I started put with a simple question this morning: What is your favorite color? My daughter was thrilled to discover the new activity. Her answer: red orange blue green 😀
I'm so jealous! It looks so cool, I can't wait to do something like that with my eldest!
Don't be too jealous just yet. The novelty of it might wear off fast. Also, I have to come up with a suitable question each day now... (But then I guess "what's your favorite X ?" can keep us busy for a while. )
Today I asked for her favorite animal. I got 3: cow, seahorse, and bat. All but cow are pretty long words in our ml, she spelled bat correctly and told me herself that she'd spelled seahorse wrong. So I separated it--in German it's sea+horse+diminuitive suffix, all of which she spelled correctly when I asked her.
Tomorrow's question is favorite sport. (I'm curious about the answers!)
I still need to find a new story to put up, and a non-fiction page to replace the "water/swimming rules" on the side wall.
Today I asked for her favorite animal. I got 3: cow, seahorse, and bat. All but cow are pretty long words in our ml, she spelled bat correctly
I love it Mayken! It looks like it's working great!
I learned how to say "bat" in our ml (Spanish) several years ago while reading a picture book to my kids. It's also a very long word in Spanish (murcielago) and I remember thinking, "Seriously! Mur-cie-la-go is bat???"
But all my kids rattle the whole word off like it's super easy. It's all what you grow up with!
Now that she is beginning to read, I have also decided to rewrite our house rules with easy words she can read so that next time she breaks one she can go and read them for herself. That should act like captive reading too.
I have finally found some time to rewrite those house rules with one set for each of my daughters (rules differ owing to their age). I deliberately tried to use easy-to-read vocabulary so my eldest -who is starting to read- can read them.
When we put the rules up, we asked my eldest to read her set of rules aloud, and read that of her sister's to her little sister.
Next time my eldest does something that is not within these rules, I'll send her to read them to refresh her memory.
Hopefully, this can count as captive reading too.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
It does count, Amy, of course! Good idea on the house rules. I had a page with playroom rules somewhere on my computer. I need to print them out and put them up, now that we have a playroom. I like the idea of having extra text around the apartment.
My daughter said the first questions I put up were like in her friendship book - all those "what's your favourite...?" But she still writes her answers every day, except for when I asked in which movie she'd like to be, and one day she had an answer but forgot to write it. I really want to keep this going the whole month, and keep finding interesting questions, so I guess I have to vary them a bit more.
I put up the first page of a new story, since she wasn't interested in the last one, and just now I replaced the "swim rules" with a map of Germany with its 16 states all labelled. That's the "non-fiction" captive reading.
I guess I should leave her more time when she goes to the bathroom...
Oh, and I take a picture of the whiteboard with her answer before I wipe it and write the next sentence. Love modern technology.
"How or with what would you fight a dragon?" - "With friendship."
Mayken, I love this! It's so sweet!
I've probably mentioned this before, but I used to get a lot of mileage out of silly, made-up riddles, like...
What's big and gray, has a long trunk, and flies around going buzz-buzz-buzz?
(Yes, an elephant-bee!)
I know it's dumb, but kids like dumb and the added benefit of riddles (whether or not you ask the child to write an answer), is that it engages them in further interaction, to confirm the answer, in the target language!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide. Please support The Bilingual Zoo through Adam's Patreon page www.patreon.com/bilingualmonkeys.
I also loved her answer, Mayken. Your daughter is one sweet girl! Your handwriting and hers look very similar.
That's probably because I'm trying very hard to write cursive the way I learned it at school (except for z and r which I write the way my daughter learns them, since they are different in ml and ML country). My regular handwriting looks quite different, and is much harder to read.
Great idea Mayken! I have also started doing this with my daughter but so far she has mainly only written one word answers and I see just how much we need to work on writing in the minority language as she is spelling it as it is pronounced. She has also dropped marks at school in English so I am really trying to work on her reading and writing
Tracey, I mostly get two-word answers, and even so she manages to get wrong spelling sin there - but when I ask her "how do you spell [word she just wrote]?" she starts spelling it and then realises she forgot a letter. Maybe it's the writing on the "wall" as opposed to writing on paper that makes it harder for her to notice when the word she's written has something missing? Also, she hasn't picked up the habit or rereading what she wrote yet. I'll keep reminding her.
For next month I have some riddles ready, we'll see how she likes those.
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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
Raquel: That's cute, Mayken. I hope you enjoyed all that extra free time.
May 29, 2019 18:17:39 GMT 9
SheilaC: I am concern about our upcoming big change to Public school with all English teaching and minimal Spanish. We have been lucky until now with Spanish speaking Nanny and Spanish immersion preschool. We are doing 2-day per week with Spanish after school.
May 31, 2019 10:51:49 GMT 9
Amy: @sheilac, I suggest you create an actual thread on the "Questions & Concerns" board, so fellow Zoo Keepers can help you with your concerns. 256 characters is too little to discuss something that is so important to your heart
Jun 2, 2019 23:44:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, thanks for that very interesting and timely post - it justifies the large order for ml books and DVDs I'm about to place in view of my daughters upcoming birthday!
Jun 3, 2019 23:46:00 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Great to hear this, Mayken! And happy birthday to both yours and mine! (They have the same birthday, don't they?) And if anyone missed that post, here's the link once more...
Jun 4, 2019 8:03:42 GMT 9