The advantages of multilingualism in an ever-shrinking world are indeed enormous.
The world-wide-web has made the world a much smaller place than it was three decades ago.
In this global setting, ones ability to be multilingual puts an individual at an enormous advantage.
As a nation, it is important that at least 70% of our workforce are not monolingual if our credential as a nation with financial/economic gravitas is to be maintained.
This need for a multilingual workforce was aptly put by Germany's ex-chancellor Helmut Khol. In an address in Germany to foreign trade delegation; Helmut Khol said "If you desire to sell your wares to me, on my turf, you must be prepared to do so in German.
A decade ago, the British press made a great play about the commercial astuteness of a Japanese delegation who won a massive engineering contract in the Middle - East.
The Contract was a very lucrative one and virtually all the G8 countries vied for the contract.
The presentation packages of the various delegations were awash with spectacular computer-generated graphics and powerpoints materials.
The graphics and powerpoint materials from the Japanese delegate were equally spectacular and cutting-edge; however, they outstripped the competition by delivering their presentation in fluent Arabic.
The minute you are able to communicate with people in their indigenous language or dialect you immediately put them at ease and remove emotional barriers we all put up when we meet strangers.
Language constitutes a crucial aspect of a people's culture. The way a people express themselves or use words gives you an indication of the way they perceive the world and the events that occur in it.
The Yoruba people, for instance, refer to a pregnant woman idiomatically as a protector of a fetus.
The English use the idiom "She is in the family way"
Whilst the Ibos will refer to the same pregnant woman as a woman with a dual existence.
Idiomatic expressions encapsulate the wisdom and philosophical disposition of a people. By extrapolation, children who are multilingual are exposed to the wide spectrum of cultures, knowledge, wisdom, and philosophies that exist in our world.
A child equipped with a rich store of cultural experiences and languages is a child who is being groomed to be a global citizen and a person of significant influence.
Children who are multilingual are said to be so much more mentally agile than monolingual children. Multilingual children are also reputed to have greater focus and attention spans than monolingual children.
Multilingualism also encourages children to think laterally and evolve into great problem solvers.
In addition to all the foregoing, multilingualism makes everyone so much safer and able to cope in whatever airport, seaport or cultural setting we may find ourselves.

Multilingual education becomes a lot easier and immensely enjoyable when it is incorporated into the everyday life of children; such as storytelling or the reading of storybooks.
Deltamaria books have translated African fables into the French and Spanish Languages. The fables are in the genre of Aesop fables.
The end goal of fables is to help children acquire good social skills and encourage them to be emotionally astute and intelligent.
The account of each fable is beautifully illustrated and delivered in English. The same account is immediately translated and delivered in French (for the English/French editions) or Spanish (for the English/Spanish editions).
The publications give pupils an opportunity to see/compare how words/ideas are expressed in English with the way they are expressed in French or Spanish.
The titles of the Fables are Tortoise and the Sardines and The Cunning Tortoise.
There are two beautifully illustrated bible stories for children. The boy with the five loaves and two fish and The story of the boy Samuel.
Relaying fables and bible stories to children multilingually enrich the imagination and educational experience of young people in a way that is enjoyable and profound.
Stella Osammor