I can imagine how frustrating it must be not having all those resources that all of us with more widespread languages take for granted. But the main resource is you!! Everything else is great, but the real constant is you, speaking, interacting with your kids...
Regarding speaking in the minority language and how to remember, I'm with Amy on this one and here are my 2 cents:
1. Write about it, make yourself accountable, whether it's publicly, here, or privately, but know the next day you'll have to write down just how well you did on speaking in the ml. This helps me a lot, because it's a constant reminder and keeps me from slacking off
2. Post visual reminders: Amy mentioned posting flags outside her door, so we posted flags all over our apartment as a reminder.
3. 'Language police': If you can get your eldest or their dad to let you know when you're speaking the wrong language -your daughter will love telling you off -, go for it too.
As far as Spanish go, if you have the time to learn a new language, or have access to Spanish speakers somehow, then great!! But I still think the main resource here is you, so if you don't speak Spanish, you'll have to find it elsewhere, so I think it'll be harder than a language you already speak But if you can do both, then great!! If you have any questions regarding any Spanish expression/word/construction or whatever, feel free to ask
I have to laugh about their reading out loud in the car and being annoyed by the other one's reading at the same time. I imagine it must be a nightmare for you.
I didn't know your daughters were doing so well!! They're both reading and Natalie is even writing in the ml!! It looks like the wake-up call regarding colors in the ml worked with Mila. Sometimes they need to see the consequences to their actions to change their behaviour. Even if it was for 2 days, I'm glad she was making an effort.
Sometimes finding something for them to read that's easy enough but interesting for their age is hard!! Hey, at least she liked the riddles. You had me laughing at your comment regarding the other half of the book.
Very interesting indeed, Edward! Thanks for sharing that.
My children also make those irregular verb past tense mistakes, even my 5yo! I always correct them, but I hear a lot of "catched", "blowed", "flied", etc... "Fell" is one both my children learn very quickly; they both tell us all the time about how "I fell" and that's why "I have a booboo". "Hurt" is one they also master Nothing like hearing it a zillion times. I read once that this is a very good sign, their making mistakes regularizing anything irregular: it means they get the grammar behind it. If your daughter is saying "I comed", it means she's internalized that when something happened in the past, you add "-ed" to the verb, and that's quite something at such a short age!
Amy, that's fantastic about your little one. They grow so fast!! My son also speaks way better than my daughter at his age, so I'm wondering whether it's a younger sibling thing or just that they're different in this regard as well. Anyway, it's so good when you can communicate fully with them!
I envy you your eldest's teacher. Can I have her, pretty please? My daughter's teacher seems to be against anything English and, even though I tried to keep her in the loop of what we do at home, she disregards it as "that thing we do that has nothing to do with her". We started on the wrong foot when we had that first meeting and she suggested one of us started speaking in the ML to our daughter, which we politely declined. Everyone had been super suportive, teachers and other parents, up until that point. Other than that, she's a fantastic teacher, but I hate that she's against everything we're doing for my daughter's better education, this teacher's field of expertise. Sorry for the rant!! Anyway, I'm so glad your eldest's teacher is this supportive and that her ml2 reading isn't getting in the way of her ML reading. I've always read they actually help each other, as it's the same -blending-, done with different sounds. Congrats to your eldest as well on doing so well in class.
Thanks for the link to your interview. You look different in those pictures!! I guess beach clothes change the way one looks, lol. I loved seeing you again and reading your story once more; so inspiring!!
Thanks, Nellie! Like I said, it was a long weekend, and that helps. Also, my brother and family were out of town, so it was a weekend without any ML. This week will be very different.
The French teacher will come to our place, yes. I looked for academies first, but there were none in our area that taught French -it's all English-. I contacted an academy farther away, but they'd only take my daughter, and I can't really drive my son around and have him spend a whole hour waiting for his sister. In the end the only option was having someone come home.
D's time in the ml this week: 64h. S's time in the ml this week: 59h. There was no school on Thursday and Friday, which is why their numbers are so good.
