Feedback on Teaching Angel Tagalog

I knew when I wrote the piece on Love of Country that it would elicit some comments from those who find themselves straying to my side of the blogsphere.. Here are two comments:

Aimee writes:

Bravo! I was so happy to read your thoughts on teaching children to be bilingual. I am an English as a Second Language teacher and my husband is Korean. We don”t have children yet but when we do we will insist that they speak English to me and only Korean to my husband. As you already know, bilingualism is an amazing gift that you can give to your children.

I have a student whose mom is Filipino and whose native language is Tagalog. She is married to an American man and her children speak only English. One of her children really struggles with language and I feel he would have been much better off if she had spoken only Tagalog with him.

Language is such a huge part of culture and the best way to pass your culture on to your kids. Hang in there with your son; your persistence will be a blessing to him one day!

And from my blogfriend, Lani:
“Ang di marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa ang amoy sa malansang isda.”

I agree that teaching Filipino language to your son is the best way of preserving our culture.

Keep on teaching, D.


It is something I intend to go seriously into, as well as teaching my son about Christianity as I had been taught by the Sisters of Saint Paul through my formative years.  (We totally let go of the prayer before and after class in UP, but the practice came back to me when I went with the Jesuits in law school.)

Living in a country such as the United States where diversity is the norm, more so here in New York which is the melting pot of immigrants from all parts of the world makes cultural identity such an important part of molding Angel.  But again, more than that, I want him to have the facility for Tagalog so that he can go on to learn other languages if it does suit him, or when it is required of him as Spanish is now required learning.

I have adult friends who were born and raised here in North America but who can speak the language like I do so I know it’s doable.  It’s a matter of making it a priority in raising a Filipino American child.