Hi Suzi and Paolo,
My little girl is obsessed with American TV shows and she uses dialogues from the shows as response to me whenever I talk to her. How do you instill Filipino values in an increasingly globalized world and do you have tips on teaching children the Filipino language?
Thanks a lot!
Hi there, Kristine!
That’s a really good question and a valid concern with the kids nowadays! Suffice to say that we also have a bit of the same problem with our own children. Due to lack of children’s shows nowadays and the availability of cable channels, our kids are really more exposed to US or British shows. Some of them are quite good and instill positive values. The other cartoons or shows seem to be for kids but the humor is for older people. So I guess it is important to sit with your daughter and watch the shows she usually watches to see if they are appropriate for her.
The other concern is how to “Filipinize” your child in this globalized world. If you check Youtube, there are episodes of Batibot and Sineskwela. They, of course, look dated but still quite entertaining and educational. And in Tagalog too! The new generation of kids now prefer to speak in English (and struggle with Filipino as a language and a subject in school) so best to nip it in the bud. They will always be exposed to English anyway because most of the subjects in school are in that language. So best to use Tagalog at home more often so that your child can be well versed in both languages. Good luck!
Hello K, thanks for your letter. This is a great question and an issue that parents at home have to deal with. I have to admit we have similar concerns. Filipino is quite challenging as a school subject and we worry that perhaps our kids are not as in tune with their Filipino heritage. True, we live in a much more globalized world nowadays with access to various media made easier and more than ever it has been. But it is a wonder how our children have grown up differently compared to ourselves? Because when you think about it, aren’t we different from our parents? We are all products of the age and environment we grow up in. But that doesn’t mean we just sit back and accept it as a fact of life. On hindsight, we have no one to blame but ourselves for things being the way that they are. Surely there’s more we can do to help our kids grow up in tune to both their Filipino heritage as well as the increasingly globalized, or more specifically “Americanized” world.
Our eldest was not very fluent in Tagalog and we were quite concerned. To our relief, she has improved in the last couple of years. And I am confident that she will continue to get better. It seems to be a pattern with kids nowadays, to pick up their Tagalog later than usual, more into their teen years as their circle of friends and acquaintances broaden.
What we can do is guide them as best we can. Who is their first contact with the language and culture that we claim as our own? It is us. So it’s up to us to help them. Realizing that this was something we haven’t put enough emphasis on, we try things like consciously speaking to our kids in Tagalog. Or we have “Tagalog hour” where you’re only allowed to speak Tagalog, otherwise you don’t get an answer from whoever you’re speaking to. I think kids are also conscious of not being able to speak Tagalog, well nowadays we have to be careful not to ridicule or laugh at them when they make the inevitable “slang Tagalog” pronunciations or grammatical errors. I’m confident they’ll eventually pick it up, a bit sooner the better of course. Hope these inputs help you and your kids.
By Suzi and Paolo Abrera
Via: Manila Bulettin