Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Development of the Children's English: 2 Months On

In this post, I would like to make a small update about the changes that have occurred in the English of the children.

Anna: After two months, Anna (age 3) now understands many of the questions I ask her, the most common of which include "What are you doing?" "How are you?" "How was X?" "Do you like X?" and so on. She also understands my commands, especially those relating to regular household routines such as having a bath, brushing teeth, cleaning up, and sleeping. However, she is still the least likely to speak with me in English, and only does so when her siblings speak English as well.

Pietro: Pietro (age 5) is probably learning the most from me as we spend the most time together. Thanks to Sesame Street, he is now familiar with many adjectives such as "heavy, light, long, short, big, small" and so on. The number of nouns he knows are increasing by the day, and he can easily expression emotions, feelings and sensations such as "happy, sad, hungry, sleepy, thirsty, and funny." He is getting used to informal exchanges such as "Hi - How are you? - I'm good" and he has picked up on "run out" and "full" when used with regards to markers and pens.

Marta: Marta (age 7) learns English at school and is therefore the most advanced as she knows plenty of nouns, adjectives and adverbs from her lessons. She is the most willing to speak and is also the eldest, so she is capable of producing the most complex grammatical structures. She is quite comfortable with "because" and the expression "This is my favourite." She has also managed to successfully acquire the structure "If I were a X, I would be..." after teaching me the Italian equivalent.

All three children: The three children have picked up on a number of sayings English speakers use. Their favourite is "Yummy yummy in my tummy" which Anna pronounces as "Yummy yummy tummy." They also like the word "bellybutton" (which Anna has humourously turned into "bacho"). Sesame Street has taught them a number of directional terms such as "around, over, under, through" which were learned through a song sung by Grover, and they have also picked up on the numbers 1 - 20 thanks to numerous games of hide and go seek, Sesame Street, and a hopping game I invented where I act as a monster who counts the number of steps she takes before she captures the children. An interesting developmental error that both Pietro and Marta seem to make is the use of "my" in the place of "I am" and "mine." For instance, they will say "My hungry" or "This is my." They are both becoming familiar with the use of "you" and "your" but often mix up the two, and often use "this" or "this one" to indicate items or the desire of these items.

I apologize for the severe lack of posting as of late. I have only just started to recover from my cold which left me incapacitated for about three weeks. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things this coming week!

3 comments:

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Sounds like fabulous progress! Children can learn so much, so quickly! The "my" thing makes sense to me, based on time spent with english-speaking toddlers here. Seems like a logical step.

I have a terrible headcold right now! So I completely sympathize with you!! Glad you're getting better!

Do you head home to your parents for a Christmas break at all?

Pergola Kaffee said...

Your children are quite quick learner...

Pergola Kaffee said...

Your children are quite quick learner...

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