TALES OF AN IBO LADY

This is a serious issue o!

A friend who comes from the Eastern part of Nigeria told me a story I will like to share with you.

Chioma (not real name) shared her experience with me about how she did not know how to speak her native language, which is the Igbo language, and also how it did not seem important to her until she had to travel to her village for her traditional marriage rites.

According to Chioma, her parents did not always speak Igbo to her while she was growing up which in a way made her stick to the only language that was spoken in their home – English.

On getting to her village for the traditional marriage rites, Chioma was told that she would be requested to greet her people and her in-laws to be in Igbo language. Well, Chioma said she suddenly started feeling heat from her head down her spine…lol…

Thanks to Chioma’s aunties who had to start teaching her what to say. This was because Chioma’s mum was not available at the moment to put her through. To cut the long story short, Chioma managed to scale through that hurdle.

So a question hit me which I will like to hear your thoughts on: At what age should children be thought how to speak their native language and also, in a situation where both parents does not really know how to speak the language, how can they teach their children to learn and speak their native language?

Please drop your comments.

 

3 thoughts on “TALES OF AN IBO LADY

  1. Let me approach this from the development of mental psychology point of view. Children are not taught language, they acquire it from the environment. In this context, environment implies family, school and neighborhood. When parent feel their child should acquire their native language even they they live far from home, it is the parents responsibility to use that language exclusively in the house as soon as the child is born. The part of the brain responsible for speech and language acquisition peaks before a child becomes a teenager so the earlier the better. In situation where both parents are poor speakers of native language, they should still go ahead and use it anyway. The child will acquire it and at least understand it even if he/she can’t speak, now speaking gets less difficult because the child understands the language already.
    Summarily: start teaching Very early in life. Even as a (studies have shown consistently that children can learn while in the womb).
    Parents should speak it anyway even if they are poor in it. And better still get a tutor. Folks in Lagos are doing that now and it’s even a fantastic business idea for some there but that’s definitely a story for another day.

  2. I’ll agree with Josh on this as children learn more by watching and listening during their first 7years according to Dr Lipton

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