Native Language: A dying passion

Does incorporating the Native language into the Philippine education system able to eliminate the stereotyping of Filipino and English languages as a barometer for educational literacy?

The native language is slowly being introduced in public school curriculums in the country. Based on statistics, there are approximately (6000) languages all around the world. Most of these languages are endangered and with the threat of potentially going extinct within the next (100) years or less. The Philippines is no stranger to this circumstance, with the majority of its native languages slowly being forgotten.

The Philippines is considered one of the most linguistically diverse countries worldwide. Contributing 3% of the world’s language pool at (175) languages recorded.

The country’s language percentage is even higher than its world land area ratio which is only at (0.2%). With a massive (15) times more diversity rate as compared to the world average, it clearly shows how rich and abundant a country is when it comes to natively grown languages.

With data from a reliable world language organization, “Ethnologue”, it manifested that from a count of (13) endangered languages in 2016 it has drastically increased into (28) as of today. With (11) languages on the state of potentially being forgotten and several are unfortunately extinct.

Native Language will be endangered or become extinct

This recognition from a world-recognized body shows the country’s wealth in terms of language diversity, yet the rate of retention for these available languages are rapidly depleting and the documentation isn’t coping up sufficiently. This is quite alarming and possesses negative feedback on the part of Filipino Heritage.

What is the basis of language extinction within an area? The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization identified the problem is when language is not passed on through generations then it starts to be endangered. It means, if parents aren’t able to pass on their mother tongue language to their children, chances that the language will be endangered is every likely and even comes worst to being extinct.

An important factor of language extinction is the fact that a native speaker doesn’t endear his mother language and uses it fewer and fewer until being forgotten.

The impression that native languages cannot contribute to their economic success makes it hard to impose the love for their mother tongue and thus the passing on of it from one generation to another. A country needs to maintain its rich language diversity, it’s a country’s heritage.

We must help see to the world that mother tongue languages should not be forgotten by slowly incorporating it with how we interact in the social world. Use artistic and poetic styles into some popular quotes by translating it into native languages. Keep the native languages alive, our history, and our heritage to the world.

Various strategies could be implemented to hurdle language difficulties in children. Even an illustrated comic book or manga comics could be used to teach the value of the national language. Hating to speak your national language is likened to being a “smelly fish” by the Philippine hero, Jose Rizal.