Mischa has been brought up speaking two languages – English and Filipino. She definitely hears us converse in Filipino (Tagalog) at home but we make it a point to speak to her in English. Most of the shows she watches on TV are English, and I have banned the showing of certain Tagalog shows (read: noontime variety shows where she could pick up a a whole slew of unpleasant language). I have also not read to her any book in Filipino. English is the medium of instruction in her school, which was one of the factors that made me choose the institution. Its high priority in making students feel comfortable speaking in conversational English did the trick for me.
All these are haunting me a little right now. After two whole years of primary education, she is now embarking on a totally foreign (which ironically should not be, right?) subject – Filipino. I must admit that we are struggling at the moment because many of the words (mind you, not the everyday common Tagalog words) are completely alien to Mischa. We are not the sosyal or pasosyal type of family. I just deemed it important that she is fluent in English as the times do call for it. Being able to communicate well, I know, will serve her well in the future.
I can’t believe she had difficulties with these, which we all take a little for granted:
Anong pangalan mo?
Ilang taong gulang ka na?
Saan ka nakatira?
Sino ang nanay at tatay mo?
Seems simple enough, right?
Oh no. I hope this subject will not prove to be her undoing. We need to practice more.