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.
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Amy: Right you are Mayken!
Mar 28, 2018 1:43:20 GMT 9
Marisa: Way to go, Mayken! That's the (bilingual) spirit
Mar 29, 2018 0:55:54 GMT 9
Kristin T.: Will check out your podcast interview on my next run!
Mar 30, 2018 23:24:37 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter brought home her ml report card (she gets a separate one from the regular report card at her bilingual school), and it's straight A's! (Better than her marks in ML on the main report card.) I'm so proud!!!
Mar 31, 2018 6:10:44 GMT 9
Amy: Gratuliere (Congratulations) Mayken!!
Mar 31, 2018 16:54:17 GMT 9
Mayken: Thank you, Amy! As a reward, we allowed her to purchase a big item from her Christmas money--a Playmobil house, with which she now plays in ml!
Apr 4, 2018 3:37:31 GMT 9
Amy: Reward all the way round . Bilingual education can be a virtuous circle
Apr 4, 2018 5:26:18 GMT 9
Nellie: What great news, Mayken!
Apr 5, 2018 4:36:26 GMT 9
Raquel: I totally missed this. Congratulations, Mayken!! You have reason to be proud
Apr 10, 2018 20:08:02 GMT 9
Mayken: Thanks everyone! Today my daughter helped a classmate finish her ml homework just before school - all in ml. (My daughter had finished hers the day before at home.)
Apr 11, 2018 3:58:56 GMT 9
Raquel: I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's passing, Adam. She sounds like an amazing woman. Sending you a big hug from Madrid.
Apr 12, 2018 18:16:38 GMT 9
Marie: I am sorry to hear about your mother Adam. Thinking of you and your family.
Apr 13, 2018 4:25:21 GMT 9
Jana: What a beautiful tribute you wrote to your mother. Sending condolences from the SF Bay Area!
Apr 14, 2018 5:34:03 GMT 9
Kristin T.: I enjoyed reading your post about your mother. Those were some amazing photos to cherish forever. I am sorry for your loss. I know it's ever the more painful having been an expat so long. Take care & be kind to yourself.
Apr 16, 2018 2:24:35 GMT 9
Nellie: I'm so sorry to read about your mother Adam. She sounds like an incredible woman. Your friends across the world are thinking of you and your family!
Apr 17, 2018 0:50:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Thank you, everyone, for your warm expressions of sympathy on the loss of my mother. Your friendship and support has meant a lot to me at this challenging time.
Apr 17, 2018 7:44:14 GMT 9