Saturday, February 16, 2013

Languages: Fun or Normal?

My daughter seems to enjoy this show we see on TV sometimes called "Say It With Noddy" (I think - it's dubbed into Czech). Each short episode introduces one English phrase that is repeated several times. I'm not sure why K likes it, frankly, unless she gets a kick out of already knowing all the phrases they teach.

It always ends with the phrase "Ta angličtina je legrace!" (English is fun!)

This week K took exception to that statement:

K (sounding kind of offended): Hey, English isn't fun, is it?
Me: (going along with her) Um, no. So English isn't fun?
K: No, it's just normal.
Me: I see. And is Czech fun?
K: No, it's just normal, too.

And you know, for her - for us - that's true. English and Czech aren't something fun or unusual. They're NORMAL.

That's kind of great, if you think about it.


Also, today I settled something for the children by doing "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe", which I haven't said in at least twenty years. I realized as I said it that K has never heard it before. She did, however, know all the words to "En ten tyky", the Czech equivalent. Her English is still dominant, but I guess you can tell what language she hangs out with other kids in.

She hesitated before saying the last line, telling me they weren't supposed to say that. I asked why, and she said it had the word *whisper* kakat (poop) - and immediately clamped her hand over her mouth with her eyes open wide.

I was very careful not to laugh.


We've now been doing our reading lessons for just over a month (tonight was #32). We had a brief backslide in week two or three where K was battling nerves again, but we worked through it - I think she might believe me now that really, nothing bad will happen if she doesn't know the right answer, no seriously - and she is progressing right on schedule.

We love the fact that each lesson (after the first two weeks) has a story with it. They started out as just two or three words each, but there was a story and a picture and that is SO EXCITING for K. Currently she's reading stories of three to four sentences of several words each. It's such a dramatic improvement that I think she's finally starting to believe that she can learn to read after all. (That has been the problem: she was irrationally convinced that she would never learn to read and all the other kids would be smarter than her. Definitely not true.)


Have a good weekend! I started this post when it was still Friday but it appears to be Saturday already...

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