The Importance of Learning Different Languages for Children with Yeve Sibanda
Welcome to episode 126 of The Determined Mom Show. I am your host, Amanda Tento. I have a very special guest and she is the owner of Philisa Creatives and she is also an author and she has written a book and she can tell us all about that and how she got started.
I am a mom and an attorney and I’m an author and as you said, the founder of Philisa Creatives. My day job requires me to be very creative, being a mom. There’s a lot of creativity involved there and what inspired me to start the business and to write a book was my daughter.
She was the inspiration behind starting it and my book is titled: “My First Book of Shona & Ndebele Words”. Shona & Ndebele are the two primary languages spoken in Zimbabwe, which is where my husband and I are originally from, and the two languages that we speak in our household. So we knew that we wanted to expose and teach our daughter these languages.
When we found out we were having a child and I decided to write my book because I hadn’t found anything that was the quality that I wanted. I wanted it to be engaging and fun.
I did it thinking, I’ll just write this book but I have now embarked on a little renaissance movement; bringing to life African stories and black stories. So just centering stories where children like my daughter, who often are not represented in literature can see themselves in a positive story about Africa, about Zimbabwe, where too often, the narrative has been one-sided and monolithic.
Awesome. I love the movement and I love everything that you’re doing. I think it’s amazing that you’ve taken that initiative instead of just saying, oh, I wish there was something out there for my daughter.
You created it and I think we as parents need to kind of shift our mindset to that. If there isn’t something we can find the solution to, we can create it because there are other people out there that need it as well. So thank you for doing that and thank you for being an inspiration to us all.
I want to get into our topic, which is the importance of having your children know different languages and learn different languages. I think in the society we live in, it’s almost just imperative to know another language.
So you are from Zimbabwe, which is a country in Africa. What do you feel are the most important things for children to learn other languages? Like if you’re a parent and you’re listening to this, how do you select that language?
I think, if you don’t have a natural language that you can select to be the language you teach your kids, then I think it just depends on your locale. Like, do you live in a place where Spanish is spoken broadly?
Do you want their college application to look great? Do you live in a place where French is spoken broadly? Do you have the desire to travel to Germany or another country? So you just decide on the language that you want them to learn.
Even if it’s not a mainstream language, I think the benefit of teaching your child or exposing them to another language is great because culture is communicated through language.
So for example, in my book, even though it’s shown in the daily words, even if you don’t speak Shona & Ndebele, most of my customers and readers are not Shona & Ndebele speakers but the book conveys a lot of things just by you reading the book.
So it’s a picture book, right and you can see that there’s a picture and then there are words associated with the picture. So as you go through the words you will start to recognize the meaning quite easily. I think just the exposure opens up your mind and opens up children’s minds, especially those who are like sponges and who is so smart because it just gives them another frame of reference.
We already know that children and people who speak another language scientifically have extra brain capacity. This leads them to be able to do other things that are even unrelated to language, such as problem-solving skills.
So all of that including communication is just such a key thing and it’s one of the primary things that teach our children right from the minute they’re born. We’re trying to communicate with them and so giving them another way to communicate, even if it’s just like three words it’s just opening up the door for a level of interest in your child that can only serve them.
So it’s important for children to have an interest and to learn more. They can be interested in the food and the places in the country, all of that and that appreciation will lead to an appreciation for other languages and other cultures. So that is the goal at the end of the day and so however you achieve that goal is fine.
I love that answer. That was the best answer I’ve ever heard for any question that I’ve asked on the podcast because It is important and it does plant seeds. The full episode of this article can be found in my podcast where we get deeper into the benefits of learning another language. Have an amazing week.
If you have any questions, let us know! Reach out to us!
Connect with Yeve Here:
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Websites: TDM Marketing
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