My 2 and a half year old doesn't seem to understand "what" questions (what did you do today? What did you eat?) a lot of the time - she just keeps replying "Si, si" every time I repeat my question. Same thing when my husband asks the question in French, and we're not sure what she does when the question is asked in Spanish.
If I ask her "what's that?", or even "what's that in English? (after she's said it in another language), she responds correctly, so on some level she must understand what it means.
Is this normal at this age? Or is it a multiple languages issue (or just her!)?
Each of those questions are quite different so it might not be that she's not understanding the ''what" but that she has to learn about each question separately. Also they're very open questions (ie there are many possible correct answers) so they're harder to answer than a closed question requiring a simple yes or no. Older children at school will often not reply to those questions or say "I don't know" or "nothing" because it feels like too much effort to remember or to construct an answer. As a primary teacher I've spoken to many anxious parents worried their child is not eating in school or bored and friendless because they're not answering those questions. One way to teach her this is to model it. You can use real situations where you know what she's done/eaten. You can also use toys/puppets. Play a game with them and then ask the toy/puppet what they did or ate and you put on a voice for them to answer. You can then ask your daughter the same question and see if she answers. If she doesn't give her a choice ie maybe she ate a banana and you can ask did you eat an orange or a banana. She's still very young so even monolingual children might not answer well at this stage but after lots of practice she should be able to learn.
Mayken: My girl and I are going to see her ml grandma in our ml country for the Easter weekend. (And buy more books!)
Apr 13, 2017 4:35:53 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, I hope you two have a fun, book-happy weekend!
Apr 13, 2017 5:23:08 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Paris to Cologne we sat next to another ml mother and daughter from our school! Only noticed when almost in Cologne. It's a small ML-ml world!
Apr 13, 2017 21:40:37 GMT 9
Amy: Got fleeting impression during Skype call with daughter on holiday at grandparents' in ml1 country, that her ml1 pronunciation has improved! She even seemed more confident speaking in ml2!
Apr 14, 2017 23:12:48 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Amy, you and your kids are both doing so well! Keep up your wonderful efforts!
Apr 15, 2017 21:26:50 GMT 9
Mayken: During the traditional German Easter fire, my daughter met her friend from her school day in the ml school! So many birds with one stone! (Sorry for the birds ;))
Apr 16, 2017 18:51:11 GMT 9