When we are young children, we have a great wonder about many different things in our world, especially about those who are different than ourselves. Sometimes this young age can be a great time to teach a child another language, especially when it is part of their culture. Speaking to a young child in a native language can help them be fluent in that language so that he or she may visit their native land and be able to communicate very well. For example, if you were from South India, your native language would be Malayalam.
Malayalam is one of the four major languages in South India. It’s spoken by over 35 million people. Malayalam most likely originated from ancient Tamil in the 6th century, from which Modern Tamil was also derived. Overseas it is used by a large group of South Indians living in the Middle East, North America, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and Europe. The word Malayalam is formed from two Tamil words. Malai means “mountain” and “Alam” which means region. Which means mountain region. Malayalam language script consists of 53 letters including 16 vowels and 37 consonants.
There are several ways to learn the Malayalam language other than having a parent or other relative that knows the language. One can purchase computer software to teach the child. There are not very many of these around, so it pays to do some research before purchasing a program. The best type of program will teach a child the basic alphabet, their colors, numbers, and other important parts of a language. Children’s minds are often more open to learning than an adult’s mind and therefore they are easier to teach.
Of course, there are also websites where a child can learn as well. Many of these websites have a picture of the word, the English word, the Malayalam interpretation, and how the word looks in written form. However, there are not a lot of websites that help the child sound out the syllables so that they would be easier to pronounce. However, most of the sites do have worksheets that the parents can download to test their child’s progress. Furthermore, some even have memory games after each lesson to test the child’s recall of the previous section.
Certainly teaching your child to learn any foreign language takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment on the part of both parents. However, this effort may be worth all the time invested to teach your child, especially if the language is a part of your culture.