This coming 21st of October, Joreb will turn 3 years and 5 months. He is now very talkative, sometimes even talking all day long. He can understand Tagalog, Bicol and English, although I had made it a point to talk to him only in Tagalog. Of course, there are Bicol lapses and cartoons are in English but I was hoping that he’d learn one language at a time. In my humble opinion, that language/dialect should be Tagalog.
For one, we are living in Manila, and he will be starting school next school year. Two, he needs to learn one language or dialect at a time. Some Filipino parents have been trying their best to teach English as their children’s first language, but are not home most of the times. The yayas who are left with the kids speak to the little ones in Tagalog, Bisaya or whatever dialect they know best. The kids become confused as a result. Of course, there are some kids who do manage to learn two languages at a time with little problem. When it comes to kids, you really have to go on a case by case basis.
Another reason I am teaching Joreb Tagalog first is that there is always that possibility of our family living outside of the country one day. It would be good if he already knows his native country’s own language before that happens. Besides, at least in my own opinion, English is easier to learn as a second language. Tagalog or Bicol as second languages are a little tougher. As an elementary school student, my weakest subjects were P.E., Home Economics and Filipino.
Joreb, however, has his own plans. He uses YouTube to learn about all sorts of stuff. That is why he can talk and respond to simple English. He now also prefers English-language books. He can read some words: dog, cat, do, too, family, said, his, crunch, tiny, love, march, splash, good, bad, party, ready, go, snow, grand, etc. I just read him seven books before bedtime every night. He likes pointing at the words. Sometimes, he tells me the stories based on the pictures. He also answers questions from his Brain Quest deck and his other Pre-K and Kinder books (even though he has not started going to school yet). I barely had to translate from English to Tagalog.
Right now, Joreb is watching some science videos. He has become obsessed with black holes, planets, stars, moons and the sun. I am not forcing it on him. He just loves learning new stuff.