My friend Kris Calim teaches English to nannies here in Manila. The printed introduction to her classes read:

Do you want your yaya to say “Bay – bee” than “behbeh”. Say, “Bahl” than “Bula”.

We at Speak Easy know how important it is for your maids and yaya to learn how to speak in English when they spend more than 60% of their time with our kids.

I agree, especially if you plan to have your kids in an exclusively English speaking household. You might even want to buy a learner english dictionary than can help your nanny learn proper English along with your growing child.

In our house, however, and perhaps also because of the neighborhood we live in, the exclusive English speaking thing has had its drawbacks.

Maia speaks English, exclusively. She understands hardly any Tagalog, and can only understand Visayan Cebuano in context. Although this may help her get a higher class standing in school, it is not helping her gain friends in a non-English speaking environment in the neighborhood and in school.

However, her older brothers did go the same way as she did, and are now no less inconvenienced or disadvantaged as I thought. So maybe … maybe things will work out for the better later on.

No Yaya English

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