Request Help Teaching Spoken Tamil for kids born abroad

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Request Help Teaching Spoken Tamil for kids born abroad

Post  panniapurathar on Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:13 pm

I first thought of PMing app sir to ask if he had any resources he could share with us.  Then I realized that there are several friends of mine who would also benefit from a collection of such resources to help teach their kids Tamil.  I should have just kept speaking Tamil to my child and that would have been the best way to learn the language.  However, I failed my duty.  Is there anyway to remedy it and have kids learn later?  Are there resources out there that help with that?  Please share if you can.  Many thanks.

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Re: Request Help Teaching Spoken Tamil for kids born abroad

Post  app_engine on Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:38 pm

This is really tricky (means, I have limited knowledge on "available resources").

In case of both my & my sister's kids, spoken Thamizh had never been an issue. (We always speak Thamizh at home and they got it naturally). Our projects are on getting them fluent to READ Thamizh Laughing

However, I totally understand what panniapurathar is talking about.

Actually, majority of my co-workers face this exact situation Embarassed (Not just Thamizh, also Telugu / Malayalam / Hindi / Punjabi).

Some have enrolled themselves in Thamizh sangam(s) and then join their children in the courses offered by the org. (Michigan Thamizh Sangam has structured courses offered, teachers are mostly volunteers and these seem to do some good - making children read / write / take part in some cultural events / get a good amount of familiarity with the language). However, I'm not very sure as to how much impact this has upon the children in their spoken language skills.

Others have signed up for Thamizh TV channels (or entertainment stuff available on internet, such as movies on youtube & other children video sites) and try to get the kids watch some programs.  Here again, I'm not sure how effective these are in imparting spoken language skills.

The best method / resources IMHO is still the parents / grandparents (regardless of the age of the children). I don't think there're better substitutes for getting the children SPEAK their "mother-tongue".

Since the earlier opportunities have been missed, the parents will need some extra skills, of course.  While it can be a little bit challenging, it can be done.

Let me explain how - with a small experience, in the next post!

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Re: Request Help Teaching Spoken Tamil for kids born abroad

Post  app_engine on Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:24 pm

This experience is not from a family of TN background but one young couple from Jharkhand, with their son in kindergarten (or 1st grade, not very sure).

I meet them each weekend as part of a voluntary activity and spend about 10-15 minutes with them. (The man works in the same place I work as well).

I used to try my limited Hindi skills on the child and he won't respond - then the parents told me how they missed when he was a baby and now he won't respond to them (typical).

Few months back, they were worried - as a trip to India is forthcoming - and the child won't be able to interact with any of the family, will feel bored etc. And I suggested them that each week I'll get him his fav. chocolate if he speaks to me at least 5 words (or a couple of sentences) when I meet him. I did teach a few words as well, as a starter.

WOW, each time I meet the family, this boy is ready for me Smile  He nowadays tries to impress me, my wife, daughter - with his few sentence skills each time!

It's only a beginning, the mother is happy (and she is obviously teaching him now) and they're looking forward to their India trip!

So, my reco - depending upon the age, offer specific (and small) treats, besides making it REGULAR (even 5 minutes a day or an hour a week will do phenomenal good) for trying Thamizh.

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Re: Request Help Teaching Spoken Tamil for kids born abroad

Post  panniapurathar on Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:25 pm

Thank you so much app sir for the tips and insight - will definitely give this a try.  Also a big thank you for generously sharing the "Learn Malayalam" files - I have downloaded them!

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