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Grade 1 students from the Upper Sirib Elementary School in Davao City have gone viral for a video posted on Tuesday showing them greeting their teacher energetically in not one, not two, but three languages.
In a Facebook message to Coconuts Manila, their teacher Judelene Ibacitas said her students recite the greetings as part of their daily routine.
“Only my class can greet this way,” she said proudly.
In the video, the students can be seen standing beside their wooden armchairs, giddily shouting out the greetings paired with hand gestures. Really cute.
The video now has 3 million views, more than 70,000 shares, 65,000 reactions, and 10,000 comments.
The first greeting is in their mother tongue Cebuano, the second in Filipino, and the third in English. They say: “Good morning Teacher Judy, good morning classmates, and mabuhay (long live). It’s nice to see you again.”
While being trilingual may sound impossible to many, it’s actually fairly common in many parts of the Philippines.
The country has more than 100 languages and dialects. The two official ones are Filipino, a standardized form of Tagalog, and English. However, many regions have their own mother tongue, like Davao City where Cebuano is spoken.
According to Ibacitas, the government’s curriculum mandates that Grade 1 students be taught in their mother tongue from the first to fourth grading periods. Filipino is taught on the second to fourth grading periods, while English is taught on the third to fourth grading periods.
However, Ibacitas said she wanted to give her 6-year-old pupils a headstart. “[S]o they will be ready to greet in 3 languages and for them not to find it hard anymore,” she said.
As their class advisor, Ibacitas is in charge of teaching the students all the required subjects. She said teaching them this greeting teaches discipline.
“[I taught them this] to impose discipline, to express themselves, to prove that in their young age they could be fluent and they could develop self-confidence and enhance their skills,” she said.
The proud teacher even said that it only took one day for the students to learn the greetings and the matching choreography.
Ibacitas said she posted the video on Facebook for two reasons.
“I posted the video to let the parents see how good their kids are and since I’ll be leaving my school soon,” she said. “[Now] I have something to keep as a memory of them.”
Surely, her students and the netizens who have seen the video will keep this in their memories too.
CORRECTION: This article previously stated that mother tongue is taught until Grade 1 and that Filipino is added come Grade 2 and English in Grade 3. Grade 1 students are actually taught in their mother tongue from the first to fourth grading periods. Filipino is taught on the second to fourth grading periods, while English is taught on the third to fourth grading periods.
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