Filipinos are some of the most fluent English speakers in Asia. We pride ourselves in our bilingualism—and that’s a good thing. However, being bilingual can be a double-edged sword, especially to the new generation. Teaching children how to read, write, and speak English to become competitive could erase the importance of the Filipino language if not done right.
As such, it’s essential for parents to first teach children the importance of the Filipino language—including its usage and promotion—as soon as they can speak, read, and comprehend. Let’s celebrate our Buwan Ng Wikang Pambansa by imparting children with knowledge and appreciation for our own language! Here are the key advantages of teaching children their primary and secondary languages:
Promotion Of National And Global Competence
The Filipino language, including the child’s mother tongue, shouldn’t be a second language. Teaching children how to speak English at an early age is now a common practice, but it shouldn’t hinder them from learning the Filipino language at home and in school properly. Many children today struggle with Filipino and Mother Tongue subjects because their linguistic lessons at home aren’t balanced. As a result, schools find it difficult to promote national and global competence among students.
Parents can help schools remove the notion that learning these two languages at the same time is difficult. By merely teaching children to appreciate Filipino, they can excel in various subjects inside their classrooms and grab opportunities outside the real world.
Preservation Of Local Music, Literature, And Art
Literature, arts, music, and culture are every country’s pride. They should be preserved and appreciated at all costs. And we can only do that if we also preserve our national language through the new generation—our children.
Show them classic Filipino movies that tackle culturally-important themes; have them read short stories written by Filipino writers; bring them to local museums that tell our rich culture and history.
Improvement Of Cognitive Development
Bilingualism is an important tool in improving a child’s cognitive development. Several studies state that children who begin learning primary and secondary languages before the age of six can easily excel at school, develop strong thinking skills, and make proper decisions. English, despite being a universal language, cannot unlock your child’s potential alone. His or her national language is an important part of the puzzle.
Improvement Of Communication Experiences
Fluency in English and Filipino can also affect the child’s social and emotional development. Bilingual children have better interpersonal skills. When exposed to multilingual environments, such as schools and universities, they gain social skills and gather different perspectives that can improve their personal growth as Filipinos.