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Aug 11, 2011

Trilingualism at 3.5, interaction with grand-parents means great progress

We hit a great milestone in language development since our recent trip to Europe and visit with the grand-parents. Such a progress in just 2 weeks! Amazing! Since my last update on trilingualism 3 months ago, Daniel had achieved a plateau, speaking some broken German at home and understanding but speaking very little French. We just came back from our trip, and Daniel's official language at home seems to have become German (no surprise since my husband and I speak German together). He spontaneously starts speaking in German, and he now says a lot of grammatically correct sentences. Wow! Only 6 days with German-speaking grand-parents, and he got enough boost to drastically change his main language! It really means that he had picked up a lot over the last 3 years, he just hadn't had the chance to apply it.

I don't know how long this is going to last. The effect is probably going to fade away as Daniel gets more immersed to the English speaking world. But still, I am excited to see that he can speak German correctly when needed. And grand-parents are coming again in 6 weeks, so hopefully, this will give another boost.

As for French, Daniel also made a lot of progress in the short time we spent with my family. While he still had a hard time leading an entire discussion in French, he was able to correctly say a few sentences here and there, all spontaneously. Another encouraging observation was that he was using the correct pronouns for the first time. He was not just repeating parts of a sentence someone has just said, but changed it to make sense based on the speaker and addressee. I think we are still a year or 2 away from being able to have deep discussions in French. But it's very encouraging to see the continuous progress, slow and steady. Daniel seems to enjoy toggling between the languages, and as long as he doesn't mind, I am hoping that he will continue learning. Next visit in France should be over Christmas. Hoping we can continue the momentum until then.

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