Amy, the program is still in the production phase. They told me they hope to show it at the end of October but they were already running late. They told me I'll be able to see it online, so I will let you know once I know. I'm very curious to see how it turns out. It was in any case a very cool family experience in the ml and I think it also made my children proud of their bilingual background.
For older kids & adults (I would say from teenagers up, but you can listen yourself first and see if you find it appropriate for your kids) the Spanish Radio has a channel with dramatizations of different books: www.rtve.es/radio/ficcion-sonora/
I've listened to the ones for Treasure Island and Blade Runner and they are both very well done.
We listened to the one about the German national anthem (https://kinder.wdr.de/radio/kiraka/audio/kinderhoerspiel/audio-gaensehaut-und-feuchte-augen---radiogeschichte-100.html) and my 9 year old found it very interesting. Too bad it's in our ML, I would love to find something similar in Spanish, but I haven't been successful so far.
We had two busy but fun days. Spanish Public TV is doing a documentary about the Erasmus Program (that allows European university students to study an academic year in another European country.) That's how I first came to Germany and they were looking for someone who stayed in the host country and through a friend they contacted me. Now there were two days here interviewing me about how it was for me to first study and then work in Germany and also filming our daily life. It was a very fun experience for us as a family. And I felt very proud when they asked my children to also talk a little in German when they were playing at home so that it showed that they speak both languages. Until then they were talking the whole time in Spanish.
- books that you can sing, in Spanish there is for example the series from "De la cuna a la luna" which is poetry for babies, I find them wonderful and then looking on YouTube you can find how to sing them. Also in Spanish there is a series called "La cereza" from Mar Benegas where you can download the song to the text of the book.
- books with flaps they can open, in Spanish I can recommend the Cucu-tras series
Amy, we have very few books in the ML at home, since my husband hardly reads and I buy everything in Spanish, so what I do is what you wrote above, getting the ML books from the library.
I like both approaches anyway, having the ML books at school since it is the ML environment, and also having the ml books. Maybe you can alternate?
About your daughter not wanting to speak the ml and feeling different because of it, my experience so far has been quite positive with the other children. Maybe because Germans tend to like Spanish (I often get the comment while speaking Spanish to my kids that "it sounded like vacation") and so far the other children have been mostly curious about it and have asked how to say words. I always make a point to say how cool it is to understand another language, and use any chance I have to promote to my children how cool it is that they speak Spanish and are for example able to understand Shakira's songs.
I don't know how it is in France, but having English and Spanish as your mls I think will make it easier, there is a lot of music in English that probably will be popular among French children (maybe if not now when they reach teenage years). Or all the Harry Potter, Star Wars...sagas are also originally in English. I would tell your daughter how cool it is that she can understand all that because she speaks the ml. And also maybe look for fun things she can do because of speaking the mls, like the flamenco dresses.
Keep at it, you're doing a great job and are always a great source of inspiration!!!
Amy, my daughter is very social and she is willing to speak the ml with other ml speaking children. But since she is also very social in Germany, she likes to go to her friends' houses or have friends over all the time, which makes the influence of the ML stronger on her than it was on her older brother, who does not have the need to be with friends all the time like she does.
She is very excited about starting school and I hope as she learns to read and write in the ML she also does it in the ml. She has made some new friends in Spain this summer and she wants to write letters to all of them. She wrote the first letter with my help yesterday (she tells me what she wants to write, I write it on a paper and she copies it).
In my youngest Kindergarten group there is a new girl from Mexico that does not speak German so far (the family just moved here). The teachers in the kindergarten told me she was very happy to find out he understood her and they try to have him translate when they don't understand what she wants.
And then we just met in the playground behind our house a family who just moved from Panama, they have a baby, a 4 year old and a 6 year old, who does not speak German yet. They are really nice and the children have gotten along very well, so this will be more ml input for my kids.
I am currently writing jokes on the lunch box of my oldest and he loves them. He tells me everyday when he comes home from school that he likes the joke I wrote. For my middle one, since she doesn't read yet I'm just writing the day of the week (and I told her I'd do so, so that she knows what it says). And for the little one who gets an animal sticker on his lunch box, I've started adding the name of the animal below it. I guess he's too young for this, but he's always asking me what it says there when he sees something written.
