The child makes pre-linguistic noises before he/she utters linguistic sounds as he/she does
scribbling before writing. Though singing is not speaking as drawing is not writing, it helps
production of linguistic sounds including Suprasegmental ones like rhythm. Nursery rhymes
come in between pre-linguistic babbles and acquisition of language. Practice with nursery
rhymes is a pre-school experience and excercise, and it prepares the child to be ready for
schooling. The nursery rhymes are similar to pre-literacy skills of drawing to prepare the
child for the school.
While there is growing children’s literature in Indian languages, much attention has not
been paid to nursery rhymes. This gap is often filled by nursery rhymes in English
particularly in urban middle class homes and this is encouraged in the English medium
nursery schools. It is necessary for a child as part of her socialization process to experience
and to learn sounds of her native language. This experience is the first step towards love
for his/her language.
To counter the influence of the hotly sought English medium in the nursery and primary.
schools, it is very necessary to provide good nursery schools in Indian language media. This
will be more effective than legal measures. Nursery rhymes in Indian languages will be an
important component of such nursery schools.
With these ideas in mind, the Institute prepares nursery rhymes in various Indian
languages including tribal languages through workshops in which creative writers and
teachers of language and linguists participate. They have found it rewarding experience as
we have. With great enthusiasm and devotion and concern for the child and for the language,
they created literally hundreds of rhymes in these workshops. The entire collection will
serve as a repertoire or resource book for the teachers and parents to draw from. We also
expect that short selected books of rhymes with attractive visuals could be brougth out be
placed in the hands of the children themselves. We also hope that audio cassettes will be
prepared to accompany the printed book.
We will be happy if these rhymes are sung in homes, in schools and in the streets. This
will be a significant step for planting Indian languages in the young minds for them to grow.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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