I have said so much about translation only to come back to the position that the study of the mother-tongue is most necessary for the proper building up of the emotions of the children. Psychic imbalance, lack of character, a negative, nihilistic attitude and frustration, result from a wrong approach to the question of the education of the emotions. It seems to be true that character is the product of a good knowledge of the mother-tongue. The foreign language can undoubtedly enlarge the imaginative horizon of the learner, and add to his fund of knowledge; but it can never substitute the mother-tongue as the most nourishing sustenance for emotional development.
Professor Reddiar has developed this theme in the chapter on ‘Objectives’ by discussing the personality values of the mother-tongue. The mother-tongue is the entrance to the true life of the community which has a direct and permanent influence on the individual. It is a means of enriching one's social usefulness and culture. It is also a means of self-correction and self-education. Language necessarily leads to literature, and also to the whole literary heritage. A thorough grasp of the mother tongue is a means to participation in the pride and glory of several generations which the heritage mirrors up before the eager participant. A nation of character can be guaranteed if the mother-tongue is given the first place in the educational system, and every citizen is helped to participate in the enjoyment of the literary heritage of the mother-tongue.
Discussing the value of oral work, Professor Reddiar has rightly emphasised the role of questioning as an important technique in the promotion of oral competencies. I remember a teacher of mine in the Columbia