Language by Experience

Language by Experience

My Punjabi experiential classes have been quite a hit amongst the youngsters in my very small class of 6 students. Since the ending of the last segment of 6 classes, they have been asking their parents when the next Punjabi classes will start. Unusual indeed compared to the feedback I normally get from parents about kids simply not being interested in learning Punjabi.

This was reason for trying this new method for better engagement. In one class we reserved a room at a local coffee shop and practiced drinking tea and juice while having a conversation in Punjabi around the table. We practiced simple phrases like – mai hor juice lana or mai hor cake khana or mera juice tandha hai.

The mission here was not to speak perfect Punjabi but to gain confidence in speaking the best they could and have loads of fun doing it. I believe that is the strongest foundation we can set for our children to learn and be confident in trying their best.

In the second class we went to a beach. Kids were instructed to collect rocks for the number of family members they had. They then decorated each rock to resemble a family member. This was followed with a show and tell segment where students talked about each rock they decorated. This was our pathar parivaar project – rock family project. Another fun day.
Looking forward to our upcoming Punjabi party where our kids will be making victory boards and vision boards. Parents will be invited to partake as audience members while children present their boards in their personal best Punjabi speaking skills.
Why do our children respond in English when we speak Punjabi to them?

Why do our children respond in English when we speak Punjabi to them?

This is a common concern amongst parents of today. It is a struggle to attempt retention of Punjabi language in the coming generation.

My husband is a non Punjabi speaker so I posed this question to him. Although he understands everything being said to him in Punjabi he hesitates to respond in Punjabi. He said he fears that he will say the words incorrectly and be made fun of.¬† I asked him if he had any suggestions on ideas to help him practice. He said why don’t you start a conversation classes for people like me who don’t have the confidence in speaking amongst fluent Punjabi speakers? Brilliant idea I said.

Every week we have a meet up class where people like my husband can come and practice their Punjabi language skills in a supportive environment where everyone is in the same vote.

The confidence in my husband has escalated to new levels. It is the most endearing thing when he speaks to me in his two word phrases with a thick Canadian accent  cha peeny do you want to drink tea? bha jao sit down. chalo chalyay let go or holee bolo meaning speak slowly. Maybe this is not such a bad idea to begin with our children?