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Securing Our Indigenous Languages





Beatrice Akaeme


Indigenous Language Auditorium

 Language is part of our culture and culture is the way of life of a group of people in any given society. It is not possible for any culture to exist without their indigenous language. Language is part of our identity as a society. It is one of things any group is known for. It is a means of communication and interaction among members of the same group and society. There can be no successful activity without communication. Language is therefore necessary for effective communication, trade, education development, to share ideas, emotions and to meet so many other necessities of life.

Promoting of the language teaching in schools cannot be overemphasized for the survival of our society and preservation of our identity.

The Nigerian government has made studying of at least  one indigenous language compulsory at the primary and secondary school level in all states of the federation. In Nigeria we are known to have not less than 400 indigenous languages with 3 major languages; Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. Government is doing this with a view to stimulating pride,to see that Nigerians live in unity, harmony, to preserve our culture, promote social interaction among our nation and to discourage the encroachment of English and pidgin. Every Nigerian child is expected to learn at least one of the three major language in addition to his mother tongue.

Igbo, Yoruba, May Go Into Extinction In 50 Years Says NICO - Independent  Television Abuja
 Indigenous Languages Endangered

 The teaching and learning of indigenous Nigerian languages is faced with a lot of challenges. Having over 400 indigenous languages to choose from to be used in schools and colleges is a challenge. Teaching in a child's mother tongue makes it more easier for the child to absorb any other language being taught. Subjects like mathematics, sciences, economics, statistics etc, cannot exactly be taught in our local languages.

Getting a very well trained teacher competent enough to teach mathematics indigenous language effectively and efficiently is not always easy. The teacher sometimes may not be able to communicate very fluently in the chosen language being taught. Quality teachers are needed to lay a great foundation for primary school pupils. We need our students to perform well and even gain mastery of the taught language.

Getting hold of the necessary materials to foster the effective and efficient teaching and learning of these indigenous languages can be a challenge in our schools.

We need government to provide schools with adequate study materials to make teaching and learning of any indigenous language easy. 

We need well trained teachers who can teach these languages well and can communicate fluently with the students in the same languages.

The use of indigenous language to teach mathematics and sciences should be encouraged.



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