Is speaking only English disadvantaging our children?

By admin
05 December 2013

Is speaking only English disadvantaging our children?


Sizakele Zuma says although it is good for children to learn the English language, they should also know their mother tongue. “This is the responsibility of parents,” she says. A good example is her niece who goes to a crèche where English is spoken, yet is also fluent in Zulu.

“My aunt made the decision that her child must be able to speak Zulu because she is Zulu, after all.” Siza believes the language issue is about ubuntu.

“Children need to learn African languages because they will have to work in or give back to their communities. If you are working as a doctor in a rural clinic, you will have to speak in the patients’ language so that they understand Siza strongly believes that a child should be taught as many languages as is possible. “That’s what I like about many children in Soweto. They can talk in many languages.”

This is possible if parents make an effort to talk to their children in ethnic languages, she says. “The government can only do so much; it is the family‘s responsibility at the end of the day.”