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Dec 5, 2010

Language development, Curiosity and Literacy

As Charlotte is barely starting to communicate right now (babbling and giggling, primarily), it regularly strikes me how far we have come with Daniel in a couple of years. It's becoming so easy to communicate with him, and our discussions are taking very interesting turns. Recently, Daniel started asking all kinds of questions to understand the background of things he has been taking for granted for years. For instance, recent topics include: Who made the jacket I am wearing, why don't we work on Saturdays, where is the sun when it's night time. I am a little bit concerned going into the Christmas season knowing that Daniel is starting to question a lot of things and he might quickly be able to poke holes in the whole Santa Claus story. This could become an interesting challenge!

On the language front, Daniel is definitely slowly but surely making progress in his 2nd and third languages. He regularly makes simple sentences in French. As long as they use the 3rd person, he has a good chance of getting things right. So far, he hasn't learned the "je" pronoun yet, because I rarely use it with him. So he often will say things like: "I porte le sac". I don't mind the one mistake. It's still encouraging that Daniel is not always just taking the easy road and saying everything in English.
Also, Daniel now comments regularly and proudly that he "parle francais". It's great he is starting to recognize the different languages. One of Charlotte's friends at daycare has a French father, and I have been talking with him in French each time we meet. Last week, Daniel overheard the conversation and asked "why you parle francais to him?" This is a good example for him to realize how important French can be if he hears me use it with other people around here. Hopefully it will keep him motivated.

I don't think I have talked about literacy and letters here yet. Daniel has just started learning the letters in the last 6 months or so and progress was slow at first. So there wasn't much to report yet. Recently, Daniel has started to proactively ask which letter is at the beginning of words. It happens in the car, during dinner, while reading. In most cases, Daniel guesses the answer himself, although we might have to give him some hints. Also, when we read books, he wants to read them to us, pointing to the words and making up meaning as we go. He loves reading his German books, because they show more capital letters (for the beginning of each noun), so it's easier for Daniel to recognize. The other day, we were reading a German book about horses and we were on the page where we were seeing a horse at the vet. Daniel recognized the "O" for Operationssaal ("surgery room" and went on to "read" that the horse was a the hospital (in French, where the word "hospital" really sounds like it could start with O, so this was right on). Daniel definitely seems to be interested in reading, which is very exciting.


  1. It is glad to hear about the language milestones that your son is taking. And, i think that by him seeing you talk to others in French, then it reinforces the usefulness of the language. He will begin to understand that the language also can be used outside of the home with others, and not just Mommy.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate you visiting!