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Korina Is Proud That Pepe And Pilar Can Speak Hiligaynon, 'Ako Yung Natututo Dahil Sa Kanila'
  • Korina Sanchez is proud of her twins Pepe and Pilar speaking in Hiligaynon.

    The 57-year-old veteran broadcast journalist said it was the idea of her Ilonggo husband, former senator Mar Roxas, to teach their kids to speak Hiligaynon.

    To her credit, Korina also got to learn the dialect together with their twins, who turned 3 in February.

    Speaking to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last April 25, 2022, during the launch of Live Nation Philippines in Makati City, she said they speak pure Ilonggo.

    "Yun talaga ang naging training nila because puro Ilonggo ang nasa bahay namin, including the father, the lola, all the househelp, ganun.

    "Hindi ko sila maintindihan half of the time kaya ako yung natututong mag-Ilonggo dahil sa kanila."

    Korina is also well pleased with Pepe and Pilar knowing more about their ancestry while learning to speak their dad's mother tongue.

    Mar grew up in Roxas City, Capiz. He is the grandson of former president Manuel Roxas. His mother, Judy Araneta-Roxas, and her side of the family are from Negros Occidental.


    Korina said, "I think it's also good that kids are grounded that way. That they know a language. E dun naman talaga nanggaling ang mga ninuno nila.

    "From both sides of the lola, sa Araneta side. Well, darating din naman ang panahon, pagdating ng school, siyempre English yan."

    For her part, Korina did try teaching her twins some French phrases, but that turned out to be frustrating so she focused on teaching them English.

    "I do [talk to them] in English and Tagalog. I try to teach them French to marginalize everyone else para kami-kami naman nagkaka-intindihan.

    "Pero puntong Ilonggo pa rin ang French nila so sige, mag-English na lang muna tayo."

    READ ALSO: Why I Made Sure Filipino Is My Daughter's First Language

    Discovering new talents

    Korina shared that one of her greatest concerns, when the twins were younger, was their short attention span, which is a symptom of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    She said that has been addressed and she's relieved to be rid of her worries.
    "Now I know that they can watch a full-length movie without flinching.

    "I know that they don't have ADHD because they can actually stay put and follow a storyline and that, to me, is a big deal.

    "Dati, ang attention span nila maikli. So ngayon, talagang developing and growing up fast. Their sentences now are complete."

    READ ALSO: Pediatricians: Rule Out Other Conditions Before Diagnosing ADHD

    Korina also spoke with pride about Pepe and Pilar being good singers.

    The Rated Korina host revealed, "With Pepe, he's really a singer. He sings all the time. And so is Pilar, actually.

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    "May tono sila. I think, it's because when they're only one and a half years old, I already put them through kinder music.

    "And kinder music is really for toddlers and it's really all about rhythm and music and dancing and the beat.

    "So may tono sila, and my beat sila. Napapalitan pa nila ang lyrics ng kanta without going off key so nagugulat ako doon kasi may talent."

    Their dancing skills, however, need more practice.

    Korina quipped, "Sa sayaw, medyo wala pa. Parang gusto ko pa sila ilagay sa dance school."

    How to teach your child a dialect or second language

    Do you also want to teach your toddler a dialect or a second language? Here are some tips.

    1. Start now

    In an article by Parents.com, a language expert suggests that you expose your child to a new dialect or language as early as possible.

     The ability to hear different phonetic pronunciations is sharpest before age 3, and they lose the capacity to hear and produce certain sounds if they aren't exposed to them early on, said Francois Thibaut, director of the Language Workshop for Children, in New York City.

    2. Read bilingual books

    This is one of the best ways to expose a child to a new dialect even if you are not speaking it at home. There are a lot of Filipino books available that are also translated in Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Tboli, among others. 

    3. Teach one word at a time.

    As your child learns new words, tell them what they're called in a second language too. You can start with basic words and then move on to phrases then sentences. 


    4. Try "one person, one language"

    Just like Pepe and Pilar, their dad, who is bilingual, is the one who teaches them Hiligaynon words. An expert backs this. "It's helpful to have one adult speak only the second language to your child so she doesn't get just pieces of it," says Dr. Erika Levy. 

    This story originally appeared on Pep.ph. Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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