Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Do as she does

A while ago, I mentioned how essential Suzanne would be to Max's acquisition of English. What I didn't realize at the time (or think about actually because I kind of have a one track mind when it comes to this blog) is how essential she would be to everything he does. Max is just a little monkey who copies everything his big sister does. I don't remember Suzanne picking up a toothbrush to brush her teeth or tearing toilet paper squares to throw in the toilet (along with a book or two) or standing on chairs trying to reach things.

It makes me realize how an older sibling is the best (and arguably the worst) teacher a kid can have. And, I know there are many reasons for parents to only have one child, but I think it must be a little lonely and boring. But I digress...

Max has entered the period of language acquisition where you can physically see him acquiring new words and comprehension. The past week, I have tested him and he has passed with flying colors. We missed nap time on Sunday. When we came in and had snack, it was already past 4pm so I put the kids together to play in the "cage" which I've filled with balloons. After a couple minutes, Max starts saying bye-bye and waving. So I take him out of the play yard and ask him if he wants to go nap. He nods his head in a yes-like way and says "dah" which I think is yeah. Then he walks over the staircase and stood in front of teh gate saying bye-bye. Then the next morning, I was having trouble getting Suzanne out of bed so, without making any hand motions, I told Max to wake her up. He walked right into her room, to her bed and cuddled with her. He did the same thing last night when I told him to tell her it was time for a bath. He went to her and said, "ba".

He has done similar things in response to his father speaking in French (but we all know that the French thing is less intersting to me so I won't talk about it). He has now learned to successfully use the sign for please and uses it at the appropriate time (except when he's screaming for more food). And he has begun associating gestures that I use when I read books with everyday conversation. For instance, yesterday when I said something was big, he raised his hand over his head. He does the same for push, pull, loud (of coourse he loves banging things).

And Suzanne continues to amaze me, even when she transposes her French onto her English. She recently said, "I won't have scared." When I asked her what she said, she corrected herself without me saying anything. As my professor in french once told me, when you begin auto-correcting yourself, you know you've got a hold on the language. We even have discussions about why certain forms - sleeped or eated - are incorrect. And to my surprise, Suzanne actually took it to heart and corrected herself. Yay Suzanne!

As I wrote in a post a while back, I suspected Suzanne would be pivotal in Max's English learning and she has been. She is my best ally in the daily English battle since she is the only one who Max hears a full conversation with. When Suzanne was Max's age, I got together almost every Wednesday with anglophone friends; but I am finding it much harder to do now because of logistic, work and also having a social child who has opinions on who she wants to see.

But now that we're all settled in with life as a family of 4, I think we can return to a semi-regular English language Wednesday activity.

3 comments:

La Mom said...

Hi there! I just bumped in your blog and found very interesting and FUNNY :) I'm following your blog, right on ! =P
b/w you should leave a contact link where we ppl could actually reach you- like an email :)
Love,
La Mom

Pepe Le Pew said...

Auto-correction, that is huge. Most kids think the way they say it is correct and the rest of the world should get it right.

Reb said...

La Mom, thanks for your comment. I've added you to my bloglist so I'll be a regular visitor to your blog too.

Pepe, cool, huh?! Hope it continues...

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