Objectives and Motivation for Learning/teaching Marathi
- Let not any Marathi speaking parent say that "our children can understand Marathi but cannot speak." Reading and writing Marathi skill is an advanced matter that depends on parents, if they are motivated or not.
- Parents are first and foremost teachers. Hope they make use of their association with children.
- Parents need to continue learning Marathi to be able to teach.
- Send a note on your thoughts on the topic "Why should children learn Marathi?" Your nostalgia? Usefulness?
There is an interesting article on reasons to learn other languages at omniglot.com. There are many parallels for learning Marathi/Sanskrit.
- At home, simple words and sentences must be/strictly spoken in Marathi (as starters use bara for OK, ho for Yes, nAhI or nako for no. Similarly, do not use simple words "read, finish, sit, eat, come here, down-up, where-what-when-how-who, I do not know, do you want, where are you, go to sleep" etc at home, but substitute them with Marathi. No "AtA ithe sit karUn milk finish kar.") Vocabulary, pronunciation, its practice and implementation go together. Keep a habit of using Marathi numbers, Marathi days, and words in the conversation. Sing or play Marathi songs to introduce them to musical aspects.
- Read to children both Marathi and English (and/or other local languages) stories alike with equal interest.
- Learning a language is a continuous process, rather battle. There is no end to the learning, so keep small goals and achieve as per your child's capacity.
- We are constantly learning to learn more and increase our capacity to learn.
- Reading devanAgarI is essential step not only to understand Marathi but to advance possibly to the stage of learning Sanskrit.
- It is never too late to learn a language. The natural capacity, memory enhancements, speed differ due to age or association.
- It is a myth that learning Marathi will hamper child's progress in learning English! It is not practical to drop the idea of learning your mother toungue only because someone in kindergarten commented or ridiculed your child for saying one or two Marathi words. It is a temporary phase. There is some growing involved.
- It is easy to learn Marathi up to age eight-ten. Children will learn-speak Marathi quickly. However it is more important later to continue as the understanding develops. Those who learnt to read write by age 10 can easily forget everything by age 16 if they do not stay at it.
- As mentioned earlier, Marathi learning is a useful luxury. It is part of other ten or more important things like excellence in school subjects, sports, healthy habits, volunteering, general curiosity et cetera. Parents will have to decide if they can afford to spend time with children for Marathi or can take help from someone else willing to teach. It cannot be a weekly or biweekly activity however weekly meetings can increase a sense of belongings.
- As children go to high-school or college there is a question asked by someone somewhere that essentially means "what have you personally done to understand your cultural background, language and traditions." It could be a scholarship question that is used to judge the motivation and curiosity of a student. Hope we can build the background.
- Never to get angry when you find your child's progress in learning Marathi is slow or not adequate to your standard. It is a language foreign to them use all your skills to teach.