has been in a different light to us from the beginning. When I was worried about Yuvan not speaking at 1.8 yrs but able to communicate with me everything through gestures and sounds, the doctors told us, “He will eventually talk, nothing to worry” to “Why don’t you stick to one language only?” But, we thought it is very important for Yuvan to know how to speak and write both languages – English and Tamil, our mother tongue. We thought so very basically for one reason, and the reason that stood out was that he has to be connected to his grandparents and all others who may not be very well versed in English back home in India.. And then there was a spark!!
We tweaked the idea a bit and decided that E would talk to Yuvan mostly in Tamil and myself in English. He started talking full sentences straightaway in English when he was 2.1yrs old and his first sentence was to his playgroup teacher Joyce, “Please open the door” and from then the learning journey has progressed to asking me questions about God and what not. Since this has been primarily in English, he had been quite slow in terms of speaking Tamil, basically because he had been speaking in Tamil only to a few people who know the language.
Nevertheless, his mother tongue journey continued with a major emphasis just on spoken Tamil for the last few years and yes, his language has improved over the years and after every India trip or visitation by mom here in Singapore, his Tamil has improved leaps and bounds. At age 7, I won’t say it is perfect, but we enjoy the way he speaks the language and at the same time try to correct and teach him more often. But over the last few months, E has been stressing the point, that it’s time to teach him to read in Tamil. Though we made a start when he was in K1, I had to drop it so as to concentrate on Hindi (which is the other commonly spoken Indian language) which Yuvan was to take as ‘Mother Tongue’ in primary school. Though E was stressing for a long time, I was not able to make a start in Tamil again and I was starting to feel guilty about it..
Out of the blue, E started teaching Yuvan to read Tamil one Saturday and he has told me that he will take on that responsibility and all I have to do is to follow it up whenever I can and especially whenever Eash is out-of-town. E being a very gadgetry person, and Yuvan being into it as well, they decided to use iPad as the tool, with the crazy apps.. He is also tapping in on Yuvan’s other language Hindi basics so that he understands the concepts better..It is working fine and am not complaining:)
As a “book mom”, I dug out all the materials that I bought from India over the last two/three trips so as to use it… A start is very important and I am glad that we have made that start again and huge thanks to E to have pulled me out of the guilt quotient.