I was sitting while doing my task online. I overheard parents talking about how public schools in the Philippines changed their language of teaching and most of them are dismayed the use of vernacular language Tagalog or Bisaya especially for Math. Me as a mother, I felt pity for these kids as well. It is a struggle for them.
I personally, experienced how learning the English language has helped me embrace available opportunities online. Work while I see my kids playing. Help my husband with our daily expenses. I strongly disagree with the use of vernacular in all subjects. But I can agree to have one subject as the vernacular language.
As technology continues to innovate people are also looking for a tenure in their own homes, an engr., architect, IT, health care professionals, customer service, writer and etc. are now looking for ways to earn in the comfort of their homes. Recently Upwork had made a study about the future office in 2027. The article titled: Freelancing in America 2017, Why The Future is Freelance. The data below from their study shows that workers will freelance by 2027. Meaning workers will be like contracting for jobs from companies in the comfort of their homes. Working not only for the single company but many as they can. America has recorded 50% of Americans in the year 2017 are freelancers. And this may be the reason why I as a Pilipino is struggling to bid higher rate for projects unlike before, aside from freelancing agencies in the Philippines who are advertising lower freelancing rates.
And I think Pilipinos should prepare for this. Other companies in the US are hiring customers service, call center agent home based and much more.
This is one of the reasons why I teach my kids to speak English. I am not good at English language but, English is an everyday learning process for me and an income-generating skill as well.
As a mother I see English as one of the skills that our kids should learn for the following reasons:
- English is widely used in learning.
- English is the best way to communicate with other nationalities and it would be easier for them to mingle with people of different nationalities; adapt when going to other countries.
- English is the skill that will give you more opportunities in working as a freelancer, call center agent, overseas and even working locally.
- English skill is also an advantage in building your business since 21sth-century buyers are inclined to using the internet to buy products; the internet is using English to generally communicate with the users.
I tried to find a scholastic article that will prove my thoughts and I read this article published in IJALEL– International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature in Australia. They studied the relationship of between the English language to the academic performance of University Students. The study concluded that:
- English proficiency is a determinant of success in Engineering, Business, Economics, Political Science, Informations and Computer Science at British University in Egypt.
- the higher the English proficiency of students on entry to the university the better they can perform their area courses which will help them to fully engage in the learning process which in turn should result in better performance. (P. Ghenghesh, 2015)
Moreover, According to International Journal of Language, Literature, and Linguistics, published a study “How English language proficiency and academic performance of Philippine Science high school students”. The study concluded :
- Majority of Grade 8 students of the Philippine Science High School in Northern Luzon have English language proficiency belonging to the satisfactory level.
- Students academic performance in Science and Mathematics fall under the very good level while good level in English
- There is significant relationship between English student proficiency and their academic performance in Science, Mathematics, and English language proficiency and academic performance such as learning styles, teaching strategies
These are my reasons why I teach my kids to speak English it is for them to compete with the growing technology of the 21sth century, and there is a need to learn English to be more productive; be able to maximize available opportunities in the country or outside the Philippines. It is not being in the social class, or to look like elite or intelligent but it is about opening their opportunities when they grow up.
Speaking English is not about forgetting their vernacular or Filipino language. It is about learning to speak a different language in their early age. At the age of 4, now I see my son can easily adapt to vernacular language. I know, this time is the best time to speak vernacular as well or Tagalog because when these English speaking kids grow, they can already decide which language they are comfortable with using in a different avenue. And most of them, I encountered, are comfortable in speaking their vernacular language or Pilipino. That would be great! What is their edge then? They already have English vocabulary in their pockets which they can get whenever they needed to.
How did I teach my kids to speak English?
- We talk to him in English the first day he was born. I encourage everybody in the house to speak English whenever they talk to my son.
- When he was months old, I let him listen to English nursery rhymes.
- I buy books and read them before he sleeps or read books in his play time.
- I have English talking pen which I think also has helped him to learn English easily. But, this is expensive my son is not using this books anymore, there are many cheap books that they can enjoy in books stores and I also have collections of books. Just let me know if you are interested.
- I also let him watch youtube which are for kids, nursery rhymes, storytelling and anything that has a good English accent and are good for them. His favorite is Blippy, Badanamu, book box, Be Brave, chu chu TV.
My eldest son can already identify English Alphabet at the age of one. He like narrating how things work especially about animals. He is talkative. I think it is because of the things he watched.
My second son, I was not so focused on teaching him the English Language when he was born. It was not same as my first born son that from the very first day everybody in the house should speak English. I also did not expose him to listening music or storytelling on his age below one. I notice that he is not talking as good as my eldest at the age of one. So, I tried to cope up, I buy books let him watch educational youtube, storytelling, nursery rhymes. He became interested in books he even gets a book and points them for me to read on. Then now he is two, he can talk one sentence like. Dino finds, hurt, go pool, didi nanay, go there, wait to find t-rex at least 1-4 words.