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Stemming the decline of Yoruba Language, the Lagos example – Ropo Sekoni

 

  • The main essay here  by Professor Ropo Sekoni, a columnist for Nigeria’s The Nation on Sunday, is dedicated by the writer to Akinwunmi Isola, who devoted a great deal of his intellectual energy to promotion of learning that takes advantage of the role of mother tongue and other languages in the acquisition of knowledge in a modern world that has provided so much to facilitate bilingual and multilingual education in a multicultural world.

 

Every two weeks, one of the world’s languages disappears, along with the human history and cultural heritage that accompany it….A language is far more than a means of communication; it is the very condition of our humanity. Our values, our beliefs and our identity are embedded within it….It is through language that we transmit our experiences, our traditions and our knowledge. The diversity of languages reflects the incontestable wealth of our imaginations and ways of life.—UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azouulay at the 2018 Mother Language Day: Mother Language Day with the theme “Linguistic Diversity and Multilingualism Count for Sustainable Development.”

FOR THE ESSAY –   http://thenationonlineng.net/lagos-language-law-giving-federalism-soul/

 

RELATED ESSAYS

https://emotanafricana.com/2012/02/09/yoruba-and-other-disappearing-languages-a-revisit/ – THE NATION ON SUNDAY

AND –   https://emotanafricana.com/tag/yoruba-and-other-disappearing-languages/

“Yoruba and other disappearing languages”, January 2003 in THE COMET ON SUNDAY.

UPDATE

The Lagos Government recently announced a new initiative beyond the mandatory teaching of the Language in all Lagos State schools – public and private – that Yoruba be a compulsory subject. It designates Wednesdays as Yoruba Speaking Day. On such days, every subject must be taught in Yoruba.

This is definitely a good step that borrows a bit from the past. My first two years in elementary school in the early 1950s – as was the practice in all Yorubaland schools back then – involved taking all subjects in Yoruba Language, including Arithmetic. That grounding was very useful as we entered the ABC (after Yoruba ABD) class in Standard One.

Parents opposed to Yoruba Language because, in the words of one with whom I served on  a Yoruba Language committee, “the kids will not be able to compete …” are making a big mistake. Experts, including late Professor A.B. Fafunwa warned against such thinking as children would be stronger in the grasp of foreign languages when they have earlier mastered their mother tongues.

I think those of us who came up under that system are proof that starting from one’s mother tongue does not, in any way, hamper a good understanding and grounding of a foreign language. And, BTW, Yoruba was foreign to people like me from Ondo Province!

Other Yoruba states should follow the template in Lagos. It’s kudos to Governor Ambode of Lagos for the legislation as well as the widening scope by the state to ensure the legislation succeeds.

TOLA.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018. 9:53 P.M. [GMT]

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2 Comments on “Stemming the decline of Yoruba Language, the Lagos example – Ropo Sekoni”

  1. Remi Omodele Says:

    Sister mi, In sereee o! :), Remi

    On Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 1:58 PM, emotanafricana.com wrote:

    > emotan77 posted: ” The main essay here by Professor Ropo Sekoni, a > columnist for Nigeria’s The Nation on Sunday, is dedicated by the writer to > Akinwunmi Isola, who devoted a great deal of his intellectual energy to > promotion of learning that takes advantage of the” >

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Remi,

      You are very welcome but thanks to Professor Sekoni, Lagos Governor, Mr. Ambode, and all who are working towards the goal of preventing our beloved Yoruba language from becoming a disappeared language – are very much in order.

      Greetings,
      TOLA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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