Friday, May 10, 2013

Language Update: May 2013

Yesterday, we were riding in the car with Dimaya in the backseat happily singing "Los Niños Cuando Bailan." Her dad and I know the entire CD by heart along with her. I believe it's safe to assume that her sister will know it too!  This non-native language adventure in Spanish since Dimaya was born has been an interesting journey. For a while, I was beginning to wonder if we would be able to keep up with both English and Spanish. I've always done well understanding spoken and written Spanish, but I don't immerse myself in the culture as much as I did when I was an undergrad with my four good friends who were from different Spanish-speaking countries (Ecuador, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, and Mexico). Needless to say, I learned many variations in vocabulary from them! 

Dimaya's progress in Spanish is great! I'm very proud of the extent of her Spanish vocabulary (animals, colors, numbers, etc) and her understanding of spoken Spanish. It's crazy because she pretty much always understands what I'm saying to her no matter which language it is.

Phoebe is just over a year old now and is finally walking! She still only has two teeth, but we are hoping to see more sometime soon! Because I have been working since she was about 4 months old, I feel like her exposure to Spanish has been severely limited. I'm hoping to take time this summer to work with her since I won't begin teaching again until July.

New Developments:
Last week the girls got a visit from their beloved Titi Kate and we were having a great time. I began a conversation in Spanish with Dimaya and she answered everything in English. This has become the case for most days. Every now and then I can get her to speak Spanish or she will randomly ask for things or mention things in Spanish. The only consistency I get from her is when it comes to Phoebe! Dimaya will tell her "don't touch," "stop," "come here" very often. It's really cute actually, and she gets results.

Action Plan:
We've really been using mostly the OPOL method which doesn't work well for our family. I admit that any speaking of languages outside of English are usually my thing, but Steve is very supportive and tries to help me reinforce those languages. I have quite the husband! He's not into languages like his crazy wife, but he also isn't opposed to learning or participating in languages. I love him for this!  

I'm considering some other methods such as minority language at home (ml@h) or maybe even Spanish in the mornings or evenings instead. 

I sounds crazy! I've been working on French recently for myself. I haven't exposed the girls to the language much, but they understand a few basic phrases. Dimaya prefers to watch Little Pim in French often times, or prefers watching Le Petit Nicolas on YouTube to Pocoyo during her allotted tv time. French is important to me because I fell in love with the language in 3rd grade! I would love to share this beautiful language with my family! We'll see how the adventure goes.


  1. So cool that you are doing this language immersion! Tom's family is French-Canadian, and I speak French, but I have not done a good job at introducing it to Charlotte. I'm planning on doing it a bit this summer. Ultimately though, I am trying to figure out plans for a return research trip for me to Zimbabwe or South Africa in the next year or two, in part because I need to get back to my research and in part because I am hopeful she can learn Shona, the African language I've studied the most.

    Bon chance!

    1. I didn't know you spoke French! Are you teaching this summer? I teach in July, but lets get together for coffee/tea or something soon. I would love to chat with you about your research as I am currently exploring research areas.

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