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 non-fiction 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.
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: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you for the suggestion!
Jul 21, 2018 15:40:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter met some inversed ML/ml kids today who live in our ml country. Their parents probably weren't thrilled they found n ML (for them) friend in their ml country. I'm sorry...a little bit.
Aug 7, 2018 2:07:34 GMT 9