Pumpkin is 3 and she’s very much my daughter. So, it doesn’t surprise me that she can be very stubborn. But, now Pumpkin has decided that she isn’t speaking Spanish. In fact, she likes to say she doesn’t “know Spanish at all”. If she is asked to get her shoes in Spanish, Pumpkin answers in English that she is not getting her shoes, and she “doesn’t even speak Spanish anyway.”
What happened to my child who was fluently chattering away in Spanish at ages 1 1/2- 2 1/2?
So, we are trying a new approach. We will continue to have her immersed in Spanish language with her beloved Patricia (who exclusively speaks to her Spanish) but now we will not expect her to answer in Spanish. We will ignore the fact she is answering in English and just be happy that she obviously knows what is being said to her in Spanish.
This school year we are starting more consistent lessons with her brothers, incorporating group lessons and more games that involve the use of spanish. I am also planning on taking a more active role in the children’s bilingual education. Previously, I felt that I should stay out of it since I am not a fluent native speaker. However after reading, “The Bilingual Edge” by Kendall King and Alison Mackey, I realize that it is actually vital that I participate.
QUICK TIPS: Creating Good Language Learning Environments for Preschoolers
- Have fun integrating the language as part of your daily routines. For example, sing morning songs in the language, play alphabet and counting games, guessing games, and have a word of the day.
- Read stories to your child in the language. Keep these light, fun and brief. Encourage your child to interact with the book and you.
- Play songs in the second language
- Be enthusiastic and positive about learning the language
- Don’t be overly focused on perfection or correction, instead focus on what your child has achieved.
* excerpt from The Bilingual Edge by King and Mackey
Here is a video of clip of Pumpkin proudly showing me that she can find all the animals that Patricia is asking her to locate in Spanish. I was so proud! At the end you can catch a glimpse of her stubborn bossy side.