This is Blair and Eddie (and their parents) from Canton, Missouri, USA. We have lots of questions, but decided to ask only four here (for now)...
1. What language do you use most with each other? 2. Do you dream in English or Japanese? 3. Do you ever use your "other" language as a secret language? For example, if you're among your Japanese friends, do you ever talk to each other in English when you don't want them to understand what you say? 4. Have you ever seen a Japanese giant salamander? Are they slimy?
We're looking forward to hearing from you (especially about the salamander)!
Blair and Eddie
P.S.: Eddie wanted to make sure we thank you here too for taking such good care of our Alfonzo! He's in Sweden now, hopefully staying warm.
(For those who don't know who Alfonzo is, you can learn all about his travels on his website here. He had a wonderful time in Hiroshima with Lulu and Roy, their Mommy and crazy Daddy!)
[Adam's note: Before they entered our local elementary school, they used English more than Japanese as their shared language. However, since they now think in Japanese throughout most of the day, it has naturally become the "default" language for their interactions. This isn't really a concern, though, because their English is now firmly grounded and they can switch languages as necessary.]
2. Do you dream in English or Japanese?
Lulu: Japanese, and a little bit of English. I usually dream about Mommy, like when I went on a candy airplane and Mommy was the pilot.
Roy: Nobody talks in my dreams. They only open and close their mouths, but they're not saying anything.
3. Do you ever use your "other" language as a secret language?
Lulu: No. When my friends tell me to talk in English, I say no.
Roy: No, but my friends and I speak a little bit of Spanish. I'm teaching them.
[Adam's note: They seem to have mixed feelings about their English ability when among their friends. I know they take some pride in it--because English ability is somewhat rare in Japan and earns respect from others--but they also feel a bit shy about speaking it so openly.]
4. Have you ever seen a Japanese giant salamander? Are they slimy?
Lulu: Yes, at the zoo. It's ugly and it looks slimy, but its eyes are cute.
Roy: Yes, we saw it at the zoo. It was really big. I don't know if it's slimy or not because I never touched it. I want to touch it, though. I want it to bite my finger.
[Adam's note: Japanese giant salamanders actually live in our area, but we've never seen one in the wild. But if we find one, we'll put it in a box and send it to you, Blair and Eddie!]
Blair and Eddie, thank you for your questions!
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.
As always, we love learning about you monkeys! Blair says she dreams in Hungarian, Eddie dreams in French - he only speaks the few words that he has picked up from Alfonzo when he was in Paris, so his dreams must not be very detailed (and must involve a lot of crepes). He's also 3, so if we ask him again, he might say Chinese... or Japanese... or Gibberish (he's fluent in Gibberish).
We all hope you'll find a Japanese giant salamander, we'd love to have another pet!
Mayken: My daughter's ml homework for this week included baking a cake - there's a cake in the story they read, and after each chapter there are questions and tasks, and the current chapter has the step-by-step recipe. She's to bring the cake to school too.
May 1, 2018 23:48:48 GMT 9
Amy: What a nice original homework! Makes such a change from standard homework, and I wouldn't be surprised if kids remember more from it! I like your bilingual school Mayken! Lucky little girl, and lucky Mummy!
May 2, 2018 0:00:43 GMT 9
Mayken: ml cake homework update: About half the class brought cake (8 out of 15), not all of them were the cake from the book recipe, but my daughter's was the most popular. (Maybe because we added food colouring and topped it with chocolate icing and smarties?)
May 4, 2018 5:58:10 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Cake is definitely my favorite kind of homework!
May 4, 2018 11:28:51 GMT 9
Jana: One of the best parts of having kids in bilingual school was getting Mother's Day cards in two languages! (With less-than-perfect spelling in both!) Ha!
May 15, 2018 9:16:08 GMT 9
Amy: (Twice) Lucky you Jana! So nice to read exciting pieces of news like yours!
May 16, 2018 5:46:25 GMT 9
Mayken: I still have that to look forward to, Jana! Mother's Day in our ML country is two weeks later, and the ml teacher goes along with that date. (It was last Sunday in our ml country.)
May 16, 2018 5:58:11 GMT 9