More Language Acquisition In Mexico

25/01/2017 15:18

Yesterday my kids were arguing and it was like music to my ears. Know why? Because they were doing it in Spanish! Yes. Without noticing, they were bickering in Spanish!

It wasn't complex language; I'd expect a higher level of argument in English but I'm still pretty chuffed by this new development. It went something like this:

2 YO: mine
4 YO: no, mine
2 YO: it's mine!
4 YO: it's not yours, it's mine. Give it to me.

And today we had

4 YO: donde esta papa? (where's daddy?)
2 YO: No lo se (I don't know)

Yeah, not high level stuff but I'm chalking it up as a win. It was totally natural and unselfconscious. They weren't aware they weren't speaking English.

School tells us that the small one will ask to go to the loo in Spanish (or more likely, announce she's weed herself given her total disinterest in getting to the loo on time). The big one has been overheard speaking Spanish with his friends although he refuses to speak to the teachers in Spanish since he knows they speak English.

Big one had his friend over to play on Friday. I am really impressed with the kids all round. It was extremely brave of friend to come and play at the house at all. He doesn't know us and we are very foreign! He wasn't convinced by our food offerings (scones with butter and jam) but was very happy with balloons and a raucous game of 'kids hide under the bed and then try to scare me'. My kids kept having to be reminded that they needed to speak Spanish to friend but when reminded they could do so. Huzzah, another win. Sadly though, husband and I realised there are enormous gaps in our Spanish! We struggled to make small talk with a four year old.

I'm currently trying to bribe them to speak more Spanish at school. Nothing wrong with a bribe to hurry things along now, right? I don't want to get to it being time to go home and still not have the kids speaking with confidence. Instead though, the big one proudly informed me he taught his friend rude words in English, because he needs to know them. How is this so incredibly universal that even four year olds understand that learning languages begins with the rude words? (it was poo, btw, which was lucky since he's not averse to muttering the f word in perfectly appropriate places)

We continue to read in Spanish with them. Did you know that the Mr. Men books are just as dull in Spanish as they are in English? And they call them Mr not Senor, which is, quite frankly, extremely irritating. Another nugget of useless useful information is that there is no consistency with Peppa Pig. Sometimes she's Peppa Cerdito and sometimes Peppa Pig. And shouldn't George by Jorge? Well, he isn't. The only good thing is that Peppa in Mexican Spanish is a lot less annoying than she is in Spanish Spanish. The Spanish Spanish Peppa made me want to pull off my own ears. Luckily Mexican Pig isn't nearly as annoying since our small one is completely Peppa obsessed.

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