Why Study South Asian Languages?

If children and students whose first language is South Asian languages can maintain that language, the development of their knowledge of and confidence in their cultural heritage and language will be enhanced. For children and students whose home language is a South Asian language, maintaining that language will enhance their learning of English. For all children there are cognitive benefits in learning two languages. There is evidence that children and students who are competent in two or more languages are cognitively advantaged. Learning South Asian languages will enable children and students to reach higher levels of proficiency in second and third languages.

Children and students from a South Asian descent will be able to take part more effectively in activities within the family, house of worship, and community if they can speak South Asian languages. As they become parents, they will have a special role to play in passing on to their children competence in the South Asian languages. This will enable people of South Asian ancestry to affirm, through language, their sense of identity and belonging. By learning South Asian Languages those without kinship ties can access the language, culture, and peoples of South Asia.

Learning South Asian languages will enable children and students to function more effectively in our multicultural society. Bilingual skills are required in a number of situations at work and in the community. Learning a community language like South Asian languages will help both South Asian languages and non-South Asian languages learners to function more effectively in contexts in which South Asian languages are used.

South Asian Languages are heritage languages and, in world terms, are spoken by more than a billion people. Therefore, learning South Asian languages is essential because learners can:

Moreover, knowledge is a gift; the South Asian languages are a gift to all peoples.