When I told my friends that I enrolled myself in AHEAD Pro’s English class, their first question was, “Why, will you be working in a call center?”
I don’t blame them for asking me that question. These days, we take it for granted that everyone who speaks good English work in a call center. I, however, had another reason for wanting to learn English.
My children are currently enrolled in a private school where speaking English is a must. Being a stay at home mom, I supervise my children’s studies and make sure that they devote at least two hours daily to their homework. I inspect their notebooks and ask them questions pertaining to the topics they are discussing in school to check if they really understood their lessons.
Since majority of their subjects are taught in English, I make it a point to converse with them, especially during study time, in English. Speaking in the ‘dialect’ was a big no-no. One day, while reading a poem aloud, my six year old daughter interrupted me and said, “No, mommy. Teacher said it’s an F. FLY mom, not ply.”
I was stunned. For what seemed like minutes, I could not speak. After taking a deep breath, I smiled, “You’re right. Ok, I’ll repeat it: ‘The Spider and the Fly,” I said. What followed next was something I will remember for the rest of my life.
“Mommy, baliktad po eh!” My six year old said again. “It’s a P not an F.”
I heard my 8 year old son giggle. I was mortified but kept my composure and clapped my hands instead. “You are very smart!” I told my daughter. “Why don’t you be the one to read mommy the poem?”
My daughter obliged but I can’t remember listening to her intently. So many thoughts were rushing into my head that I lost focus. That night, I told my husband what happened, and convinced him that it was time for me to take a refresher course in speaking proper English. How can I teach our children, when I, myself, am unsure of what I know? (And do not know, for that matter)
After asking around, I chose to enroll at AHEAD because of two reasons: One, they had a branch near where my kids went to school, and two, the person who entertained my queries was very reassuring. She did not make me feel foolish for wanting to study and laughed away my concern about being the oldest in the class.
I have to say, I enjoyed studying at AHEAD. The tutor had a way of making everyone feel comfortable and I think everyone in our class had fun and learned at the same time. I felt like a kid again, raising my hand to answer questions, practicing vowel and consonant sounds in front of a mirror and comparing notes with my seatmate to make sure that I got the dictation right.
I still make mistakes from time to time. But now I am aware when I make them and can correct myself right away. I also have gained much confidence because of the lessons. From time to time, I still browse my AHEAD notes just so I won’t forget them. And most importantly, I can now converse with my children in straight English without fearing that I will hear one of them say, “Mommy, that’s not how we pronounce it in school…!”