Teaching and learning of mother tongue have been taken granted not only by the teachers but also by the parents/guardians and the academic administrations. There is an impression prevalent in many circles that there is not much to learn in mother tongue after coming to school except learning to read and write, since the child learner is already sufficiently well equipped with communicative skills of listening and speaking adequate to function in society. As a result we find not only is the mastery of the two literacy based skills reading and writing- affected but the cognitive growth and enhancement of the overall communicative competence involving the functioning of all four skills, is also adversely affected and a sense of indequency obtains even after children complete class X.
In many of the cases we find even children who come to the secondary stage cannot comprehend fully a lecture given in the mother tongue; they cannot express themselves clearly with correct pronunciation or choose appropriate vocabulary, nor can they read extra materials with comprehension or write without spelling mistakes, let alone composing something of their own.
On the issue of learning of formal grammar of the mother tongue there is a general feelings that grammar classes are boring and monotonous. It is obvious this is partly because the rules are made out to be prescriptive and stated in advance, where as the skilled teacher is expected to make children discover that they intuitively know, and if the children are multilingual which is often the case, then they are expected to also adopt a comparative approach and understand their mother tongue in relation to other forms of speech.
In a mother tongue situation the teacher has the onerous task of exposing the learners to processes of standardization and a creation of standard forms. Variations is a natural property of linguistic forms but the young learners have an opportunity at school for leveling out dialect variations and understanding domains for the use of non-standard expression, often outside the school. The teacher are also entrusted with the task of inculcating good reading habit in children which not only provides them greater information but also enables them to assimilate literary culture of the society to which they belong.
Normally the mother tongue textbooks do provide some room for exercise which follows the lessons, but many a time these exercise are boring and cause monotony in the young minds. Language games provide us with some interesting and challenging tasks with the introduction of reward for accomplishing
suggested tasks in terms of points or scores, making the tasks more and more
competitive. This is the crux of joyful learning. The games not only sharpen the
thinking process of children but also help them to achieve mastery over language
items, be it pronunciation, spelling, word formation, or solving riddles. ‘he role
of fun in accomplishing the tasks need not be overemphasized.
Keeping the goal of joyful discovery in mind the games have been-prepared
which could serve as supplementary materials for children. Also the games have
been graded taking into account the age group of children. The games take care
of the correction of common spelling errors committed by the children with
reinforcement of correct spelling, understanding of the differences in form
and function of various grammatical categories, practice of different
morphological and semantic distribution of words, understanding the relations
between words as synonyms and antonyms, understanding of different
morphological processes involved in the formation of words, syntactic
constructions, building of sentences and discourse patterns and finally
inculcating appreciation of literature and instilling critical evaluation of literary
usages by familiarizing them with idioms, similes and allegoric expressions.
Most of the current-day language teaching materials prepared by the Central
Institute of Indian Languages and its Regional Languages Centers focus on
structural selection, gradation and presentation. This refreshing game-based approach has used that vast experience of those processes but has now moved
towards innovative development of significant teaching materials.
The games presented here are flexible in nature, for they can be administered
either individually or in a group depending upon the strength of the class. Also
these games provide ideal models in the sense that the practicing teachers could
enrich them by their own insights of the language(s) they are teaching and also
based on their study of the problem areas the particular language poses for the
I hope the Nepali speaking community would welcome this venture
wholeheartedly and provide their children with a well organized material which
would not only rekindle interest in learning Nepali and develop greater love
towards their language in particular but also enhance language learning and
respect for other languages in general.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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