Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bahasa Melayu, Arab or English?

Last night, Zaki, told me that his teacher asked them to do their revision as they will be having their test next week. "Oh! Okay, go and take your book," I said. He went to his room and brought back three books.

"Hmm...shouldn't we just do only one tonight?" I asked him.

"No. Teacher said I must read all these books," he said and shown me his English, Bahasa Melayu and Arabic books.

"Okay, let's start," I said thinking that this will be easy.

He took the Arabic book and opened the first page. "Read," I said knowingly that I might embarrassed myself for not able to answer him.

He was staring at the book and then he said ,"I don't know. When at school, I pretended to open my mouth to read," he said and showed me how he did.

"What? You cannot do that. Didn't you ask your teacher when you don't know?"
He shook his head. "Okay, let me see," I said and looked at the book. 

First word, no problem. I can pronounced it and know what it means but as we progressed through the next few pages, I can read but cannot pronounced it correctly and don't know what it meant. Few times he corrected my pronunciation and when I asked him what the meaning of the words, he don't know.  That's was when the pictionary dictionary that I bought for him came to my rescue.

I always find it a problem when teaching my kids languages, whether it is Bahasa Melayu, English or Arabic. Give me maths and science, I would have no problem. In fact, I can teach my oldest son, Syafiq, how to do differentiation and integration in Maths but the moment he asked me something about Bahasa Melayu, I surrender.

I don't know but I found it that Bahasa Melayu is quite difficult to teach. Maybe because it is our everyday language that we take it for granted and never really bother to learn the right way of writing the language. Furthermore, I always mixed my words with Bahasa Melayu and English and that is bad. Bad! Bad! Bad for the kids.

My friend who is a children book's author has invited me to join her for the Bahasa Melayu tinggi class but so far I have not accept her invitation. I guess with my struggle with the language and for the sake of my kids Bahasa Melayu, I better join her and it is also not too late for me to learn Arabic. Don't you agree?

Okay gotta go..Have to get my little girl ready for her school...Salam

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