It sounds intimidating to learn another language and even more so to teach your child a language that you may not be fluent in either. But learning another language with your child can be turned into an enjoyable educational activity that you can share together.
Here are 7 fun ways to learn Tagalog with your child (in no particular order):
Read bilingual books
A wonderful way to build language and literacy is through books. Immersing oneself with a wide array of quality picture books builds vocabulary and adds context through corresponding pictures. The Filipino children’s book selection is amazingly growing due to talented and passionate authors, illustrators, and publishers who are dedicated to spreading the Filipino culture through books.
Some places to find Filipino/Fil-Am children’s books are:
Also, check your local libraries, bookstores or Filipino festivals in your area. Selections can vary depending on your location. Another tip (if your library has the policy to request books) is to ask your librarian to consider purchasing a suggested booklist.
(Please contact me if you know a good place to get Filipino children’s books that is not listed above and I can update the list.)
Arts & crafts that incorporate Tagalog vocabulary
Incorporating Tagalog vocabulary in arts and crafts is another fun and simple way to reinforce the language. Even if the craft was not initially intended to be focused on Filipino culture or language, the vocabulary can still be tied. For example, talking about the colors or shapes that are used in the craft can be a way to implement Tagalog. (For craft ideas, check out our page Tagalog Activities & Book Units which has many different ideas).
You can also follow us on Instagram (@filamlearners) where we also share more craft ideas and activities to try out to teach Tagalog.
Playing games such as Memory, matching card games, Pictionary, Charades are enjoyable bonding activities to review and teach language (regardless of which language).
Apps & Videos
Watching appropriate children’s videos or playing educational apps is another way to learn a language. Here are suggested YouTube channels and apps (but please preview them first to gauge the appropriateness for your little ones).
- Gus on the Go (Tagalog)
- Read Filipino shares 3 Filipino iOS & Apple apps in this blog post.
- The Knowledge Channel
- Batibot TV
We find that music is an engaging and entertaining way to learn Tagalog. Some YouTube channels we follow for educational songs are:
I create lyrics sheets to accompany some of the songs we learn each month. Head over to our Filipino Children’s Songs + Lyrics post to download/print the lyrics sheets.
Cook and/or Bake
Involving your children in the kitchen not only teaches them cooking skills that set them up for independence and educates them on nutrition, but is also a seamless way to have conversations and build on language. You can share more about the culture of the food and key vocabulary of the ingredients, cooking utensils, and skills such as stirring, baking, frying.
Below is a video from FilipinoPod101 teaching basic Tagalog words themed around the kitchen.