Learning new languages

@joizee (502)
Philippines
April 25, 2013 7:43pm CST
I'm an English teacher to Japanese students. And I noticed that there are more and more Japanese that are studying English - for business, personal, to study and for travelling, their usual reasons. Some of my students are also kids, aging from three to teenagers. And some of these children are very good in English, very fluent and conversant. The parents encourage their children to speak English because they want to or they are migrating to an English speaking country. Now these children don't know how or find it difficult to learn how to write kanji (Japanese characters) anymore because they speak in English most of the time. Here in the Philippines, most families living in Metro Manila have children who are English speakers than using Tagalog (common Filipino language) in their conversation. They even get low grades in Filipino classes at school. So I worry about forgetting or totally not using the mother tongue. I don't say Japanese shouldn't learn English but what is happening is that they don't worry about not being good in Japanese but more importantly be fluent in English. And it's happening here in Philippines as well. So I highly encourage using Filipino at home all the time, because I believe my daughter can learn it at school but at home it should be the local official language. She's actually starting to make English sentences from watching English kid's shows on TV. Do you think it's possible to forget or eradicate the local language when you learn a new language?
4 responses
@ayeeesha (1129)
• Philippines
26 Apr 13
That shouldn't be the case. Every person should still know how to speak and write using their native tongue. Although I must admit, I am guilty on this. I grew up speaking in English and only learned Filipino when I was 6 years old. My parents and grandparents raised me that way. And all of my cousins speak in English too. But I didn't get any low grades in my Filipino-speaking subjects. But to be honest, I really have a hard time in Filipino. I can still speak and understand the language. I talk to my daughter in both English and Filipino.
1 person likes this
@joizee (502)
• Philippines
26 Apr 13
You're one smart kid ;) My cousins are having a lot of difficulty with their Filipino subject and even got a grade of 70. They now have an Tagalog-English dictionary to help them to understands. The nannies are also Filipino speakers but instead of learning Tagalog from them, the nannies started speaking English! LOL! I don't ask my Tita why she would prefer English over the local language, perhaps she wanted her daughters be "sophisticated" since they're in the Metro. Thanks for the response! :)
@ayeeesha (1129)
• Philippines
26 Apr 13
Not really sophisticated. I don't really know why I talk to my daughter in English. I think it just comes out naturally. Lol! Well, probably because that's how I was raised so I have the tendency to impart the same ways on how my parents raised me.
1 person likes this
@joizee (502)
• Philippines
26 Apr 13
That usually what happens ;) We tend to repeat history, hehe! :D We try to pick up the good values we learned from parents so we can raise a good child too :)
@sishy7 (27598)
• Australia
26 Apr 13
I notice that with my foreign friends here. Especially with their young children. They pick up English so easily when they live here, and after some years they do not even speak their native languages anymore... I guess it really depends on the parents also if they want to maintain their own language with their children. It is always an advantage to be bi-lingual or to know multiple languages.
1 person likes this
@joizee (502)
• Philippines
26 Apr 13
That's correct Sishy7. Being bi- or multi-lingual is being in demand for working abroad. Some countries do not allow only English, so you have to learn their language better. Hopefully, your foreign friends can still understand their mother tongue even though they can't speak it. They don't know one day they should go back to their homelands and feel more foreign than in another country because of language. Thanks for responding! :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
26 Apr 13
My philosophy of language professor told us in class before, that our first language will always be enbedded in our system. Even if I will not use it for years, once given a chance to use it, it will come out. My obervation, old people who have gone senile, would go back using their dialect or language of origin. My brother taught his kids english first believing that when they go to school and have friends, they will learn to speak Tagalog. And he is right. The kids are both fluent in English and Tagalog.
@joizee (502)
• Philippines
26 Apr 13
Your brother and I have the opposite philosophy of learning English at home and at school :D By the way, is it government school or private ones? I hear here near my community even the public schools are implementing all-English subjects and require (yes, coercion!) the students to speak English all the time or for the time of the subject, I think.
@Julie520 (38)
• Shenzhen, China
31 Jul 13
Hi Joizee,Glad to read your words.I find the sentence"I'm an English teacher to Japanese students."have a littler grammar question.If there need to add one word"teach".Become to :I'm an English teacher to teach Japanese students.