*This post was shared on my Facebook page on August 21.
“Ni teacher Iman. Dia ajar English.”
‘Ha? English? Tak suka!’
”Kenapa tak suka English? Cuba cerita.”
‘Tak nak. Tak suka’
This kid is 9 years old. And I was told that his mother speaks very well.
Looks like the fear of the language has caught up with kids below the age of 13. I really couldn’t get to the root cause of his fear. Firstly he really didn’t want to tell and I was occupied with something else.
I have met several people who are parents and speak very well. However, their children don’t pick up that skill. From them, I’ve discovered that this happens because they do not speak to their children in English.
‘It’s easier and faster to just speak in Malay.’
What are kids need is a safe zone to do what’s not safe out there. Heck, even we adults need that. And where is this safe zone?
It’s got to start at home. So that no matter what the world throws at our children, they know they can come home and be safe. If a friend mocks at them for speaking, they know they can speak freely at home. If someone laughs at them for making mistakes, they know they can learn from that mistake at home. If they’re told English is not important, they get to come home and see how English has helped their parents be confident and good at what they do.
In this busy age and time, we only get to see our children a certain number of hours in a week. Yup. Let’s not live in denial. They see their friends more. They speak to their friends more. And 100% of the time, they speak in Bahasa. So make the most of the time we have with them. Speak the English language with them. Let them know that they have our support and that they will be okay if they speak well.
Let them know there is nothing to fear.