I am French living in the UK and French is the minority language. My daughter is 4. To help my daughter when she speaks French (or pretends to!), I usually simply repeat what she said but by correcting the sentence (often a Franglish sentence). Often her sentences start with 'I want to do xyz', I repeat but saying 'you want to do xyz' to make it a real conversation. However, since in French the tenses are different depending on the pronoun, I recently started repeating using the same pronoun as her: in this case 'I want to do xyz' to help her learn the conjugation and enable her to make the correct sentences for what she wants to say.
What do you think? Is anyone using a similar strategy? How shall I repeat: strictly what she says or shall I address her by saying 'You' and making it a conversation rather than a repetition? I look forward to your views.
I usually made it a conversation like "you want to do xyz? I want to do xyz too" that gives her both tenses without frustrating her too much. In some cases I also ask her to repeat "say I want to do xyz" which is probably the best way for a child to learn but gets them frustrated very quickly if done too frequently.
Now that mine has been making less mistakes than every single sentence, I correct her in the most obvious way: "you say I want to do xyz, not I fly to do xyz because...."
I usually made it a conversation like "you want to do xyz? I want to do xyz too" that gives her both tenses without frustrating her too much.
That's pretty much what I am doing, too. You don't want to frustrate your daughter with repetitions - if you look at it from her point of view, she understands what she just said and doesn't want to say it again, she wants you to react to it (to give her what she's asking for etc.).
I know it's frustrating for the parent. I have a very concrete example myself. My daughter keeps saying "beeil du" instead of "beeil dich" (hurry up/dépêche-toi), and my answers of "ich beeile mich" (I do hurry up/je me dépêche) haven't resulted in a correction on her part yet. But I'm confident she'll eventually get it. (She's four too.)
I think the practical suggestions made, about modeling the usage we seek within the natural flow of interaction, are very helpful.
The other thing worth bearing in mind is that these types of language development issues inevitably work themselves out in time, assuming the child receives sufficient exposure to the target language and appropriate models of usage. In other words, despite the frustration that can result from hearing a child make the same "error" over and over again--especially after we just "corrected" them for the tenth time!--if you simply persevere with your overall efforts, while serving as a patient model, these issues will gradually recede and disappear on their own. (Undue concern over "errors" can be counterproductive because an overemphasis on the "form" of the language, for small children, may frustrate them and make them more reluctant to speak.)
Adam Beck is the author of the popular nonfiction books "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!" (illustrated by Pavel Goldaev) as well as the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear" (illustrated by Simon Farrow).
(Undue concern over "errors" can be counterproductive because an overemphasis on the "form" of the language, for small children, may frustrate them and make them more reluctant to speak.)
Exactly. Just try to imagine how you would react if you were saying something and the person you were speaking to would keep correcting you instead of reacting to what you said/answering your question. I'd find that pretty annoying too!
Don't even get me started on the grammar errors. Mine copies the word order from English. It sounds as weird as the translation in reverse is. "For what this?" "On what you guys looking?"
Thankfully I did manage to correct the worst of them - the Russian version of "I have" which is literally "With me exists". In that particular case I decided to buckle down and flooded her with examples of correct construction. We played a lot of games of Go Fish. "I have a pink cow. Do you have a pink cow?" so she heard that phrase dozens of times over a very short span, and had to repeat it dozens of times as well. I really should do this for the latest atrocity "what is this for?" but I can't find a good playful way of repeating it a million times.
Our son is even younger (not yet 2) and I am trying to be playful and give him lots of repetition with corrections. Right now, we try something like this: L says something wrong, usually ml mixed with ML I rephrase L's statement and say (ml): Mommy says such and such. Say, can you say such and such? Daddy repeats in ml: such and such I ask: L can you say such and such?
Often, because it's like a repeating game and we all play, L will do it. Hopefully, it's ok that Dad breaks out of his majority language to give positive reinforcement to the ml.
Marisa: "Victory moment:" My almost 4-year-old daughter told me yesterday in the ml (rough translation): "mom, there's something wrong with the cartoons, can you fix it, please?"... she was accidentally watching TV in the ML! So I gladly obliged
Jan 18, 2020 4:15:02 GMT 9
Amy: Awww bless her, Marisa!!! That was so cute!! <3
Jan 18, 2020 5:25:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Marisa, give that little minority language lover a big hug from me!
Jan 18, 2020 8:04:49 GMT 9
Mayken: We're at Harry Potter Book Night at the English bookshop in Paris. The activities are all in French but my daughter teamed up for the treasure hunt with a girl who also speaks ouf ml German!
Feb 8, 2020 3:50:49 GMT 9