Tuesday, 28 January 2014

What it feels like to be made fun of by a 7 year old

I think about this blog often, I really do. But I just don't get those early morning flashes of inspiration I used to get. Those flashes now go to my new venture which I will write more about some other time.

That  said, I have a lot to report about my bilingual babies who are no longer babies, but are real people now! They are sometimes annoying people, sometimes funny people, but they are always my favorite people.

The bilingual barriers are breaking down while other ones are built up. It's still a constant battle, but an enjoyable one that I no longer worry about losing. I'm not ready to say yet that I won, but I can definitely say that I am on the winner's team :)

Suzanne is now 7 1/2 years old and full of surprises. When she opens her mouth to speak English, she sounds like a small version of me, New Jersey drawl and all. Although her English speaking has never been a problem, she was very daunted by reading in French so I didn't try to teach her to read of write in English. But now, she has taught herself. Much of it is based on French phonetics, but she's doing it and we owe a lot of thanks to the magazine, I love English for Kids which we started getting at the public library. She loves reading the magazine while listening to the CDs at the same time.

Max is 4 1/2. His Germanic accent in both of his languages has evolved. He now speaks with a perfect little French accent in both French and English. My husband and I have various theories about why this is : maybe he's copying his father (who doesn't have a French accent in English), maybe he's lazy, maybe he doesn't have good ears, or maybe he's more focused on the precision of the word choice than on the actual pronunciation.

The hardest part at the moment is making the time to read to them in English. Nightly reading in English has always been a keystone for me and the kids. But with homework, later working hours, and the kids growing up, it's getting harder and harder to find the time. This is more of a weak point in Max's English education than Suzanne's since she got a solid 5 years of it while Max only had 3.

Another point that is becoming increasingly difficult for me is homework. I struggle about how to do homework with Suzanne : English or French? I am a real OPOL purist and speaking French to my kids just seems wrong. But I've had to adapt. For example, when Suzanne has math homework, I can't very well say "eighty-five + thirty = one hundred and fifteen" when she's still trying to figure out the difference between "quatre-vingt-cinq" and "quatre-vingt quinze" (85 and 95, respectively). BUT (and there's always a but), when I do her homework with her, she comments on my accent which she finds very amusing. So it's hard to keep your concentration and authority in a foreign language when your 7 year old is making fun of you...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, finding time to read to them is harder -- they need to read to us now! My little one reads in French to the bigger one. And yes, my kids find my French endlessly entertaining. Especially when I say "yaourt" -- that cracks them up.
Thanks for the blog! I admire anyone who can take the time and focus enough to keep something like this up!
Bisous d'ichi (dans le foret)
Rachael, formerly of Lille

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...