Why your child should learn to read in their mother tongue

Why your child should learn to read in their mother tongue.

Is your child learning to read? Should they learn to read in English or in their mother tongue?

Learning to read is one of the hardest things a child will do in their life. With many children urged to first learn to read in a language other than their own, the process can become even harder. 

But, the truth is that children actually learn faster and better in their mother tongue. Mother tongue is the language a child learns from birth or is most familiar with speaking at home.

Research shows that learning to read in your mother tongue is key to later learning to read in English or another language.

Why learning in your mother tongue is important

It’s only normal for a child to experience some difficulty or pressure when they first learn to read. So, imagine how scary it can be to learn in a language you don’t know yet? By first learning in a language you’re not familiar with, it’s likely you will struggle to understand what it is you’re reading. And if you struggle to understand, you will struggle to learn. Learning in your mother tongue is essential to building a strong language foundation that helps all learning throughout life. 

Once you’ve gained the foundational skills needed to read in your mother tongue, learning to read in a second or even third language becomes a lot easier. Here are some of the benefits of your child learning to read in their mother tongue.

  • Children feel more comfortable and confident learning in their mother tongue 
  • Mother tongue is essential for building key literacy and learning skills that help to make ALL learning easier
  • Children who first become fluent readers in their mother tongue are more likely to do better in school 
  • Children connect and relate better to stories told in their local language
  • Children who first learn to read in their mother tongue often find that learning to read in a second language is easier
  • Mother tongue-based learning can also help build a child’s personal, social and cultural identity

As challenging as learning to read can be, it is possible to make the process easier for your child by first learning in their mother tongue and then moving on to new languages. Think of it as giving your child a solid foundation from which they can build and grow for the rest of their academic, social and work life.

Not sure where to start?

Download our ‘Feed the Monster’ app for free, available in 50+ languages, and help your child learn to read in their mother tongue.

Want to learn more?

Join our movement of Curious Readers.

Is screen time bad for kids?

Is screen time bad for kids?

Are you a parent concerned about the impact of your child’s screen time? Is time spent on screens harming your child? Or can it be good for them? 

The reality is that we live in a digital world, and technology is now a big part of both your own and your child’s daily life. Kids are growing up in environments where screens are everywhere and online is the norm, shaping the way they learn, communicate and access information from an early age. It’s almost impossible to restrict screen time altogether, and with so many conflicting views, it’s okay to feel worried about its impact or overwhelmed with how to manage it. 

Let’s delve a bit deeper into screen time, its pros and cons, and how, with the right support and tools, it can help prepare your child for a digital future.

Is screen time bad for kids?

Yes and no. The way we use technology is incredibly diverse, which means that not all digital screen use is the same. Sure, too much time spent passively consuming digital content is bad for young children, especially if it is causing a loss of interest in other activities, family time and social interaction. But, this doesn’t make all screen time harmful. 

And this is where smartphone learning comes in. Time actively spent engaging with high-quality educational apps and interactive games makes screen time more productive and the process of learning fun. 

Using smartphones to learn can also help to extend your child’s education beyond the classroom – they can learn from anywhere, and at any time. 

Making screen time beneficial

You know what they say, quality over quantity. The same is true when it comes to screen time. By focusing on what your child is consuming, screen time can become a great learning tool in your child’s education. Here are ways to help make screen time a positive experience. 

Using screen time for learning

Educational apps and games on smartphones are a great way to get your child to learn outside of school. Our ‘Feed the Monster’ app is proof of this, with studies showing that just 22 hours of play is equivalent to two months of attending literacy classes at a well-resourced school.

Establish reasonable rules and limits

Take a closer look at the role that screens are playing in your family’s daily lives. Do you eat dinner in front of the TV? Do the kids use their phones before bed? By establishing rules and time limits on screen time – for example, ‘no phones at the dinner table’, ‘no screen time before bed’, or ‘screen-free Saturdays’ – your child is more likely to develop a healthier relationship with digital devices.  

Overall, we should not look at screen time as either good or bad. Remember, it’s more about how we use them and the content we choose to engage in. With the support of high-quality educational apps and engaging content, devices like smartphones or tablets are powerful learning tools. 

Not sure where to start?

Download our ‘Feed the Monster’ app for free and
support your child on their learning journey now. 

Want to learn more?

Join our movement of Curious Readers.