Kolkata, Jan 11 : Indian writer Anita Agnihotri feels children should be encouraged to read the languages they speak at home for better understanding and honing their skills.

"Whatever languages you speak, maybe two-three, you should simultaneously learn to read those languages. That will develop your skill," the Bengali writer said while interacting with school kids at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival here.

The author of "Mahanadi", who is a civil servant, read sections from her books to the children who were all ears and even came up on stage to share their writing experiences with her.

Underlining the unnecessary stress on speaking English at home, Agnihotri urged children to love the "sound of their mother tongue" and take a lot of pride in that.

"How many of you speak only English at home?" Agnihotri asked the kids.

Seeing only a few hands go up, she seemed content. "I love the sound of Bengali. This must be true of whatever mother tongue you have. You might be Hindi speaking but I do not know how many of you actually speak only English at home. Your mother tongue should be special to you and you must learn to read and write that."


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