I'm Lorizin from Kangaroo Island in Australia. I'm an English teacher and I also care for orphaned baby kangaroos at the wildlife sanctuary on our farm. Baby kangaroos are called 'joeys'.
Two of our kangaroos, Kaoru and Miharu have been given Japanese names by a couple of my Japanese students who learned English with me.
Did you notice that both names end in the 'ru' sound, the same as in the word 'kangaroo'? Some of our other kangaroos are Rugi, Sandyru and Royru.
Do your friends like kangaroos and koalas?
I am starting an online club for children, called The Joey Club. There will be stories and information about Kangaroo Island, Australia and Australian animals, and a penpal club for Japanese children who would like to practise writing in English to Australian children. Perhaps Kaoru and Rugi will do some writing too!
Do you think your friends would enjoy this?
With a friendly wave from over here on Kangaroo Island,
Hello Lorizin! Lulu and Roy were happy to get your message from Kangaroo Island! (I printed it out for them and they read it at breakfast.) They like the idea of The Joey Club and they think their friends would like it, too. (Just a footnote to that: Kids in Japan, younger than junior high, don't generally have enough English ability to write letters.)
Anyway, I expanded on your message and asked them a few more questions...
What do you think of kangaroos?
Lulu: They're cute, and hoppity-hoppity!
Roy: They're cute, but when they attack, they're kind of scary.
[Adam's note: You'll soon see the "kangaroo attack" Roy is referring to...]
How about koalas?
Roy: I've never seen a real koala before. I want to see one.
Lulu: They're cute because the babies cling to their Mommies. I want to cuddle one.
[Adam's note: One of my favorite stuffed animals as a child was a little koala named "Kokwa." I have no idea why I named it "Kokwa" or why I still remember its name.]
Would you like to go to Kangaroo Island in Australia?
Roy: Yes, because there are lots of kangaroos and I want to see them jumping around.
Lulu: Yes, because kangaroos are cute and I want to pet one. But I don't want to pet a big one because Daddy got attacked by a big kangaroo.
[Adam's note: Here's the evidence, friends...]
Thank you for your message, Lorizin! Have a happy (hoppy?) day on Kangaroo Island!
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.
So you think your friends would be interested in kangaroos and koalas. When the Joey Club starts - it will probably be a few weeks - I'll write and tell you, and you can tell your friends.
Please tell Daddy that next time he feeds a friendly kangaroo he should squat down, and hold the food down low. That way the kangaroo will also stay down low. The kangaroo in the photo thinks your Daddy is making him stretch up to get the food. Kangaroos are very strong, and have very sharp claws; they can hurt if they scratch your arm when stretching up to get food that is being held up high and away from them.
Standing up tall in front of a male kangaroo can also make it think you are challenging it to a fight, so it is always important to stay down low! But the kangaroo with Daddy does not think that. I can see by the little smile on its face that it just thinks your daddy is playing a game.
If you would like to see more photos of our kangaroos and other Australian animals, have a look every now and again at my personal Facebook page, and the page for Shalom Valley Farm & Wildlife Sanctuary. I am gradually putting more photos there.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
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