Saturday, 4 October 2008

The Success Of My Little Language Learners

Since I won't have time to write a proper entry, here are a few of the highlights from the past two days!

* The entire family has picked up on "cheeky monkey" - an expression I used on the first day to tease little Anna about her very cheeky smile. Now, whenever Anna does something a little bit naughty, she will refer even to herself as a cheeky monkey! (I'll never get over just how quickly children pick up new words...)

* I have read the children a bedtime story about a hungry lion twice now, and have utilized pointing at the various pictures as I read the words as a way of encouraging understanding. The children now know exactly what bears, zebras, lions, rabbits, and carrot stew are in English, though I doubt they'll ever have to use the last word on that list again!

* Though Anna and Marta are naturally inclined towards studying and learning, Pietro can be a little lazy at times. It has therefore been a challenge to have him respond to me in English at all. However, I know I have managed to teach him a few expressions simply from his reaction to my commands. For instance, he will do as he is told when I tell him to "stand up" and "sit down," and he will make a round cup with his hands on the floor when I saw "make a tunnel for your car." I look forward to the day when he actually starts to speak without any inhibitions!

* The children still think that I understand Italian perfectly, and will continue to babble away even though my responses to their stories and questions consist of the minimalistic set of: yeah, okay, that's cool! I have now started to wonder exactly when children become aware of the linguistic abilities of other people... (When I get the time, I will make a point to investigate!)

2 comments:

taracleaver said...

Heather, that sounds wonderful! What an experience :) I'm glad that the family has been so welcoming of you, and that you obviously have a gorgeous vista to enjoy while there. Lovely description! Looking forward to reading more :)

heather-in-italia said...

Thanks Tara, I'll do my best to write as much as I can! It's a little tougher than I imagined since almost the entire day is spent with the family, but it is great fun. :)

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