Adam, it is very inspiring to read your ideas around captive reading. I have already printed a couple of times some easy articles about things my son was interested in and left them casually on the table at breakfast.
When I first started with the captive reading, I made some prints with fragments from books I liked and a nice illustration to hang on the walls. They have been there so long that I forgot about them. Then I was reading to my 9-year-old "The Neverending Story" and as I was reading he interrupted to tell me that what I just read was the text that was on the bathroom wall. I was amazed he recognized it.
We are back from our vacation in the ml country, which was great for everyone. We go camping with a big group of Spanish people, it is every year somewhere different in Spain but every year the same people so it is like a big family. My kids have their friends there and it is a great immersion in the ml, plus they all love it (there are always a lot of tears when it is time to leave). It makes me really happy and proud to see them interact in Spanish like their monolingual Spanish peers.
My daughter started school in the ML yesterday, which will be a new challenge on our bilingual journey.
And I still have to get back to the everyday routine.
Mayken we have the same rule when driving that the driver chooses what is played, and my husband always wants to listen to the radio. What I do is I have mp3 players for the kids with audio books in the ml on them, so that they can use them if they feel like it.
Thanks for your encouragement, Adam. The captive reading for my son is still working very well, if I ever forget to post a new page every morning he comes and reminds me to do so.
After reading the thread about summer holiday workbooks, I asked my parents to bring one for each child when they came, which they did. I am using them for our homework routine now during the holidays and they have been a big success, especially with the two younger ones. I guess the 9 year old is already used to what homework is and is not so excited as the two younger ones who feel bigger having "real homework like in school", but he does complete what I ask him to do every day. He was, by the way, asking me to make him a weekly plan for homework like I did before because he says otherwise he never thinks about writing in his ml journal and he wants to do it.
My parents were here for 10 days and left yesterday but now my sister came.
Harry Potter is a good motivation in any language. By the way, I don't know if you know, but there are Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit questions in German, besides using them in the Trivial Pursuit game, I think they can be used on their own as some entertainment in reading in the ml, for example in car rides.
Another idea for homework could be copy work. She could have a notebook where she copies parts of books or poems she likes.
Amy, well done to your girls!! It is always very inspiring to hear how they progress in their mls.
My son is fluent in our ml and speaks it very well, but after our summer vacation in the ml last year where he was playing a lot with kids his age, when we came back I noticed he spoke more like a native Spanish child than before, he had picked up a lot of expressions and ways to talk from the other children that he could not pick up from me before.
Yeah, every child is different, not only on the bilingual path, and it is very easy as parents just to look at whatever other children do best and get concerned.
And then every family is different. I was very surprised some months ago when I met a mom bilingual herself in two languages who was a psychologist studying bilingualism but she was talking to her son in only one of the languages (and not the one she learnt as a child but the one she learnt as a young adult and shared with her husband).
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
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
Amy: Looks like the 3 weeks in ml1 country paid off: my ML mother reports my youngest would only speak ml1 to her! Lol Not sure ML childminder will be so happy when she returns... loool!
Aug 25, 2018 0:38:50 GMT 9
Mayken: Sounds like fun times ahead, Amy! Keep us posted.
Aug 27, 2018 23:15:08 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Something Strange Happened 2 Days After We Moved into Our New House (And Its Significance to Change and Transformation on the Bilingual Journey)buff.ly/2ww8WDD
Aug 31, 2018 10:30:39 GMT 9
Amy: Happiest bilingual mum in the world : the new lady who conducts activities in ml2 with my eldest just assessed her level as pretty much equivalent to that of a native ml2 child! After that awful back-to-school start, this is like music to my ears.
Sept 6, 2018 0:00:13 GMT 9
Wojtek: I've been thinking for a long time to write an update and hopefully, I will do it one day. My brother married a Russian woman. That was nice to see that my 5-year-old daughter could play with her and speak English together!
Sept 7, 2018 21:37:25 GMT 9
Wojtek: After some time, she ran up and told me: "She is speaking English!"
Sept 7, 2018 21:38:31 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice to hear your happy news, Wojtek! And congratulations to your brother and his bride! It sounds like they may have a bilingual child in their future, too! Cheers to you all!
Sept 7, 2018 21:58:17 GMT 9