Local Dialects Play Important Part in Kids Education

In many Asian countries the language that is spoken at home is not the language that the children will be taught at school. In Indonesia, for example, children grow up at home learning and speaking their local dialect and at school they are taught and instructed in Bahasa Indonesia.

It is assumed that children in remote regions are more likely to drop out of school if they cannot learn in their native tongue, since quite often the students do not understand the language of instruction. Indonesian education experts have now suggested that the simultaneous use of local and Indonesian languages should be promoted during the early stages of education to boost the accessibility of education, especially that of young children in remote areas.

The Jakarta Post writes that "Data from ACDP Indonesia showed that only 63 percent of children aged five to 14 attended schools in remote regions, compared to 72 percent in cities" and "The ACDP blamed the high dropout rate on the use of Indonesian language in class."

An Indonesian language expert explained that it was important for young children to be fluent in their native tongue first and then use their first language to introduce them to the Indonesian language. 

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Bilingual homes actually raise better communicators!

A new study finds that just being exposed to another language provides advantages over a monolingual upbringing. There seems to be evidence that multilingual children are better communicators, since effective communication requires the ability to take others’ perspectives.

The most novel finding is that the children don’t even have to be bilingual themselves—it’s the exposure to more than one language that is the key for building effective social communication skills. Researchers discovered that children from multilingual environments are better at interpreting a speaker’s meaning than children who are exposed only to their native tongue.

“Language is social. Being exposed to multiple languages gives you a very different social experience, which could help children develop more effective communication skills.”

Read more about the study here:


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Screen time: How much is too much? And how much is right?

We are surrounded by screens everywhere and it is a fact of modern life that we will access the Internet via computers, mobile devices and tablets many times a day - for work, entertainment, information or research. Our children are growing up in an increasingly connected world, and they will have to learn how to navigate their usage of screens - the how, the when and the what.

Almost every parent worries about screen time: when is the right age to let your kids play on screens, how long is enough and how many times should a device be accessed. Some new research suggests that screen time in itself is not a bad thing - it is rather the quality of the content and how kids are using screens that are important.

Dr. Georgene Troseth of Vanderbilt University explains: “To me, the guilt that moms and dads feel about their child playing on their iPhone or being exposed to a little background TV is adding an unnecessary burden to parents’ lives. Shared enjoyment when parents and kids watch or play together, or seeing your child happily engaged by a well-designed app or video, is an incredible benefit of well-managed screen time. It’s an opportunity for a shared activity between parent and child.”



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