Professor Yaw Sackyi Baidoo, Dean of the Faculty of Languages, University of Education – Winneba, has suggested to government to put in place a new compulsory policy for the study of Ghanaian languages.
He said if the present language policy is reshaped it would help to protect and keep the local languages from sinking.
Prof Baidoo gave the suggestion when he read a keynote address at a four-day workshop of Association of Teachers of Ghanaian Languages at Nungua in the Greater Accra Region.
The programme was attended by members of the Association from the 38 training colleges.
The Association aims at working harder to promote Ghanaian languages help teachers to acquire new skills in terminology development, construction and administration of text, teaching of literature and processing of book writing.
Prof Baidoo emphasised the need for policy makers to add value to Ghanaian languages to arrest their decline.
Prof Kofi Agyekum, Lecturer at the Department Linguistics, Legon, a Resource Person who spoke on Terminological Development in Ghanaian languages, said children should be taught to learn to love and respect their linguistic heritage.
According to him, neglect of usage of the mother tongue involves the danger of crippling and destroying the productive powers of people by forcing them to express themselves in foreign languages and undermining the genius of their race.
Prof Agyekum said the survival of every language depends on whether it is appropriate to be used for all context of communication identified by the society.
He said: “It is only when our languages are able to cope with most of our societal needs that Africa’s independence can be said to be complete.
“Political independence without linguistic independence is partial independence.”
The President of the Association, Mr Issahaku Alhassan appealed to language teachers who have not yet registered with the body to do so.
He said by doing so their voices would be heard by the authorities for the promotion of Ghanaian languages.