I am a good Filipino speaker. But like most young parents today, my husband and I opted to speak to our children in English. I can’t think now of why we decided to do that in the first place. I just know that I felt a bit queasy every time my daughter spoke and sounded like she lived in a country other than her own. To top it off, I was also getting tired of translating for her when she could not understand what people were saying. In her own country.
The use of English as a Filipino child’s first language is widespread. School children are flunking their Filipino subjects and many are now enrolled in tutorial services or remedial classes. Imagine not knowing your own language! Imagine not being able to think in your own language!
The realization that we were putting our children’s identity at risk made me and my husband decide to rectify our mistake. We made some rules that helped Little T become fluent in Filipino. Little Sir, on the other hand, issues some of his commands in the language. Yey!
Raising A Bilingual Child
The Learning Basket, together with The Learning Library, has a free parenting seminar called ”How To Make Reading An Effective and Lasting Habit.” First held on July 28, and blogged about by Teacher Mama Tina here, we staged a repeat just last Saturday, August 25. The recently-concluded event had an additional talk called “Raising A Bilingual Child” and generated a lot of questions from the parent-participants.
|Storytelling and activity for the kids during the event|
I was pleased to hear our speaker, The Learning Library Manager Vanessa Bicomong, mention some of the strategies that my husband and I also use to ensure that our children grow up speaking Filipino like the natives that they are.
Watch Out For The Next Run