The weird thing is my son says very little in English at this point, but he sometimes seems to use English grammar in Spanish phrases and sentences.
He may do it the other way around too, and you may not get to hear it because he mostly speaks English with you I know my daughter sometimes borrows from Spanish (ML) when speaking English (ml), even though I still believe her English is still a bit stronger.
I'm also thinking, but I wouldn't know, that some children may understand one language but not speak it. What if it was the same with grammar? That it doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with speaking a language.
Welcome, James!! That's a very nice thing you're doing for your sister.
Speaking with a native speaker of your second language in this language is hard, and the closer you are, the harder it is. I also think this may be the case with your sister. I wouldn't blame her if she feels self-conscious speaking English with you.
Beside italki, as Amy suggested and Adam recommended before, there's a website: Conversation Exchange, that I used years ago. You can look for people who are native speakers of the language you want to practice and are learning your first language. She could look for someone, contact them, agree on a time to talk and speak with them through a chat sofware. Most people do this weekly, but how often they want to chat is entirely up to them.
I think it's a little bit of both. You are right they definitely borrow (even we adults do that when tired) but I think that some very confusing word concepts such as people being plural, they are likely to get it wrong like a ml monolingual peer.
Definitely, Amy! I was talking about saying "dos gentes". That would be an irregular plural, when the right one is actually regular: "dos personas" (=2 people). My guess is, in this case, they're borrowing. Regarding 2 peoples and 2 persons, I see how these could be common mistakes made by children.
I don't blame them! I've always thought watching soccer was quite boring (sorry, soccer fans). But even if they don't watch a game, they can still find out what the result was and fill out what you prepared for who wins what game and goes onto the next phase. Are you following any particular team or the World Cup as a whole?
So we need to remember that we have to keep this whole ml adventure fun and not a source of added stress!
Definitely!! Well said, Nellie. Good luck on your decision; these things are tough!! But whatever you do, you have no reason to feel guilty for a lot of reasons: 1) you already do a lot for your children's mls every day, 2) sometimes other things come before the mls, and that's okay and 3) if she's already spending 5 weeks with the ml2 speaking nanny, I think you've got this language covered no matter what you do. But if you're leaning towards the ml2 camp in spite of its disadvantages, it must be for a reason. The only one who truly knows what your circumstances and needs are is you.
You're clearly good at it!! In the morning I can do no-thing.
In fact, I didn't mean it as a worry, but as a positive thing. I'm happy to have noticed this change, it means she's picking up more vocabulary and using it, expanding her language. I also noticed she pronounces her "jotas" (J in ml1) better.
How nice that your eldest picked up on some ml words from the books you're reading. I wouldn't worry about "as" and "like". My daughter now says "could" for "can". It must be a phase. She'll grow out of it.
"Mamá tiene pupa" is sooo cute!! I love that she used the word "pupa" (=booboo); very natural for a little child.
A 2yo vs. a 2.5yo is like night and day, Amy. I think any difference you saw there may be more due to age difference than amount of languages they're exposed to.
Time my daughter spent in the ml this week: 42.5h.
Reading: We managed to read 5 days this week, which is nice! We're 2 days away from finishing lesson 11, out of 20 reading lessons. I haven't read that much this past week, and my daughter hasn't read her books, just the 2 pages from her lessons, but she's been tired and asking to go to bed, which, to me, takes priority. I was very happy about the dinosaur chalk board last week, and my daughter hasn't used it at all this one. That's fine, these things have its ups and downs. On the other hand, she's been reading the words on her brother's Toot-toot drivers automobiles: "van", "truck"; and on other things.
My son: He keeps saying more and more. In Spanish he's been saying "que no" (=No!! / No, I said), and in English he told my husband yesterday that he wasn't heavy, that his sister was. My husband told him that he needed to put my son down because he was too heavy and my son said: "[his name] no, [sister's name] heavy". He's also finally pronouncing "water" better, not just "wawa", but more like "wa--ta" with a silence in between syllables. I've been a pain trying to teach him that one.
It looks like we're all on the same page. I think that's a long list of cons, and although I get your wanting your daughter to go to this camp, some things are just too difficult and inconvenient to be feasible.
I totally get the need for sleep and some quiet time; we parents have needs too, something we often forget. So free yourself of any guilty feelings you may have and go with what you and your family need.
I have to wonder, do native Spanish-speaking toddlers say "dos gentes"?
I don't think so, Taysha. But I wouldn't give it another thought: bilingual children often make different mistakes because, when they don't know something, they borrow from the other language, which is pretty smart! My daughter often says "two persons", from "dos personas" in Spanish, even though she has never heard it said that way either. Another example of this is when she says "I don't have nothing" (no tengo nada).
"People" and "gente" confuse a lot of people speaking one language and learning the other (Spanish/English), because they seem the same, but people is the plural of person, while "gente" is not a plural, it's something more unspecific and it's usually uncountable, kind of like stuff vs. things.
