Congratulations, Tatyana!! It looks like you found what works for your children. I don't think it matters how quickly they learn, as long as they enjoy it. It's better to have to wait a little longer and have them love the language than have them learn quickly while hating it. I'm very happy for you!
It could have to do with maturity, Amy, but my son is always more interested in men than in women. There have been times when he's talking about what this man and that one are doing and I've told him that there are also women in this world, not just men.
This sure is my favorite year when it comes to language. They go from next to nothing to speaking quite a lot in a very short time. It's amazing to watch.
It does, Nellie!!
Counting: Yesterday, we found out my son can count to 10, with his mistakes here and there. We haven't taught him, so I wonder whether he learned at school or from his sister. It was so cute yesterday, because right after getting to: "8, 9...", he says, triumphantly: "...two!!" This morning, I heard my daughter going "... 29, 30, 31..." I guess the trading cards are doing their job. She still makes mistakes.
Learning to read: My daughter only read 3 days this week, but it was a busy one, so I'm surprised we could get all that reading in.
Reading: I haven't read much to them at night, but it's hard to do when they're already asleep by the time we get home. I hope things slow down soon.
Speaking at 11 months? Neither of my children spoke until they were 15 months old, so I don't think your son is lagging behind at all!! I have seen children say "mamá" (=mom) at 12mo, and I know it isn't that uncommon, but later is perfectly normal too.
You were very lucky that your daughter didn't cry when going to nursery school. Both my children cried, my son still does, and so did my nephew. But as soon as they moved onto the other school (3yo and up), there was no more crying, so hang in there!! It's usually just the first month, and after long holidays.
I would have also gone for Chinese. 1h isn't enough to make a difference in her English, and Chinese is something new to be exposed to, which is always good in my book.
That's great that your daughter's friends speak English to some extent and were willing to speak it with you. I wish that were the case with my daughter's friends!
About "I can" instead of "can I", I've been correcting my daughter's questions for ages: "Mommy, where you are?/what you're doing?/etc..." "Can I" is the exception, really. If you come up with something that works and gets her to say it right, let us know!! I just keep repeating it correctly every time, emphasizing what she's saying wrong, then answering: "where are you? I'm.../what are you doing? I'm..." The other day I corrected her a couple of times in a short time, and then she made the opposite mistake. But at least this means she's listening.
Thanks for the ideas and the video, Nellie and Adam!!
Agreed on diversity being enriching, Amy! I also loved the road safety topic. I already told my husband I want my daughter to watch some videos on the matter.
The 'class' went well yesterday. I always tell the people who come that my children already speak English, but they always seem to believe I mean they speak some English. The new 'teacher' started by speaking slowly, then made a comment about my son's vocabulary because of something he said, and then was very surprised to see that the kids were chatting away in English. He told me a few times how well they spoke, then mentioned it to my husband when he got home, and finally told my brother (they go to their place afterwards) that my daughter had more vocabulary than he does. An exaggeration, obviously, but it shows how surprised he was by it. All these comments made my day!! Very proud mom here.
My son, who was running around the apartment last year during English class spent a whole hour with this man before even asking for me. I think Nellie is right and he likes playing with a man better. The teacher was a bit shy, but very nice, and I could hear how he was building up the kids' vocabulary, which is great. I just hope he enjoyed the experience of working with such small children and will be coming back.
Son's speech: I paid attention yesterday because I can never remember sentences my son has said. When I picked him up from school, his teacher was telling me that he had "peed in the potty", so when we were outside the classroom he tells me: "I pee on the floor. [Teacher's name] clean it" so I take back what I said about up to 4-word sentences. It's also funny how he sometimes uses the past tense in set phrases that he hears a lot like "I did it" or "it fell". I mentioned to my husband how some months ago he was only using words and now you can have small conversations with him.
It looks like we have someone who will come play with my children in the ml. His first day is today. I hope there are no last-minute cancellations. It'll be the first time we have a Canadian, and the first time it's a man. I love it when the person who comes is different in any way.
My son's English is improving a lot!! He keeps repeating things here and there; I guess the ones he wants to learn. Yesterday, he told me "Careful, mommy!" and I was surprised he'd say something like that. His sentences are now up to 4 words long.
I mentioned before that I try to work on what they do at school, but in English. It looks like this first trimester will be about road safety. Parents are usually invited to go to school and do something with the kids. If anyone can think of easy videos, games, or activities, please let me know!! I already have a couple of ideas I read online (show them how toy cars are faster than toy dolls because they go on wheels, show them how a toy strapped to a toy car is safer than one who isn't, play a video...) I was also thinking of teaching them the usual "green means go, red means stop" and maybe make a game of it.
You're so lucky to have this opportunity of sending your children to a bilingual school in an area where many speak the ml!!! You also work hard on your children's French, and I think that's what makes them feel comfortable speaking it and what keeps them from looking for English-speaking friends. I'm glad to hear they're both doing so well!
It sounds like you have a funny story to tell them when they're older. Some days everything goes wrong, and it looks like this was one of them. We've all been there! Like Mayken and Adam said, you can learn from what didn't work and do it differently next time. It's a matter of trying until you find what works for them.
