When I was very young my parents wanted me to have a love of books and reading. They read to me in Welsh and English and as I became old enough to read myself it allowed my bilingual skills to advance.
Having the ability to speak 2 languages is something I take forgranted as do the majority of the peoples on earth. Yet, those who speak English seem to expect others to bow to their linguistic dominance. What this monoglot attitude seems not to see is that children speaking 2 languages can easier learn a third. I read recently, and then discussed it with a teacher in the family, that it is in primary school that languages should be initially taught. At that age children can absorb them quickly.
This monoglot culture, which in turn encourages the a distrust of diffence, could be the foundation that encouraged the Brexit vote in 2016. After all, the areas with a natural 2nd language were less supportive to ‘Leave’. #Outside the UK, it is also part of the reason why nations turned inward during the Trump era. Seeing outside influences and those who created them as an ‘other’ to be feared. Why we didn’t learn how dangerous this was after humanity met nazism in the 1930s is hard to comprehend.
At school we were read to early on and then read to our teachers. We were encouraged to understand what the author was saying. Very soon, the school library was a place I went to often. Miss Pritchard then Mr Williams, Mr Jones, Mr Davies and Mrs Price took us through stories which I mostly enjoyed. Having said that, it was my final class teacher at school Miss Yvonne Hughes who guided me towards authors still enjoy today. None more so than George Orwell and Gerald Durrell. I was thrilled by ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’ and as an adult I read ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ and ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’.
Gerald Durrell and his wonderful ‘My Family and other Animals’ is a treat for anyone to read. She also pointed me towards the ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ ‘War of the Worlds’ and the ‘Day of the Triffids’.
By today, I am a reader of Crime Novels and love authors like Robert Goddard and Cara Hunter. My late Father was obsessed with Westerns. He tried to take Monday off and enjoy a day with in the Wild West.
Teaching a child to enjoy reading is so important. As I read this my Stepdaughter is in her 2nd year of an English, her Fiance is completing an MA in English. My Niece also has an English degree. They all know this to be true.