Xhosa and English. Further studies at Universities and colleges are almost exclusively English with a few rare places that teach in other languages.

Currently government wants to change much of the system so that all studies from the start to university will be taught in your mother tongue. So if you are Xhosa, you should be able to go from your first year of schooling to University studying in Xhosa. That means science, maths, accounting, geography and everything else will be taught in that language.

So considering it in that way, what do you think about the policy?

Answer #15

Ah, that does make sense. (There’s hundreds of languages in India, but the government does have an official language and most people do speak it). Ok, you’re right, that is stupid. How would the government function if there is no official language. Not to mention it would make communication exceedingly difficult. Again, I think they are attempting to prevent the languages from disappearing, but it is rather impractical.

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