Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Language Situation

One of the things that are included in my helper's orientation is the language or the way the kids are to be spoken to.

We speak in both English and Tagalog to our children. Even though we live in Gensan where Cebuano or Bisaya is the predominantly spoken dialect, we have not started teaching them Cebuano. This is because we are prioritizing teaching them English and Tagalog just to make the absorption of the languages easier. We also feel that they will eventually learn Cebuano in school.

So as I was saying, we tell our helpers to speak to the kids in English and Tagalog. The funny thing is, as our helpers stay with us, they do get the kids' accents and learn even the common phrases that are used with the kids even for our helpers who did not get far in their education. We hear them speak English with a twang.

What we really have difficulty with is the way the kids are learning Cebuano from classmates. It's what I call Bislog, mixed Bisaya and Tagalog with dollops of Cebuano accents here and there. I don't mind them learning Bisaya but I want them to speak it pure, not mixed with a Tagalog grammar here and there.

However, as it is, I am happy with the way the kids are learning English. (Camille and Maxinne do get "Best in Speaking English" awards in school.) I would say, though, that their Tagalog could be better.

How about you? What is your first language at home?


  1. agree...and can relate to that....tagalog and english at home coz they'll learn Bisaya in school...what happens is that, at home, they speak mixed english, bisaya and tagalog......sometimes i can't understand them anymore...they have their own vocabulary already....i do not know if i would be happy or sad with this....

  2. Ate Chari, sa akin, pigil ang inis kasi I can't really do anything about it unless pag aralin ko na sila sa ibang school.

  3. With cache, english is her main language. Now that she's three, we teach her tagalog words na also. Natututo na rin sya konti. Di ko rin maiwasan talk to her in visayan ksi bisaya ako ( while job is tagalog).

  4. Hi Liezl! Same here. We got to a point when we decided to speak Tagalog with Camille a lot kasi nahirapan sya sa Filipino subject nya.