Mother Language Day: Impact of mother tongue on children’s identity

Mother Language Day: Impact of mother tongue on children’s identity

AMMAN — On International Mother Language Day, celebrated annually on February 21, Jordanian educators emphasised the importance of a strong mother-tongue foundation for excelling in learning new languages. This year’s theme, “Multilingual education – a pillar of learning and intergenerational learning”, underscores the role of multilingual education policies in achieving sustainable development goals.

The UN-designated day promotes linguistic and cultural diversity, recognising that multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages, which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures sustainably.

Speaking with The Jordan Times on Wednesday, Khloud Efishat, a Jordanian Arabic language teacher, stressed that the mother language should be the primary means of communication among Arabic speakers.

She also warned that younger generations’ preference for English could affect their mother language, hindering their development and educational attainment.

Life coach Shayma Awad said that many parents mistakenly focus on their children’s English skills at the expense of their native language, adding that speaking one’s own language not only preserves cultural experiences but also enhances the capacity to learn other languages.

“Some parents prefer using English due to its perceived prestige, while others see it as a gateway to significant opportunities for their children, particularly during their university years,” she said.

She further noted that, “Parents