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General News Mon, 6 Sep 2021

The Lowdown: Prof Kofi Agyekum details pivotal role of local languages in Ghana's literacy development

Professor of Linguistics at the University of Ghana, Kofi Agyekum has been a long-standing campaigner of educating the Ghanaian child with local dialect; a feat he maintains will change the fate of the country’s literacy level.

This week on GhanaWeb’s The Lowdown, the astute language professor among other things enlightens us on why the country continues to languish in education of local dialects despite the major leaps made over the years.

Speaking to Wonder Hagan in this edition of The Lowdown, Prof Agyekum noted that there was the need for persons in leadership positions to at least learn their local dialect, in order not to be out of sorts when they return home.

He also maintained that introducing diverse languages to children at an early stage can cause them to be multilingual, though noting that the incidence of examining same was what has become the bane of language learning in Ghana.

“…if you’re a CEO, you know only English, you don’t know your language which is Nzema, neither do you know the Nzema culture. Then you visit Nzema land. You’ll be like an alien. So, you’ve lost your identity totally.

“That’s why it is ideal for everybody to at least know his or her own language. Or some of the Ghanaian languages. As for the English, you go to school, you’ll learn,” Prof Agyekum explained.

“Every child is a potential multilingual, cos a child can learn all the language that is set to him or her…anytime we make it examinable, that is where the problem is…” he furthered.

Watch the full interview here:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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