掌握母语的重要性

瑞士语言学家和符号学家、理论语言学的创始人费迪南-德-索绪尔曾经说过,"语言和思想就像一张纸的两面:任何一方都不能离开另一方而存在"。

Many third culture kids (TCKs) belong to a school of thought who stoutly believe that the mother tongue of a person or a people constitutes a cultural, social and personal value, a basic qualitative component of one’s existence rather than a simple tool of communication. Consciousness of a 21st century world and of others and ourselves, by necessity, passes through notions structured and expressed by means of language. The fact that TCK’s can express their conception and talk about it in their own language, is possibly more significant than ever before. It is their history, their identity and the physiognomy of their nation. In this sense, language is for them the main component of their conscience, what constitutes their identity as a person and distinguishes them from being simply a part of a mass.

It is for this reason that it is so important for a third culture child, especially one who studies in English, to master their mother tongue or a foreign language. Mastering it means to come to know a different conception and structuring of the world. Access to more than one foreign language is even better; it is the best way to combat a language monopoly and to find additional ways to view the world. And it is for this very reason that international schools like Utahloy International School Guangzhou (UISG) have invested substantially in enhancing their mother tongue program.

位于中国南方的广州,UISG提供法语、西班牙语、德语、韩语、汉语和日语等语言的母语课程。校长Michael Wylie博士说,每个孩子的母语发展必须从小开始,而且频率是关键。"UISG是一所真正的国际学校,因此,我们提供尽可能广泛的语言和科目,以满足代表50多个民族的家庭的需求。孩子们在从一开始就成为双语或三语的过程中,必须了解自己的文化和其他文化,培养对多样性的欣赏和国际意识,这将使他们能够在不同的文化环境和情况下舒适地生活,"他说。UISG的母语课程让学生全面发展他们的语言技能,使他们能够理解和深化所有其他科目的学习,无论是数学或历史等学术科目,甚至是第三语言的学习。

用路德维希-维特根斯坦的话说,"我的语言的局限性意味着我的世界的局限性"。免得我们忘记,掌握自己的语言,或更多的语言,实际上是我们这个地球村的生命之光。