At the beginning of summer, I had a goal: to encourage my children to speak Tagalog. Now that summer is beginning to wind down with me going back to work today, and the children going back to school in a couple of days, the teacher in me can’t help but evaluate if I was able to achieve my objective.
I am grading myself on two things: the number of new Tagalog vocabulary words that my children know, and my children’s ability to form coherent Tagalog sentences.
My daughter started the summer knowing just a few words. She can easily translate Tagalog words to English, but was challenged with finding the right Tagalog term for many English words.
She has a notebook where she writes new Tagalog words. In her notebook, she wrote: Parts of the House, and Parts of the Body. When she started this activity, she only knew at most, two words for each category. After a whole summer, she has filled the the pages with at least 10 Tagalog words. Progress, don’t you agree?
Before the summer, my children would only speak in complete Tagalog sentences when prompted. I would like to think that with my determination (a.k.a. kakulitan), now they are able speak Tagalog with greater fluency and frequency. Obviously, knowing more vocabulary words helped.
In the last couple of weeks, they would ask, “Nanay, pwede pahingi ng mainit na (gatas na) tsokolate?” (Mom, may I have hot chocolate milk?) Not bad.
Last Friday, we were in a Filipino restaurant and ordered Halo-halo ( a dessert with shaved ice and an assortment of candied or fresh fruits and sweet beans, and doused with milk). We also ordered the restaurant’s special dessert, Bobo Chacha, a tall glass of vanilla ice cream, coconut milk, cubed sweet potatoes, topped with pinipig.
After sampling a little of both, my son said, “Mas gusto ko ang Halo-halo (kaysa) sa Bobo Chacha.” (I like Halo-halo more that Bobo Chacha.)
I think my biggest achievement is not that they are speaking Tagalog more, but that they are more receptive in learning Tagalog. It is a huge victory when they no longer ask me why I keep on talking to them in Tagalog.