Without the Aid of Text Books

Mother tongue: The language of heart and mind

Without the Aid of Text Books

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands - that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language - that goes to his heart"

The Professor projected it boldly on the board and abruptly turned towards us.

"Who understands what I’ve written?" His stern eyes scanned the expectant audience in the lecture hall.

Silence ruled for some time. We all sat staring at the words on the board, turning them over in our minds. It looked as if the Professor has asked us something that is impossible to explain in simple terms.

"Great! I thought as much!" his manly voice echoed through the silence.

"Well that is what today’s lesson will be about. The importance of your Mother Language and I’m sure you all had gone through the content of the lesson already. I asked you to read it before coming!"

For a moment an anxious murmur filled the hall and the Professor’s eyes gleamed with amusement. He was evidently enjoying the discomfort he was causing among his obedient pupils.

I rolled my eyes hoping all this was a bad dream. I barely had time to read it at home - now came to think of it, I did not read it at all - and I prayed I would not the one who is going to be spotted and picked up by the pitiless Professor - to be called on to the stage.

Then it happened.

"Miss Ama! Would you mind telling us everyone the importance of one’s Mother Language dear? I believe you know a lot about it!"

A rush of adrenaline started to pump and pulse in my veins.

I raised my head only to find every eye in the class staring at me. My throat went dry.

I stood up slowly and unwillingly. Growing up in a country where foreign languages are always regarded much highly than our own, native languages, I was completely at a loss to gather my thoughts to prove my point.

This is my home country and the silly attitude of the people here is that you are respected much if you could rumble every little thing you say in English - a language which was forced on us in a way. It is not something that belonged to us.

When you are seen using your native language in some social gatherings it is frequently defined by many as ‘uncivilized’ or ‘uneducated’ and I always labored under the fixed belief that this attitude was totally wrong! I always lost my temper when my Mother Language was humiliated.

The Professor was watching me patiently.

My heart was beating so fast I hoped I wouldn’t faint in front of a class of about eight hundred students from different countries staring at me hoping that I could restore their faith in their mother tongue.

I haven’t read the lesson Professor had assigned the previous day – yeah, but I have been reading lot of valuable stuff on the theories connected with the importance of mother language - most of my life.

I sucked in all the air around me and opened my mouth.

"Mother Tongue: The Language of Heart and Mind" I uttered the words involuntarily. Then the rest of it followed from the bottom of my heart.

"Mother language has a very powerful impact in the formation of the individual. Our first language, the beautiful sounds which one hears and gets familiar with before being born while in the womb, has such an important role in shaping our thoughts and emotions. An individual’s psychological and personality development will depend upon what has been conveyed through the mother tongue.

“Learning to speak in the mother tongue is very important for one’s overall development. Being fluent in the mother tongue, which is also known as the native language, benefits him or her in many ways. It connects him to his culture, ensures better cognitive development, and aids in the learning of other languages."

I ended and everyone in the lecture hall stood up on their feet clapping.


Thanks for taking time to read this. Hope you enjoyed it! Do not forget to drop me a hello during your free time! Until I meet you with another story bye for now!