Saturday, February 21, 2015

How to Confuse Your Child

Today is International Mother Language Day and our blog is turning multilingual today. We are hosting a series of blog posts by different authors, illustrators, parents, educators and children - sharing their thoughts on languages and more. International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. 2015 is the 15th anniversary of International Mother Language Day.

This post is written by Gautam John - an advisor to Pratham Books.

I was born in New Delhi, lived and studied in Bangalore and spent holidays in Madras. My wife was born in Kerala, lived and studied across cities as disparate as Madras to Dehradun to Lucknow and worked in Bombay. And oh, we are Malayali and choose to speak English at home.

Our daughter’s mother language choice is a little complicated.

But! But we are grateful that Pratham Books publishes books in multiple languages. Often, the same book is available in multiple languages and we have made full use of this. Her favourite book was Too Much Noise and we were fortunate that Pratham Books makes them available online and under an open license too.

We read and continue to read this, and other books, to her in, at the least, English, Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. We aren’t sure what her mother language is but we are sure she has many to choose from. 

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