My eldest is just under 2 years old and currently learning to speak Vietnamese (ml) and English (ML). I only speak to him in Vietnamese.
There are many words that he was able to say in Vietnamese first, then he learnt the English equivalents (from his dad, granny and nursery) and has stopped saying the Vietnamese ones. I guess this is just a part of the "language mixing" that young kids experience.
The thing is he has started getting cheeky whenever I ask him to answer my questions in Vietnamese.
For example: I pointed at a picture of a cow and asked him who it was knowing that he can say both Vietnamese and English names for it. He answered "cow". I pretty much ignored that and answered the question myself in Vietnamese (which is "bò") hoping that he would repeat after me (I'm sure that he knows "bò" is another word for a cow. There was a month or two when he only knew "bò"). However, after that, instead of changing his answer, he said "cow" again. I then said "bò" again and this quickly turnt into a game of Who can be more persistent?. He kept repeating "cow" and found it funny that I kept repeating "bò" in response.
This has happened many times and with many other pairs of Vietnamese-English words. He still refuses to say the Vietnamese ones and I've started to wonder if there is any creative way to get him to say these words again.
I'm afraid I have no idea how to get round that cheeky monkey's smart idea. It sounds like he's trying to use your own technique to get you speaking ML!
Instead of saying the ml word, maybe you could reply something like "that word is in English, but how do you say it in Vietnamese?" and see what he says. If he replies he doesn't know then give him the ml word. If he replies he doesn't want to it will provide the opportunity to discuss why and and why it is important he does.
It might just be a phase of ml resistance since you said he just began ML nursery school. 🤷♀️
What you can try is when he makes a request in ML and you know for sure he knows the ml word because he used it in the past, you can maybe pretend you don't understand. For instance, once my youngest (then aged about 2 or 3) asked me to grab an object on a shelf for her. She kept saying "there" in ML. So every time she did so I grabbed the wrong object, asking in ml "this one?". She got annoyed but eventually shouted in ml "no, this one!!". She wasn't pleased but I think she got the message she had to use the ml.
Those are lovely ideas. Thank you. I shall start telling him that it's not Vietnamese and asking him how he says it in Vietnamese. Let's see how it turns out. 👍
Sometimes I still can't believe how my eldest son, who hasn't been able to make any 2-word sentences (in either English or Vietnamese), can get this cheeky when he doesn't want to say what I ask him to. The other day, when we pretty much 'shout' at each other in this silly game insisting that our answer was right and the other person's was wrong, my husband who was in a different room thought that I was being too forceful and told me off. Obviously he didn't see the huge grin on this monkey's face the whole time. 😩
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