Friday, 30 November 2012

The Things They Say.....Hairy Noses :D

Poppette (25.5 months) is now talking in sentences using verbs, nouns and adjectives although she is not yet adding in the "he's, she's it's, the's or a's etc"....

Everyday she has me in stitches.

Everyday she makes my jaw drop with the words she knows.

Yesterday, I caught her tucking her Doudou into bed and saying saying "Fais [de] beaux rêves" [sweet dreams].

I've decided to start keeping a track of some of the classics so I don't forget. The children are growing and changing so quickly that it would be easy to forget some of these gems when others occur and take their place.

Yesterday morning, the first thing Poppette said to me when she woke was "X (name removed to protect the innocent :D ) poils nez, oui c'est ça" [X hairs nose, yes that's right]. The things they say !!! Honestly!!!

The background to this little phrase is that we had a visitor a few weeks ago and Poppette noticed the hairs in his nostrils. Being the curious little girl that she is this really caught her attention. The thing about Poppette is that she has a memory like an elephant. The hairs may be gone but the memory is deeply rooted :D

Monday, 26 November 2012

Guest Post for Ma Puce : Bilingualism and My Family

When an email dropped into my inbox recently from Luci McQuitty, the brains behind Ma Puce, asking me to do a guest post, I jumped at the chance.

Ma Puce is an online resource aimed at helping parents teach their 0 - 6 year old children French. It started out as Luci's way to focus her efforts on teaching her own daughter French and grew from there. It's a great place for non-native parents to get advice, resource ideas and honest product reviews and I hope that, by sharing my family's story, I can help Luci in her bid to help others find the confidence to take the plunge and speak French to their own children.

Head over to Ma Puce (by clicking here) to read my post about bilingualism and my family.

In the post, you will also find a link to a giveaway of Be Bilingual, a great new eguide on bilingualism which is due to be published shortly. 

The book is written by Annika  Bourgogne, a trilingual mother of two girls who is, like me, extremely passionate about bi/multilingualism. I recently read Annika's manuscript and it takes the top spot on the list of books that I have read on bilingualism (and i've read a few!!!). It summarises what the experts are saying and what actual bilingual families are saying and is packed full of tried and tested tips and resource ideas. You can read an excerpt of the book by clicking here.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Le soleil se cache derrière les nuages...The sun is hiding behind the clouds

Two weeks after her 2nd birthday, Poppette spoke her first gramatically correct four word sentence. She was happily drinking her milk first thing in the morning when Little Man started to grumble to let us know that he was also rather hungry....Poppette looked over to him and announced "Bébé boit milk too" i.e. Baby drinks milk too.

I was really pleased on two levels...obviously from a language perspective this is fab...she may have mixed up her languages but she did so perfectly!! and I was also chuffed to bits at the obvious care and concern Poppette has for her younger brother.

Poppette is now almost 25 months old and her language is coming on in leaps and bounds. Papa has actually said recently that Poppette now often says things in French that he cannot understand. This is not a problem for him as he feels it is a small price to pay in exchange for his children getting the gift of bilingualism. It does, however, indicate that Poppette is beggining to use more complex vocabulary.

Yesterday we were in the car when she exclaimed "soleil cache derrière nuages" i.e. le soleil se cache derrière les nuages [the sun is hiding behind the clouds]. To be honest, she couldn't have timed it better as I have been a little despondent about this whole bilingual endeavour over the past few weeks. It can be quite exhausting always trying to think around ways to chat about things that you may never have thought about before in your second language. It can feel like trying to cram for a test.....every day. Add to that the fact that research suggests that the more the majority language exposure increases at the expense of the minority language the more of an upward struggle you will have to maintain your child's bilingualism.....and, well, it can feel like you're onto a losing battle. Both Poppette and Little Man will be in nursery 5 days a week from January :(

Rather than wallow in the why it might not work blues.... I am writing this post as a reminder to myself of just how far we have come in the two short years since my daughter's birth.

Poppette can count to ten in both English and French and does so all the time. I'd love to peak inside her head to see what influences her decision to pick one language over the other when she is playing alone.

We are still working on colours in both languages.  She definitley knows rouge/red in both languages  - as for the other colours, some days she gets them right and other days she doesn't so sometimes I am unsure whether she may just have guessed really well :D. Her knowledge of colours is definitley stronger in English right now.

We have been having regular playdates with a really lovely little French girl (5 months Poppette's senior) over the past few months. They play so well together, running around holding hands and giggling. It's such a pleasure to watch their friendship blossom. I have been really happy to note that when this young girl's mum chats away in French with Poppette, she understands perfectly. A good friendship has blossomed between us mamans too. Unfortunately, a move back to France in on the cards for them next month so our get togethers will have to come to an end.

Poppette's favourite mot du jour since this weekend is d'accord [ok]. She just came out with it whilst we were chatting and has not stopped saying it since.... much better than her other favourite word "noooooooo"!!!

At the moment she vascilates between speaking loads of French with me (about 80/20) to speaking about 50/50. That said, she only seems to speak French to other people if she doesn't know a word in English or perhaps favours the French word. Her language with Papa in the main is English although, although she peppers her converstaions with him with French words and phrases...some of which Papa understands and others that he doesn't.

I am trying to lift my game as far as Little Man is concerned and try to speak to him exclusively in French now. It still feels a little alien at times but I know it felt just the same when Poppette was tiny too.