Regarding language development in early childhood, the new National Education Policy of 2020 (NEP 2020) highlights the significance of the mother tongue. At Podar Prep Preschool, we recognize the importance of this connection and aim to create an environment where children feel secure and connected to their roots while learning English.
Reason 1 – Mother Tongue Comfort:
As children step into preschool, they often feel excitement and anxiety. This is where the mother tongue plays a pivotal role. It’s the language they’ve heard at home, the language that soothes them, and the language that connects them to their family and culture. By embracing the mother tongue, we provide our young learners a sense of familiarity and comfort.
Reason 2- Bridging Known and Unknown:
For many children, English is the “unknown” language when they first enter preschool or kindergarten. Incorporating words and sentences from their “known” family language into the classroom bridges the gap between the familiar and the unfamiliar. It helps children feel secure as they embark on their English language learning journey.
Reason 3- Inclusive Learning:
We understand that every child’s family language is unique. To cater to this diversity, we’ve developed a method that allows teachers to connect with each child in their mother tongue, even if the teacher doesn’t know all the students’ languages. This inclusivity ensures that no child feels left out, and every child’s language is respected and acknowledged.
At Podar Prep, we put up charts like this (this is a sample per a particular class, you can make for your class as per the mother tongue of the children in your class so that each teacher knows the keywords and sentences of the mother tongue of every child.
Reason 4- Building Confidence:
When children hear their family language in the classroom, it boosts their confidence. It reinforces the idea that their language and culture are valued. This, in turn, empowers them to embrace English and other languages with enthusiasm and self-assuredness.
Reason 5- Strengthening Cultural Identity:
Language is deeply intertwined with culture. Preserving and celebrating the mother tongue strengthens our students’ connection to their cultural roots. This understanding helps children appreciate and respect our diverse society’s rich tapestry of languages and traditions.
Reason 6- Holistic Language Development:
Our approach to language diversity is not limited to just English and the mother tongue. We foster a holistic language environment where children can explore and express themselves in multiple languages. This approach enriches their language skills and prepares them for a globalised world.
Nurturing language diversity in the early years at Podar Prep Preschool is about more than just teaching languages; it’s about creating an inclusive, comforting, and empowering learning environment.
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