Born and bred in Singapore, we have great inter racial relationships. Every corner you see people from different countries and culture. However to speak in our own mother tongue,Tamil, might be a great challenge. Simply because we have to communicate with others in the common language, English. Majority of Singaporeans are Chinese, whereas the Indians are the minority. In my home situation, the children speak to their Dad and Granddad in English whereas I make an extra effort to speak in Tamil. They also try their very best to speak to their grandmother in Tamil, which is admirable.
This proves to be insufficient in their school as their fellow indian classmates are from rich tamil speaking background. So as the year progresses my children are at a dilemma to catch up. What I realise from my time learning tamil (I started out not knowing how to read nor write tamil, but spoke very well) vs now was that, the language syllabus has been simplified a great deal! The proverbs are no longer taught in the beginning years. They start on composition and proverbs only in P3.
I understand this is so because a lot of children start learning tamil alphabets only in P1. Majority of preschools in Singapore don’t offer tamil as a mother tongue. I suppose again its the minority issues. Our tamil language enthusiasts can do something about this. However, all efforts starts from within.
I am hoping to gather some worksheets and guides for children to be self taught or with parents coaching. I would love to hear how you guide your children be it in Singapore or elsewhere in the world. Let me know on my materials to further improve!
Have fun teaching, learning and loving Tamil!