Monday, August 18, 2008

Storytelling in Filipino

This week is the start of "Buwan ng Wika" (month long celebration of the Filipino language). On Aug. 19 (Tuesday), there will be a "Kwentuhan Mo Po Ako" activity where the parents are invited to join their children in school for story telling. Parents are asked to bring a new story book (in Tagalog).

Yohan is already five years old and sadly he hasn't learned how to speak the Filipino language yet. I confess that I have taken it for granted. I realized that it's time for him to learn the language because when he turns Prep next year, he will have Filipino subject as part of the curriculum.

Ever since Yohan was a baby, we have always spoken to him in English. All the programs he watches on TV are in English. Even in school, the primary language is English. I'm glad that this year Yohan has begun to understand Filipino. He hears my hubby and I conversing in Filipino and somehow he has learned to deduce the meaning of some of the words. So far he already knows the meaning of the words "oo" (yes), "hindi" (no), "kain" (eat), "tulog" (sleep), "nood" (watch) and "galit" (mad). There are still so many Filipino words that he doesn't understand. The storytelling activity tomorrow will be a good way to teach him some basic Filipino words.

For the "Kwentuhan Mo Po Ako" activity (story telling in Filipino), I chose the book entitled Ang Mabait na Kalabaw by Rosario Calma. The book has a simple story which is easy to understand. It's about a good carabao who does a lot of good things for the people around him.

I like the beautiful illustrations by Liza Flores. I chose this book because of the simple one-liner per page. I hope that Yohan will enjoy this story. Here are a few of my favorite pages in the book:

Ang mabait na kalabaw ay mapagbigay.
(The very good carabao is generous.)

Ang mabait na kalabaw ay masipag.
(The very good carabao works hard.)

Ang mabait na kalabaw ay matulungin.
(The very good carabao is helpful.)

I believe that kids are natural fast learners. Many children can learn several languages simultaneously. I'm sure Yohan will learn the Filipino language quickly.

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