A Professor of French Language and Linguistics, Oluremi Sonaiya, has called on parents to encourage children to learn two or more languages to build their intellects.
Sonaiya, a former Lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
She spoke to NAN following the celebration of the 2020 International Mother Language Day.
The International Mother Language Day is celebrated on Feb. 21 annually to create awareness of language and cultural diversity across the world.
It was first announced by UNESCO on Nov. 17, 1999.
According to her, children are able to learn many languages as they grow.
Sonaiya, however, said that it was important to preserve indigenous languages, while learning international languages.
“Children are able to learn two or more languages as they grow, and this has been shown to be beneficial to them intellectually.
”It is a known fact that children who speak many languages do well in school.
”They are knowledgeable, articulate and curious about things,” she added.
Sonaiya expressed satisfaction with the growing awareness on the need to preserve linguistic heritage.
She hailed efforts by some parents, especially living abroad, to encourage their children to learn Nigerian languages.