Why teaching Yoruba is important in International schools in Nigeria

Teaching Yoruba in International Schools in Nigeria has become increasingly important over the last few years. With the Lagos Assembly passing a bill making Yoruba lessons compulsory in Lagos schools, there is now an growing spotlight on this topic.

Many schools have scrambled to find Yoruba teachers and to update their existing curriculums to accomodate this change.

Why is learning Yoruba even important? & Should you Learn Yoruba or French?

In many international schools in Nigeria learning European languages as a second language is quite common, with French being a popular option due to the proximity of Nigeria to Francophone countries (French Speaking countries).

There is of course good rationale behind this, as learning French opens up a wealth of opportunities, particularly job opportunities, especially if you’re considering moving to France or Canada.

So why then learn Yoruba?

There are so many benefits to learning Yoruba, even though this may not be immediately apparent. Firstly, learning Yoruba gives you a much deeper understanding of the Yoruba culture and your cultural heritage.

This is of great importance especially because many students of international schools tend to complete their studies abroad, with the different set of challenges that living abroad can bring. Having a strong sense of your cultural heritage is imperative in helping to remain focussed, confident and driven in a turbulent and sometimes quite difficult environment abroad. Learning your native language gives you a sense of pride of where you’re from.

Benefits of Yoruba in Business

Adding to this, being able to speak your native language can help you to foster closer relationships with Yoruba speakers, both in Nigeria and abroad.

Speaking Yoruba has been known to help break the ice in business meetings and negotiations and create kinship between the different parties. As Nigeria is experiencing strong economic growth and getting increasing interest from international investors, having these tools to aid you in your students future business negotiations could help them immensely.

So should your students learn Yoruba instead of French?

Adding Yoruba into your curriculum doesn’t mean that you have to remove the foreign languages currently in you curriculum. It isn’t a matter of either or but both.

Many countries in mainland Europe teach two or three languages to their students, take Germany and Luxemborg for example, and with the brilliant minds in Nigeria there’s no reason for this not to be a possibility for Nigerian students.

How can you start incorporating Yoruba into Your Curriculum?

Well the good news is that you’ve already taken the first step, which is being interested in adding Yoruba into your curriculum.

The next steps are relatively simple, the process to adding Yoruba lessons into your curriculum is quite similar to the approach you had in adding French into your curriculum.

Next Steps

  1. Finding Qualified Yoruba Teachers – ones that have actually studied the language and preferably have a degree in Yoruba or linguistics, not just Yoruba enthusiasts.
  2. Design the curriculum and decide what you want to be taught in the lessons.
  3. Find Resources for the students to use – you will find lots of outdated Yoruba textbooks and worksheets available with lots of inaccuracies, especially regarding Yoruba tone marks and spellings.

If you are looking for modern and high quality resources to help teach your students Yoruba, you can reach out to hello@naijish.com there you can get access to quality Yoruba Lesson Powerpoints, Yoruba Worksheets, Practice exam papers and Mark schemes and much more.