Regional News of Wednesday, 10 December 2014
A Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Lawrence Bosua has advocated the need for Ghanaian Languages to be made compulsory in all schools to accelerate the socio-economic transformation of the nation.
Teachers of local languages must therefore see themselves as the major architect of national culture and make the teaching and learning of indigenous languages learner-friendly.
This was in a speech read on his behalf at a general meeting of the Western Region branch of Ghanaian Languages Teachers Association at Fijai in the Western region.
The meeting was on the theme: “The Values of Teaching Ghanaian Languages in Ghanaian Schools.”
He charged parents to use the Ghanaian Language (L1) in the homes to bring up their children to foster national unity and cohesion.
He recalled that attempts were made in the past to make Fante, a language of choice which started with distribution of Fante newspapers in the Central Region, but fizzled out since Fantes themselves did not patronize them.
He said for effective communication in all national discourse to unearth the values and skills in Ghanaian culture, Fante ought to be taught in schools in the region, adding that Fante must form the basis for the learning of other foreign languages.
He admitted that the only way Ghana could develop is to transact business in local languages, and urged government to assist the Association to translate textbooks from English to local languages to enhance the teaching and learning process.
The Head of Languages Department of the Sekondi Methodist Senior High School, Nana Ebo Koomson, observed that the absence of a lingua-franca in Africa militates against its development.
He intimated that Akan could be used as a lingua-franca in Ghana, as it has audience from six Regions in the country, saying, “with its strong accent and code-switching, Akan is gradually the language of commerce in Ghana.”
Nana Koomson, therefore, charged experts in anthropological linguistics among others, to study the culture of others since Akan has lots of foreign languages incorporated into it, and charged language teachers to write more books to develop Akan language.
The President of the Association, Mr. Prosper Nketiah said his outfit has brought all language teachers in first and second cycle schools under a common umbrella to promote the teaching and learning of local languages.
He said the Association will make the study of local languages very vibrant to foster rapid socio-economic development and charged teachers to write new Ghanaian Language books in tandem with contemporary development.
In a-one-point resolution, the Association displayed how poised it was to streamline activities in the teaching and learning of Akan, as regards wrong setting of WASSCE examination questions, writing of new and modern textbooks, as well as enforcing the use of Akan in schools.