I have to agree with Amy. I have no experience on switching languages with a child, but starting small and building up from there is what makes sense to me. I think your son is now too old to accept your speaking a different language that he doesn't understand. It would be equally hard on you. Songs, books and games seem like a good place to start. I also liked Amy's puppet suggestion. I've heard it before. From what I've read, it works.
Your getting used to switching languages is a different story. I do think visual reminders work, especially in the beginning. Something else you can do is keep track of whether you've spoken in the ml that day, so that it's always on your mind.
I was formally taught to read in English as a child, and I still definitely need a book to tell me all the rules so I remember how to explain things to my kids. So many rules I just know instinctively, but cannot remember the reason why. I feel like I’ve been relearning myself as I teach them.
That makes me feel better, Carrie! That's nice that you got to relearn all the rules while helping your children.
One of the few rules I do remember learning as a child though is the magic E rule that Raquel mentioned. I learned that it was the “silent E” that caused the other vowel to say its name. I like the idea of a “magic” E better than a silent one though.
I think I like "silent E" too. It tells you that you're not supposed to sound that last E.
I'm thinking...couldn't you both get their older siblings to help you? I know it's easier said than done; I've had to remind my daughter she must only speak in the ml with her brother more than once. But she's still a great ally; all the time they spend together is usually time spent in the ml, so it isn't just us, parents, being their only source of ml exposure. If we can make the older kid/s feel big about our needing their help, they're more likely to go with it.
You and me both, Amy!! When I think about it, I believe I learned to read every word in English at first. Then -subconstiously- learned patterns that allowed me to read words I didn't know. I was never formally taught to read in English. This is why I needed a book that did everything for me when teaching my daughter, because I don't know any rules.
I remember taking French in high school and we learned to read when learning new words and by trial and error, really. It wasn't difficult. It just took learning how some letter combinations were pronounced. So I agree with you, English is the most difficult of the 3 IMO.
My son keeps repeating everything we say. His repetitions keep getting longer and I love it. Today he was saying "[his name]'s light, [his sister's name]'s light" while pointing at each in the car. This morning, he also repeated a 4-word sentence about how there was a lot of something.
I agree that 50/50 is a very good balance between ML and ml. I also think that parroting shouldn't be understimated. I think that children go through this phase for a reason. My guess is their vocalizations are good enough for them to repeat more and better and saying things out loud is the best way to learn new words and expressions. My son is going through this same phase at the moment and I love that he's able to repeat longer phrases, up to 4-5 words.
Spending time in ml country will be great for your son's ml. I think this is the age when it matters the most: around the time they turn 2. I haven't read anything supporting this, it's just my personal perception, but it made all the difference with my daughter.
Thanks, Amy! I'll check it out when I'm home. The book we're using talks about "magic e", so when I see one, I remind my daughter that magic E makes the other vowel sound like its name. So far we've only done long I and E, but it works with long A too. Learning to read in English is hard!! It's SO much easier in Spanish. One good side effect of this book is that I'm learning to pronounce better; win-win.
Hi, Angela. If you mean situations like when someone says something like: "And how old are you, little one?", what I do is tell my child in the ml: "Say: hi, I'm [age]" and then tell this person in the ML "S/he's [age]". This happens to me a lot with my son, and so I talk to him in the ml and translate for other adults. For instance, when we arrive at his nursery school every morning, teachers there say hello to him in the ML and I always tell my son "Say: hello!/hi!/good morning!" and then say hi to the teacher in the ML myself. No one has ever felt offended...and if someone does, that's their problem, really.
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Nellie: Haha love it Mayken! The best thing is - she is right!
Apr 24, 2018 5:45:09 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter's ml homework for this week included baking a cake - there's a cake in the story they read, and after each chapter there are questions and tasks, and the current chapter has the step-by-step recipe. She's to bring the cake to school too.
May 1, 2018 23:48:48 GMT 9
Amy: What a nice original homework! Makes such a change from standard homework, and I wouldn't be surprised if kids remember more from it! I like your bilingual school Mayken! Lucky little girl, and lucky Mummy!
May 2, 2018 0:00:43 GMT 9
Mayken: ml cake homework update: About half the class brought cake (8 out of 15), not all of them were the cake from the book recipe, but my daughter's was the most popular. (Maybe because we added food colouring and topped it with chocolate icing and smarties?)
May 4, 2018 5:58:10 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Cake is definitely my favorite kind of homework!
May 4, 2018 11:28:51 GMT 9
Jana: One of the best parts of having kids in bilingual school was getting Mother's Day cards in two languages! (With less-than-perfect spelling in both!) Ha!
May 15, 2018 9:16:08 GMT 9
Amy: (Twice) Lucky you Jana! So nice to read exciting pieces of news like yours!
May 16, 2018 5:46:25 GMT 9
Mayken: I still have that to look forward to, Jana! Mother's Day in our ML country is two weeks later, and the ml teacher goes along with that date. (It was last Sunday in our ml country.)
May 16, 2018 5:58:11 GMT 9