The importance of mother tongue!

The mother tongue is the language you learn first, the language you use most and the language you have the best command over.

 

The mother tongue is the language with which you identify yourself.

The first contact with the mother tongue starts from birth with parents and close relatives; this is called the mother tongue learning process.

The specific ability of children to learn their mother tongue is programmed into their brains in the same way as children are programmed to learn to walk.

A child’s language develops in interaction with others. Therefore it is important that parents and close relatives stimulate the child’s language development by talking, narrating, reading and singing.

Story books and reading aloud to  children already in early age are important componentsto help children to conquer their own mother tongue.

Children who have a rich vocabulary in their own mother tongue when they start school have easier to learn the language in school and they learn to read and write earlier.

Children also learn a second language better if they have a high level of competence in their own mother tongue.  

Researches have shown that it is easier to learn a new language if you have good knowledge of your own mother tongue. The languages can act as a support for each other.

Language is one of the most important factors with regard to cultural affiliation and identity.

Based on the importance of the mother tongue and that very few story books are produced in Seychelles in the children’s own mother tongue Creole we decided to write and publish story books for children in Creole.

Writing and publishing story books for small children is a part of our project “Give your child a language!”

You can read more about the project in earlier blogs,  label Give your child a language.”

Our stories take place in Seychellesin the children’s own environment, it is important for children especially small children to be able to recognize and identify themselves with the characters in the story books. 
 
Here is some of the books we written and published in Seychelles. Translated to English.
 

The Spider Prince

The Spider Prince lives on a small island in the Indian Ocean. He built his spider net in a Takamaka Tree on the Beau Vallon Beach. The Spider Prince fell in love with a spider princess that also lived in the tree, but her father, The Spider King do not let them see each other.
ISBN 978-9993194392 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Let’s plant!

Jojo and Yxkull are gardening with their friends. They will teach us about plants, about what tools you need when you are planting and what makes a seed grow.

 
ISBN 978-9993194408

The little rabbit

This little story can be affiliated to especially article 6 in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and can be used as a discussion with the children about their rights. What do small children believe they need and what makes them feel good happy and safe? Who do they believe is responsible
 that children, get what they need?

ISBN 978-9993194330 

 

Save Mango!

Mitzi, Yxkull and Jojo lives in Seychelles on the main island Mahe.  We will follow them on an adventure when they save a giant tortoise.
 
 
 
ISBN  978-9993194422
 
Exerpts from Sov Mango! translated to English


Visit http://www.playtime-seychelles-charity.org/ if you want to read Save Mango! online.
The project is based on our publications “The Importance of the Mother Tongue for Children´s Education and Intellectual Development” and “The Importance of reading aloud for children for their language development.”
 

The importance of reading aloud to children from early years!

To read aloud to children I early years is an investment in children’s  future!

 

It is important to read to children already from birth. The time before children can talk themselves, is the most important time for language development. Thanks to being read to early in life, children get to hear more words, varying texts and experience dialogue inspired by books. Research shows that the age of the child when you start to read to him or her is of great importance for the child’s later language skills. During the children’s two first years of life, the brain, and especially the language centre, is growing a lot. This means that the child is more receptive to developing its language. 

 

Reading often – having a fixed routine for reading – is also important. To regularly speak with and read to babies from birth, already at 12-months old children will understand more words than children who are not read to. At 2-years-of-age, children will have a larger and more nuanced vocabulary than those children who are not read to. Research shows that the more words the babies hears, the more words they will use in the future. Children, who have been read to a lot already from birth, have heard many million more words when they are four years old, compared to children who did not have the same experience. Studies show that it is difficult to close this gap later in life. This means that during the first three years of the children’s lives, reading aloud to them can give the children the best foundation for further learning.
Sessions of reading aloud can create an interest in books and reading for pleasure.
 
 
It should be a right for all children to listen to reading aloud, as this can help children exercise their vocabulary, comprehension, empathy and fantasy. When a text is being read aloud, children can meet many words that they never have the chance to meet in everyday conversation. This important for their future language development.
 
 

Excerpts from Playtime Seychelles publication

 
“The Importance of the Mother Tongue for Children’s Education and Intellectual Development and the Importance of reading aloud to children for their language development”
 
 
 

The importance of story books in the mother tongue

After I had been living in Seychelles for a while i decided to make a visit to Seychelles National Library Children’s Department. I am interested in literature for children and I wanted to find out what kind of books they had to offer for younger children.
 
 
The librarian was very nice and showed me around and I was very impressed of the big variety of different kind of books in many subjects from facts to fiction. All classical story books like “Sleeping Beauty”, picture books for the babies and toddlers of high quality all the books you expect to find in the children’s department in a National Library. I saw on the tour that nearly all books were in English and French and I asked the librarian about where the books in the children’s own mother tongue Creole stood. She told me that there just was a handful of books written in Creole for children.
 
 
Seychelles has tree national languages Creole, English and French. Seychellois Creole is the first language by most Seychellois and is used in everyday conversation, in schools, in shops and is the mother tongue of the majority of Seychellois. Children start to learn English and French in primary one in Seychelles.
When no small children’s books are produced in Seychelles there are no books in context of Seychelles, not by population,  nor by places, not by languages, nothing that the children can relate to and recognize themselves in. it is important for children especially small children to be able to recognize themselves and identify themselves with the characters in story books. 
This was the run-up to write and start the project” Give your child a language”!
 
Researches have showed that books are essential building blocks of literacy and learning. To give small children access to story books in their own mother tongue and to read aloud to them in early age are key components for language development and have a profound impact on their educational development.
 
                                                                

 

 
              
Playtime Seychelles makes a book release for children at the Library.

 

http://ipa-playtime-seychelles.org/

http://www.playtime-seychelles-charity.org/