Thanks, guys! It's proving tricky, but there are still a few possibilities I haven't tried. If it doesn't work out in the end, I think I'll just make sure to sit with them for over an hour and do nothing but read, play and work on things I think they should be learning. It won't be the same, but at least it's something. We'll see.
Today, one of the English teachers at my son's nursery school (one whose English is excellent, BTW), heard him say "a lion!", pointing at one, and she commented on all the things he was saying these days. These comments always make me happy.
Reading: my daughter only read in both languages 3 days, but we read only the English page 4.5 days (one was just half a page). My son asks why his sister is reading every time
Aims: 1. Speak in the ml more with hubby: I mentioned it the other day, so we should both now make an effort. 2. Read a book to my children every night: After this summer, then going back to school, I haven't read much to them. I want to get back on track. 3. Clear out at least one shelf to make room for my books.
The Scot stood us up and only let us know an hour before we were expecting her. She also didn't reply when I asked her whether it was only yesterday or all Thursdays, so I guess I have my answer. I'm already looking for someone else, but it'll be more difficult now that most people have already booked their classes. I'm very disappointed; she seemed very nice. Oh well, we'll find someone we love anyway!
Raquel , whether this year or another year, you are always welcome in the City of Lights and you'll always have someone to visit.
Thanks, Amy! I will someday. I think Paris is the foreign city I've visited most. And now I have a great excuse to go again; I'd love to see you again and meet Nellie and Mayken.
Sorry your daughter's English has worsened a bit because of Spanish. But I agree with Nellie, that's kind of expected when spending all that time speaking a different language. She'll get back to where she was before now that things are more balanced, language-wise.
I'm also glad she wasn't upset about not going to the English class with her classmate.
I, like Mayken, feel more comfortable with North American accents and need a little time to get used to British and Australian accents.
Funny story: the first time I heard an Australian, I was listening to the radio, and to me they were talking about a "gaim" that someone was "plying". I couldn't understand a thing. After a bit I realized it was a "game" they were "playing". It cracked me up when people said "good day, mate" when we were in Australia, because what I heard was "good die, might". Also, to my ears, we were from "Spine", apparently, hehe. It took a little getting used to, but it wasn't difficult. Other than this long-a sound, I agree they sounded very British to me.
Thanks, Nellie. Because of the way everyone used the word creche on this forum, I figured it was the equivalent to what I call nursery school. If you click on the link I posted, you should be able to see what it was called. I hope it's a chain and you can find one wherever you're going in the UK.
Thanks, Amy. Actually, many of these ideas aren't even mine: I read about the stickers on an Amazon review, lol. The trading card album just happened. My daughter only tells me the numbers: 4, 8, so I say "for..." and she then replies "forty-eight". We're working on it, but it's good practice. I'm thinking of buying a new one once this one is completed.
First meeting with the Scot coming home weekly today! I can't wait. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
We finally limited my daughter's activities to one after school. She chose ballet, so we had to say goodbye to soccer in the ml, but I'm SO glad our weekends are now weekly activities free.
Back to school and almost back to our usual schedule.
Reading: Our goal is for our daughter to read 1 page in each language every day. Last year we averaged 4 days/week reading 2 pages, so I'm hoping we can keep that up or hopefully do better. We keep following our reading lesson and sometimes reading some Bob Books on the side. We were given a trading card album (not sure about the right term for this) this summer, and my daughter gets new trading cards when reading both her pages. It works well as a reward and it also helps us practice numbers, as there are over 100 cards and I ask her to tell me the number while I look for its place in the album.
Native speaker: I found a Scot who could come home 1 day a week for 1.5h. We're meeting with her tomorrow before she plays with the kids. She gave me references and both families spoke highly of her, so I'm looking forward to meeting her!
Books: We bought quite a few this summer in England; most for the children, but also a couple for me! My daughter has already asked about the book I'm reading, hehe. I'm planning on rearranging some shelves in the living room that were supposed to be for books but are full of anything but.
ml@h: We need to work harder on speaking English between my husband and me. After over a week in England, we needed some Spanish, so we reverted to it. Now it's time to go back to English.
Son: After a summer with mom and dad and hearing only English, my daughter only spoke English. My son is still speaking both, but I'm glad! What I like most about this situation is that he switches depending on who he's speaking with. I love it! His English is still stronger at this point, and I think this past summer made it more so. We still have to work hard on some things he says in Spanish because it's easier for him. I'm also working on getting him to say things better (ie. if he says "n go with daddy", I tell him what he means to say is: "I'm going with daddy", and he always repeats it).
It's good to hear from you in this section of the forum, Tatyana!
I think you're very lucky two of your children are interested in weekend classes. It sounds like you live a busy life, so it's good that you can squeeze all this in.
I totally get the I'll-do-what-I-can attitude, because I've been feeling that way lately too. It still looks like you've been successful getting your children not only to be bilingual, but trilingual; what a great opportunity!
You guys will hate me - my daughter's only common language with your kids is the ML.
That's the beauty of multilingualism; they all still have one language in common: the ML.
One of the great things about meeting with other parents from this site is that we get to discuss all the things we talk about in here, but in person.
If you guys get together, we want details.
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