Power of Mother Tongue
Namiko Sakamoto

Mother tongue means your native language. Is that all?

“The first language that you learn when you are a baby, rather than a language learned at school or as an adult” Cambridge Dictionary.

There are many foreign couples around me in Czechia.

A: Mother is a Czech and mainly takes care of children. Father is a foreign national.

B: Mother is a Czech and Father is a foreign national, both works.

C: Mother is a foreign national and mainly takes care of children. Father is a Czech.

D: Mother is a foreign national and father is a Czech, both works.

In all cases, children acquire Czech language without any problems. They learn Czech through interaction, in Czech surrounding.  

Obviously, time which each parent spends with his or her child, affects development of the second language, i.e., the 1st foreign language.

Some cases in A. Fathers, English speakers, said that children didn’t want to talk with them in English. 

Understood. Children suggested them “You live in Czechia, so study Czech and speak it.”

My case is D. I don’t have a plenty of time to teach children Japanese, but we have a kind of unwritten agreed rule. Children have to speak Japanese although they don’t know the exact equivalent word in Japanese, they should try to describe it as far as they can.

I’m aware it’s tough.

 So far, children didn’t give up although I’m the only one who speaks Japanese around them. 

Power of mother tongue … is love.