Days D read in the ml: 5 reading her reading lesson and 6 reading Biff, Chip and Kipper. She read the last level 3 book today, so we're moving onto level 4 - we'll see how that goes.
French class: I really liked the teacher and it looks like she's interested in coming starting in January. I asked her to speak English when she wasn't speaking French, and she did. They worked on simple words and colors. My son seemed to have learned all the colors she taught them by the end of the class, but they both forgot soon after. So now it's me who's bugging them with telling me how to say different colors in French.
I definitely agree that having to say things a zillion times is normal. I'm always asking my daughter to "listen", because she lives in her own world and she's always thinking of playing and running around. I don't know how many times a day I count to three -at some point, I stop repeating things and start counting, lol-.
I agree that it looks like your daughter is paying more attention during French week than during the English one because of the teacher.
In Spain children usually have the same teacher in nursery school (0-2), then again the same teacher at school from age 3 to 5, and from 6 on (primary school), a different teacher each year.
Very true, Edward! There's nothing wrong with having an accent as long as you're understood.
Wow, now I'm even more impressed, but because she uses questions correctly! My daughter is 5 and she makes questions mistakes: "What you did today?" instead of "What did you do today?" I really need to work on that with her.
That's cute about opening lights over there. My children sometimes 'borrow' like that in both languages. But, with time and lots of exposure, they'll stop making all these mistakes.
You guys are lucky to be so close to your target language, have an ml-speaking nanny and access to bilingual ML-ml schools. By the sound of it, things are going very well for your family in the bilingual front. If you want to share any tips, feel free!
Thanks, Amy! I had already used the free online library you mention, but I hadn't thought of baby books...
Also, I realized yesterday that I wasn't using the phonic books that come with each level. The ones from level 1 weren't really stories to read, so I thought they would all be the same. The level 3 phonics book my daughter read this morning was very good!! So I now have a few more books to read.
They do love the imperative. My son is also a fan of "I want...". He uses the present continuous correctly, but I don't think he really understands past and future tenses. He'll say things like "I'm going to...", but I don't think I've ever heard him say "I will". The thing is he hardly ever talks about the past other than the immediate past: "the boy hit me", "I fell", "[sister] did this" just after it happened. He does use "did", but if he has to say "threw", "caught" or "got" he uses the present tense and says "throw", "catch" and "get". This is why I'm so impressed with your daughter's use of past and future tenses. Children at this age aren't even aware of there being a past and a future, so it's no wonder they don't use these tenses.
Regarding accents, I do have an accent, but my husband's is much stronger. My daughter always pronounces better than her dad, sometimes she'll pronounce better than I do, some others just like me and other times worse (imitating her dad). Even if you don't have an accent, or barely any, your daughter's pronunciation may be affected by her mother's too. While I couldn't have gotten my children to speak English as often and as well as they do by myself, it's also true that they also learn their dad's mistakes -and mine- in not just pronunciation, but everything else too. You just have to pay attention to these mistakes and correct them - or at least that's what I do.
Sorry to hear about your printer, Tatyana. I hope Santa can bring you a new one.
It's so frustrating when our children decide not to show any interest in what we want them to learn, or speak in this case. Aren't the stones working anymore? Is there something your daughter likes to do that she could do in Russian instead? I'm thinking board games, any other kind of game...anything that can get her talking in the ml, especially if such thing is only done in the ml.
I'm surprised your daughter is using the past tense in both languages and the future tense in Turkish. My son, who is 2 as well, but not 2.5 yet, doesn't really understand tenses. He'll say "I fell" because that's what he's always heard, but most of the time he'll use the present tense.
Regarding pronunciation, I'm right there with you. I know my children will have an accent, in spite of playing with a native speaker weekly or being exposed to them by listening to the radio, songs, audiobooks and TV. We are their main ml source, so chances are they'll pick up our accent. I hope they'll do a bit better than us, but they'll definitely have an accent. What I try to do is work on whatever sound I can tell I'm mispronouncing, so that, hopefully, my children will pick up on it and change their pronunciation accordingly.
I'm glad it went that well, Mayken. It was a very interesting subject.
