Dr Rafiu Soyele, the Provost, Federal College of Education (FCE), Abeokuta has appealed to primary, secondary school teachers to stop referring to the indigenous languages as vernacular, less they committed linguistic crime.
Soyele stated this on Thursday while delivering the institution’s 10th inaugural lecture held at the school premises, Osiele, Abeokuta.
The inaugural lecture is themed : ” Language Attitude, Language Choice and Language Shift : A Sociolinguistic X-ray of the Experiences in the Nigerian Multilingual Context “.
The provost noted that children who were still in the formative years should be encouraged to converse in indegenious language, saying teachers should promote its learning as obtainable in the language policy.
The inaugural lecturer opined that “foreign countries are busy studying our languages and if care is not taken, our future generation would have to pay them to come and teach us our native languages”.
He added that the indigenous languages should co-exist effectively with theinstrumental English language.
The provost noted that with the education policy on ground, government should make provision for its implementation and unbiased consistent monitoring of schools, proprietors and teachers.
He said that there should be uniformity in the implementation of the language policy both at the private and public schools especially as it affected indigenous languages for pre-primary and the first three years of primary education.
He tasked bilingual parents, especially those in the education sector and government workers not to inculcate negative attitudes about the use of indigenous languages in their children.
Soyele urged state governments in Nigeria to put up policies and regulations that would sustain the positive attitudinal shift to indigenous languages in the legislature, media and work domains.
“There should be the establishment of Indigenous Language Centres or Language Engineering Centres which will focus on the development and use of indigenous languages which workers could pass through as part of staff professional development.
“This takes care of staff deficiency in the use of indigenous languages and prepare them to function in some capacities at the office and in the community in order to communicate effectively in their respective native languages,” he said.