Sign up below to get Itchy Feet comics in your inbox every week!
They learn by interaction with people who are important to them, I think.Just listening won't do them much good -- kids left in front of a TV set that runs all day but whose parents don't actually speak to them much tend to develop language skills more slowly than ones who are exposed to fewer words but where those words come from a person interacting individually with the child, as far as I know.Nice try, though :)
I think that's exactly the point of the comic. You obviously can't just stick a baby in front of a speaker spewing sounds in many languages and expect good results.
My cousin (German) married seomeone who is english native (More or less, New Sealand, parents from Germany).Their little girl speaks English with the father and German with the mother. Works good afaik.
Haha, I have been trying to figure out how to harness this one too. Not so much getting them to speak, but to hear. I'm trying to learn Arabic from English. Every time i talk to an Arab, they always get stuck trying to refine my ح sound in the well-meaning-inlaw fashion. I honestly can't hear what they get hung up over. It feels like I'm making the sound right, according to what I've read and descriptions, but something must just sound wrong to them. It makes me wish I had heard those sounds back in that mushy-brain time. Maybe I wouldn't have this problem.
So how do you really approach communicating with your child when you're a native English speaker, your wife is Italian (missing from the tape btw) and you live in Germany? 2 languages I can get, but 3? How do you decide which are most useful?
I have friends, and American - Japanese couple, who live in Spain and their daughter was born there. The father speaks English to her, and the mother Japanese, and she goes to Spanish school. She is completely tri-lingual. Of course, both parents also speak Spanish and father also little Japanese.
That's brilliant, but I still don't know how it works pre-school age. Presumably the 3rd language has to be introduced later than the others?
Yes, I think she started going to pre-school around the age of three or four.
Our plan is to just speak our native languages and have him learn German in school. He'll pick it up quick enough.
If you can, send him to Kindergarten and/or Vorschule beforehand to get used to German there.A boy in my daughter's class had not had that opportunity (his parents couldn't get an opening for him) and so he was thrown in at the deep end at Grade 1 with only Albanian under his belt. Sure, he caught up in the end, but I think his sister (who had managed to go to Kindergarten) had it easier.
What's the flag above the Chinese one?
That's the flag of the Arab League...a good a flag for Arabic as I could find, anyway.
Oh, I seeThank you! :)
How about exposing him to all the phonemes from every language, before the brain starts pruning some of that stuff?This way, if he decides to pick up yet another language later he won't have any problem a la native Japanese speakers not hearing the difference between r and l after infancy, native Persian speakers not hearing the difference between v and w after infancy, etc. ;)
I believe babies can hear the difference between all the sounds from every language initially. However, if there is no meaningful contrast between the sounds (e.g. pig vs. big. vs. dig vs. gig), they will eventually not be able to differentiate the sounds.