My daughter has her second-ever school trip coming up in less than two weeks. Two years ago, when she was in first grade, I didn't think too much about the language issue, I was mainly focused on the separation (which being the first, wasn't going well on my side - until she was gone, then I enjoyed the reduced pressure and spare time).
Last weekend, I was away for two days, and when I came home she would speak ML with me a number of times, a problem I didn't have before. So now I'm worried what five days will do. I want to keep her mind on the ml a little bit every day at least, but I have no idea how to do that. I thought of giving her an ml book she's really keen on, or secret messages she is to open and read one per day, but given the program they have, I doubt they'll have much time for this. So the best I can do is write the letter the teacher asked us to write for the first morning, send a second one by mail and of course tell her to write a letter to her ml grandma (they do have letter-writing time at one point). But I wonder if there is anything else I can do with these limitations. (Also, I have no ml book she's really keen on.)
Does anyone have ideas for me or has maybe encountered this situation already (though I know there aren't many people around here with older kids)?
You already have many more ideas than I could come up, Mayken! I just wanted to say that these effects are temporary. Your daughter may be affected by it afterwards, but once you go back to your regular routine, everything will fall back into place, ml included.
I imagine they'll be too busy doing stuff to have much free time, so all I can think of is... Don't they have a certain time for parents to call? I know these calls are rather short, but they're better than nothing.
Thanks for the encouragement, Raquel ! No calls, but they are supposed to write a short letter home, and I'll make sure she writes one to grandma too. (After all, several kids have divorced parents and live in joint custody, so I assume they'll write two letters as well.)
How about some German music and storybooks to listen to on the journey or in the evening? If you can get her a little player, maybe this could get her excited and want to listen to ml audio you'll have put on it?
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
How about asking her to keep a little diary where you'd like her to write daily the three things she liked most about her day?
Yay! She already has a ml holiday diary, the same notebook as my own holiday diary, but we only do that during summer vacation - but it's very much an ml diary, that if she takes that notebook, she won't write in ML in there.
We haven't had the school camp issue yet, BUT when my daughter started school, my husband and I decided to send my daughter for a week to her ML-speaking grandparents' most school holidays (as you know, there are rather a lot of them!). So, so far she has spent a week with them about 5 times. It is a pure ML environment - and rural to boot, so there is no chance of even hearing other languages on the street! In addition, even if we call/skype, the situation means that my daughter is far more likely to communicate in ML because she is with her ML grandparents and the skype is 'set up' by my husband (who is therefore always present).
Basically, my sense is that yes, there always will be a 'dip', and no, you can't do much about it, but as Raquel said it is temporary. Last time, I tried to send my daughter with a few ml books - not to read, but just so that if she looks at them and narrates them to herself, it will be in ml. Other than that, I try to plan for some extra ml time before she leaves and after she returns. A sort of solid inoculation before, with a top-off afterwards.
Last time she went, my daughter took the train by herself (with a group of unaccompanied minors). When I went to pick her up at the station, the moment she came out she burst into ml1 with me (which led to some inquisitive/interested looks from the other parents!). The challenge was to keep that up over the next day or so, so I really ramped up the reading and so on.
Maybe if there are other ml kids in the class (which presumably there are?) you could see with the teachers if they could have them do some group work in ml at some point?
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Amy: Cute code switching this morning when my 3 year old told me "I get my pótamo" (she meant her hippo soft toy). This mixing was music to my ears... It means she is truly growing trilingual.
Apr 6, 2019 2:51:35 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Lovely, Amy! Good for you, and good for her! P.S. I like hippos.
Apr 7, 2019 10:32:37 GMT 9
Alba: So funny, Amy! Great to hear I love the word Hypo, every child says it different! My son did something similar when he say "This tocotó", he calls horses "tocotó" based on the noise they made when trotting (tocotó, iiii (neigh)-ok, for a Spanish ear)
Apr 8, 2019 6:52:09 GMT 9
Amy: Cheer Alba and Adam Beck! . I love these "baby" words. They are so cute. I like the "This tocotó" another example of state of the art Spanglish <3
Apr 9, 2019 4:54:05 GMT 9
Mayken: Got home from a short trip to Zürich - heard German, French & Italian on the train, and both German and French in the tram. And everyone speaks English too. It was nice to be able to choose which of my languages I wanted to speak!
May 6, 2019 23:07:42 GMT 9
Amy: Such a lovely feeling, isn't it? I miss that!
May 7, 2019 16:33:19 GMT 9
Mayken: It is, Amy . I didn't realise how much I had missed it.
May 7, 2019 23:10:43 GMT 9
Amy: Last year, a new colleague joined my team. She's trilingual in the same languages as me. It was like magic. We change languages and even code-switch several time a day. I had missed that so much!! My monolingual colleagues must think we're freaks! lol
May 8, 2019 4:56:12 GMT 9
Amy: Unfortunately, she has resigned and is leaving shortly. I was so proud to introduce her to my eldest, one day that I had brought her to show her round my office. And to introduce other bi/multilingual colleagues. Show how important languages are.
May 8, 2019 4:58:26 GMT 9
Mayken: That must have been wonderful, Amy! I'm sorry she is leaving. I would love to find someone like that. We had an English intern last year who spoke German and French. We chatted a lot.
May 8, 2019 6:06:01 GMT 9
Caro C.: Oh Amy I sort of feel related to what you are saying. Some months ago I made a friend from the US. She happens to be a neighbor with four kids. We’ve been sharing back and forth and I’d love my baby girl to eventually be able to share with her children
May 13, 2019 12:55:09 GMT 9
Caro C.: Although maybe they will be a bit old for her, still we (I mean their mom = Sarah and me) both are very happy and grateful for each other as friends.
May 13, 2019 12:57:05 GMT 9
Mayken: As of yesterday, I am aunt to a baby girl who lives in our ml country with 2 ml parents, and I'm already planning to get them a nice nursery rhymes CD for our first visit.
May 16, 2019 20:03:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Mayken! Have a happy visit!
May 17, 2019 9:10:21 GMT 9
Caro C.: OMG I just came across this song and it filled my heart with joy and excitement...perfect for all of us who are parents: youtu.be/g1fcnhB8GOY
May 19, 2019 14:01:55 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Caro, thanks for sharing that lovely song. Raffi was one of our very favorite musicians when my kids were small. We listened to him all the time. I highly recommend his albums as a source of very enjoyable and very effective English input.
May 20, 2019 15:32:26 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter is on a field trip this week and I feel like I've lost my main purpose
May 20, 2019 20:03:33 GMT 9