Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Teaching Filipino or Learning Tagalog



When my son Matt was six, I knew we weren't making much progress in Filipino. He was homeschooled since he was 4 and his homeschool curriculum was in English. My husband AR and I were used to speaking to Matt in English. Matt was raised on Sesame Street educational CDs and Playhouse Disney. We rarely watched local channels, if at all.

Thankfully, when he was six, we were able to afford to enroll him in a summer Filipino class offered by a school nearby. Maybe it was a waste of money but I saw that the lessons were pretty much just a review of what Matt learned when he was in toddler school. Well, I shrugged, at least he had fun having a summer being just a normal kid enrolled in a school and he was happy he had kids the same age as him to play with.


Fast forward to the present. It's 2017. The little six-year-old boy who was actually ahead of his Filipino summer class is now a teenager. He still loves Lego, Star Wars now (before he said he preferred Star Trek), and, sadly, still has trouble with speaking Filipino.

I know it's our fault. We should have been more firm in speaking Filipino and more strict in making him speak it. 

But kids are funny. When you bank on the fact that they don't understand you, and speak about adult matters or other things in Filipino so he won't understand, that's when your kid is sure to be listening.

Sure enough, through the years, Matt has picked up some Filipino here and there. And he says it's because he hears AR and me speaking it.

Matt also has the most patient Filipino teacher in his old school, Blended Learning Center. And even though I've literally burst into tears trying to figure out how to get Matt to learn Filipino, he has gotten by. He somehow passes quizzes and even managed to pass the PEPT government test to place him in Grade 7 this coming school year.

As much as I wish I could just give up and just hand him over to his new teachers for them to deal with, I am bidding one last try to teach him Filipino. I am sharing the links I found from a quick Google search on "how to teach to speak Filipino fluently" and hope that it helps someone else who is struggling with this problem as we are.

Sadly, more and more kids are forgetting how wonderful it is to speak in our own language. And, yes, although the parents, including us, are to blame, it really is an evolving world that is becoming more global. The kids nowadays are more comfortable talking about their computer games, gadgets, and the latest technology in English. (And, sorry, but those English movies dubbed in Filipino are just horrible.)

But, anyway, wish us luck. And if you're struggling through this yourself, good luck to you too.

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If this is all overwhelming for you, trust me, it's the same for me.

Please note that I am attempting to teach a 13-year-old kid so you might want to screen the links I gave if you are teaching a smaller child.

I suggest taking bite-sized pieces for lessons. And start with the YouTube videos. You, the parent or teacher, might want to read through the dull grammar stuff in order to understand and explain these ahead of time. (Ugh. Yeah, I know.)

Like, for example, I'm thinking this would make a good first lesson.





Also, please note that my son can understand some basic Filipino and can even speak some of it (he just refuses to speak it). So you might have to adapt the lesson to a lower level or give lesser information than what I've recommended.

Please know that I am not a Filipino teacher, just an ordinary parent who once homeschooled their child.

Good luck and God bless you and your family.

Oh and P. S. If anyone requests for me to post the Filipino stuff we used when Matt was younger, please let me know. I can write another blog post for teaching Filipino to a smaller child.

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