Dr. Joyce Emuchay of the Department of Languages and Literary Studies, College of Humanities and Management Sciences, Kwara State University, Malete, has said that, the prospects of learning a second language and developing the brain of a child are significant and advantageous over children who only have knowledge of one language.
Emuchay made this assertion at this year’s closing ceremony of the 4-weeks Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) organised by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), North-Central Zone, which took place in the Zonal Office Conference Hall, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday, 10th September, 2014.
The university don, who was the chairperson at the occasion, called on parents to speak more of their indigenous languages with their children at home, also urging parents, pupils and the public to avail themselves of the rare opportunity offered by NICO when next the programme comes up, stressing that, learning a second language increases in young children critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of mind, thereby curtailing the social malaise hindering development.
Also speaking, the President of the South-South Peoples’ Assembly Kwara State chapter, Evangelist Elder Uyi Williams, who was a participant in the Yoruba and Igbo language classes, expressed his heart-felt gratitude, on behalf of the participants, to the leadership of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), under Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, adding that, the teaching of Nigerian Indigenous Language by NICO enhances understanding and continuing traditions and continuity of the peoples’ ties to their land.
While congratulating the participants for the successful completion of this year’s language programme in the Zone, the NICO Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal said catching them young do not only help children to know who they are, and that, the programme of the Institute constituted a wider movement to establish societies on a human scale that were in conformity with nature.
On the whole, this year’s Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) in NICO North-Central Zone had two centres: Olumawu College, No. 2, Police Road, Off Onikanga GRA Ilorin, ran seven languages, namely, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Batonu, Nupe, Tiv and Izon with the participants, including, Mr. Tiamiyu Sikiru Oladele, Controller, Federal Ministry of Environment, Kwara State; while the Federal Staff School, Adewole Estate, Ilorin, which served as the second centre, had three (3) languages taught, namely, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
The NILP in the two centres ran simultaneously with a total of 93 participants.
Naseer Saeed Ategba