Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A Little Girl's Love of Shoes....

This is a terribly indulgent post that will most likely only be of interest to hard core Poppette fans and close friends and family... but I just can't help myself because i'm so darn proud of her!!!!

Last night she started to say "chaussures" [shoes]... it sounds more like 'shur shuur' for now but I am totally gobsmacked at her picking such a patently difficult word to pronounce... out of all the things she could have chosen to say.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Minority Language Playdates

Minority language playdates are the things that dreams are made of. Unfortunately, for Poppette and I, they are also rather rare at the moment.

Some French friends of ours have a little boy who is one month younger than Poppette and is being raised bilingual French/ English using the Mother Language at Home technique. These friends used to live close by but unfortunately, due to work commitments, moved to another city recently :(

Anyhow, just over a week ago they came to visit for the day... a fabulous day where only French was spoken.

The great thing to come out of this for Poppette is that she had lots of fun.

The great thing to come out of it for me was that I got to see first hand that my daughter truly does understand French even when spoken by someone other than her maman.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

February's Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism - Yippee

Honestly, I am such a language geek.... I A L W A Y S get excited in the run up to the Carnival.... and today February's edition has been published.

This month it is being hosted by Jen over at Perogies & Gyoza and you can read the entries by clicking here.

Pop over and have a good old read.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Language learning by osmosis

A fabulous consequence of raising our daughter as a bilingual with my non-native language is that her Papa is picking the language up by osmosis.

Papa had a French tutor for a few years until last September when his tutor could no longer provide lessons. Since then, outwardly his language learning had come to a halt. As we all know, language needs to be nurtured and even a native language speaker can lose their skills if they stop actively using their language for prolonged periods of time.

But Papa's nature is to listen and soak up.... quietly and diligently without making a fuss...and then, suddenly... I realised - he has been soaking up the conversations between Poppette and I and now understands so much more than he ever did. To the point where, should I say to Poppette in French, "Let's ask Daddy to go and run your bath and put on the bubble machine" I don't even have to translate anymore.... Papa just gets up and gets on with his little mission... it's brilliant to see another facet of language learning in action.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

One Year On... Oh How Far We Have Come it really a year ago today that I first sat down infront of my computer and started to chronicle my hopes and fears around our efforts to create a bilingual household?

It's actually been over a year since I started speaking French with Poppette. When I think of all the angst and self doubt that typified those first months, I can honestly say there were a few times I didn't think we would get this far. If I had a list back then setting out exactly the achievements we have made to date, I just wouldn't have believed we could come even close.

So today is an exciting day.

A day of reflection and celebration.

Don't get me wrong, I still have the odd 'wobble' and crisis of confidence. But I have learnt to manage these by not looking too far forward and focussing on the here and now. If we can just get through each day with no major communication issues... then why should tomorrow be any different???

So far my darling daughter truly is bilingual. My heart skips a beat when I say those words :D Although she still only says the odd word (and admittedly right now these tend to be English ones more than their French counterparts), she understands French and English equally fact, Papa is convinced that she understands more French.... and I am inclined to agree as there are some questions, requests and instructions that she responds to immediately when I am speaking in French but that she seems not to understand when said in English by Papa.

Poppette loves books. She spends a huge amount of time each day picking them off her shelf and turning each page carefully. Papa and I sit with her and as she points things out we name them. If we ask her where something is she turns to the correct page and points it out. For Poppette it seems entirely normal that objects have more than one name....'le soleil'/ 'the sun', 'un nuage' / 'a cloud', 'un cochon'/ 'a pig'.....language aquisition and the human brain truly are mind blowing.

Now 16 months in age, Poppette has been saying meaningful words since around the 11 month mark. One thing I have noticed, however, is that her use of these words ebbs and flows and sometimes I wonder if I actually dreamt that she had been saying a word for a week or two that she then no longer seems to say. Currently, her main words are 'Didi' (for Doudou), 'More' (for 'more', 'again' and also to indicate that she wishes to do an activity). She also says 'Daddy' and 'Papa' a lot. I'm not really sure where all the other words have gone for now.

We have been talking to her more and more over recent weeks about the impending arrival of her baby brother and about a week ago she started to say 'Baby'. I don't think she has grasped the fact that she will soon be an older sister but I still think it's good to talk about it with her. The interesting point from a language point of view is that I always speak about 'le petit bébé' (the little baby) and we read 'Et dedans il y a' ('and inside there is..') so I'm not too sure why Poppette has chosen the English word over the French.... Is this a sign of things to come.....?

One thing that I am excited about and that I hope will give legs to our ongoing bilingual success is that I am due to take maternity leave which will allow me to spend more time with Poppette. The opportunity to be able to play a larger part in her life and her development than I have been able to recently as a full time working mum makes me smile wider than ever. I feel very lucky.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

English Language DVDs with French Language Options

As many of us know only too well, the costs of buying French language DVDs and having them shipped over from France can really mount up.

Fortunately for us, another non-native Maman who is a friend of mine has done an awful lot of research into which English DVDs can be bought with a French language option (she has also helpfully noted the other available language options).

I have added this list to the DVD section of my resource page which can be accessed by the "Resource" tab at the top of this page.

Many of the DVDs on the list are far cheaper to buy (through than their French counterparts (through even before you discount the cost of international postage.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

January's Carnival

It's that time again... the Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism is being hosted by Cordelia over at Multilingual Mama this month.

Thanks Cordelia.

You can access the entries via this link. What a great selection of posts.

I get excited each month in the run up to every new Carnival - I find it so inspiring that so many of us come together to share and support each other in this way.

Happy reading.