Children pick up languages much more easily than adults, and if you have family or friends who are Filipinos, wanting your child to speak the languages of the island is understandable. Considering the numerous dialects of the region, focusing on the most prevalent language in the Philippines -- Tagalog -- or the dialect that your child will be most exposed to, is reasonable. Immersion into the language via multi-media and socialization are most effective and will have your child communicating with his Philippine friends soon.
Read stories to your child in Filipino. Get books in Tagalog from the library or Filipino friends and read them with your child. Following along and viewing the associated illustrations will help children pick up the meanings behind the words.
Spend time everyday with Filipino family and friends and speak only Filipino during your visit. Hearing the language helps your child develop the ability to speak the language and instinctively begin to understand the meaning of words during conversation.
Play Filipino children’s music and sing along. This is a fun way for the kids to learn the pronunciation of words. Explain the meaning behind the words as you teach the songs, and soon the kids will be able to use the words during conversation as well.
Watch children’s shows and DVD’s in Filipino. Find them online or at the library and benefit from programming that is already aimed at teaching children the basics of language and other early learning skills. Even if the kids aren’t paying attention, they will hear the language spoken at a slower pace, which will help with their language comprehension.
Play translation games with older kids. Challenge the children to translate words from Tagalog to English and visa-versa. Prizes and competition always make a learning game more exciting and gives you a way to gauge their progress.
Visit the Philippines. Although not an option for every budget, a trip to the island and total immersion in the culture is a quick way to perfect the dialect and polish the language skills of children learning Filipino language.
- Spend time on Skype with faraway Filipino friends and family if you have none close by. This will still give your kids the visual and audio immersion they need to comprehend the language.
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