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Friday, 21 February 2020

International Mother Language Day celebrated

CAMARADERIE: Dr Robyn Tyler from the University of Western Cape receives a gift from Faculty of Applied Sciences’ Extended Curriculum Programme Coordinator, Prof Beatrice Opeolu. CAMARADERIE: Dr Robyn Tyler from the University of Western Cape receives a gift from Faculty of Applied Sciences’ Extended Curriculum Programme Coordinator, Prof Beatrice Opeolu.

The Faculty of Applied Sciences commemorated the International Mother Language Day on Thursday at a ceremony on Bellville Campus.

The Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in November 1999. UNESCO has been celebrating it on 21 February for the last 20 years with the aim of preserving linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education worldwide.

The celebration was opened by a praise-singer, Construction Management second-year student Sinesipho Yekiwe. Dr Robyn Tyler from the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research at the University of the Western Cape presented her research titled: Marrying multilingualism and inquiry to grow Southern African Sciences to the audience.

There was a panel discussion by the faculty’s students about their language experiences and perspectives.

The faculty’s Language Coordinator, Dr Ignatius Ticha, said they envisioned to draw awareness to the linguistic diversity and to celebrate the variety in languages and a need to preserve mother tongue languages. “We organised a specialist in multilingualism to share valuable tips on how to apply multilingualism in science teaching,” said Ticha. The multilingualism specialist(Tyler) said she was promoting the use of “full language resources in learning science”. Said Tyler: “I am impressed by the use of multilingualism at this event, people using different languages to grapple with linguistic ideas of mother tongue in science.”

Meanwhile, the faculty’s Extended Curriculum Programme Coordinator, Prof Beatrice Opeolu, said multilingualism is important for staff and students. “We need to promote the use of mother tongue languages and I hope it may grow to where we can teach students in their mother tongue languages.”

Student Ntokozo Goqa said she would love to see more similar events that promote the use of mother tongue languages in education. “It would be easier for us to learn in our mother tongue languages or have the [study] material translated into our languages to create a better understanding of the subjects.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Email: boyceap@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and the Built Environment and Applied Sciences Faculties.