That's insane re the backpack prices, Adam!! For that price, they'd better last forever, and you'd better make sure you buy the right one, wow!! Loved the jetpack comment. I haven't bought one yet, but I expect them to be around 30€.
No, I didn't know about that channel, Alba ; thanks for sharing! To be honest, when we're home everything is only in English. Spanish is already everywhere else, so home is our safe English heaven, where I want them to switch their brains to English for as long as I can. But I'll check it out anyway to see what songs they play. Thanks!
Oxford Owl tree books: I mentioned yesterday that the level 3 books we have were much longer. Well, I take that back. The tiger book was longer, but the other ones aren't. Also, the book my daughter read yesterday was her second level 3 book. She read another one this morning, so there's only one left. I wish there were more books per level. I haven't checked them out, but I think level 4 will be my daughter's level, so my guess is we'll be reading level 3 and level 4 books for a while, until we can move onto level 5. We'll see. I'll also dust off the Songbirds books, so that we have a few more books to work with.
I'm glad to hear he's already back home, Alba!! In my experience children are always kind of sick in winter. If they aren't coughing, they have a runny nose. Both my children still deal with this, but it's true that it gets better once they're a bit older. Regarding your being sick, I was the same until my son turned 2, then my body decided not to catch everything anymore, finally!!! I had 5 ear infections in one year when I hadn't had an ear infection before in my life. Hang in there!!
They're very good at non-verbal communication, aren't they? It's okay to be expectant waiting for them to say words...we all are! And when you're dealing with more than one language, we even pay more attention to anything language-related. Just wanted to put your mind at ease.
If your children can speak with their grandpa only in the ml that easily, I'd say you guys are doing great in the ml department, Undraa. Enjoy the time you get to spend with your dad as well as all the help with the ml.
You're lucky your eldest is interested in letters. It'll make things much easier when introducing reading.
That's another mistake my daughter makes: irregular verbs, not just regularizing them, but not knowing how to conjugate them. Just yesterday, she said: "Have you do it?". My husband quickly said "Have you done it?" while, at the same time, I said "Did you do it?" I can see why these things would be confusing!
You had me laughing with the letter to Santa, Amy We haven't gotten my daughter to write hers yet, but I bet she'd be happy to have us write it for her instead, asking for whatever it is we think she wants.
That's nice that your husband can help with ml2. You're the one doing all the heavy lifting with this applying to the ml2 international section, so it's good to have some help with it.
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Adam Beck: WARNING: This is a humorous post, but the images are a bit scary! 10 Frightful Monsters Explain the Many Benefits of Being Bilingualbuff.ly/2qhimjO
Oct 29, 2018 18:38:13 GMT 9
Raquel: Happy Halloween, everyone!!
Oct 31, 2018 18:06:11 GMT 9
Amy: And to all other fellow zookeepers of course!
Nov 4, 2018 18:13:28 GMT 9
Wojtek: Yesterday my daughter used a Polish word in an English sentence. From time to time she does it (don't know if I should be happy about that), but anyway what was amusing about that, she said it with an English accent!
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:45 GMT 9
Wojtek: I feel the English accent in our monolingual family has seemed to be something unreachable but in that mixed sentence, I heard the difference. It surprised me slightly.
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:55 GMT 9
Amy: So cute Wojtek! And such a lovely piece of news!
Nov 7, 2018 6:29:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice Wojtek! Give that little girl a big hug from Uncle Adam!
Nov 7, 2018 10:16:33 GMT 9
Amy: Beautiful pictures Adam! The serenity of the place transpired in every pic. Thank you for sharing them
Nov 11, 2018 21:58:40 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, Amy, she got a lot of ml exposure but there's only so many times I can watch a Bibi & Tina DVD. Glad she's back at school today.
Nov 13, 2018 0:16:03 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter's school had the annual lantern pageant yesterday. It always moves me to tears when I see the kids stand and belt out the songs in our ml. This year, the ml kids also recited a short poem on St Martin.
Nov 25, 2018 3:34:49 GMT 9