By Laleh Nayeb
With regard to the disappearance of one’s mother tongue by one’s family, Mrs. Laleh Nayeb, a language and speech specialist from Sweden believes non-Farsi-speaking parents’ refusal to teach their children their mother tongue has no scientific basis in terms of added value. The parents have their own reasons for not teaching their children their mother tongue. They often think by doing so they are helping their children in learning the official language and improve their prospects. They instead reduce the intellect of the child and commit a great betrayal in terms of identity.
The reasons why parents tend to avoid teaching their children their mother tongue after migration to another community include:
- Lack of familiarity with the importance of mother tongue in education.
- Lack of ability to teach the mother tongue.
- The believe that children in society should speak the official language and no longer need their mother tongue.
- Social pressures on families, especially issues related to racism and belittling the language and accent of others.
- The family considers their mother tongue non-useful in the world and prefer not to dedicate time to teaching it to their children.
- They believe that the child lives in a Persian-dominated environment anyway, and learning a few sentences is enough to communicate with relatives.
Unfortunately, the above mentioned reasons are baseless and parents adhere to them without any scientific support from a psychosocial point of view. The least that can be achieved from teaching the children their mother tongue is bilingualism. From linguistic and psychological standpoint studies show bilingual children will have a higher IQ compared to a monolingual child, even if they start at an older age. They can also communicate better than others.
But there are other reasons why teaching mother tongue should be taken seriously especially in regard to children:
- The mother tongue is the first language that the parents have mastered, and they can teach the child the language and explain its rules better than a protracted language.
- When learning a new language, the child often has problems, especially with grammar and recognizing the tense of verbs. By teaching the mother tongue and its grammar, parents can help their children understand the grammar of the new language, and therefore the child will no longer have a problem learning the basics of their language.
- By learning the first language, a language base is created for children, which helps them a lot in vocabulary and in communication with others.
- The child becomes a bilingual person, and the bilingual person can obtain much higher status in terms of social status and intelligence.
Source: End of Monolingualism