Saturday, 1 December 2012

Non-Native Thought for the Day #4

As I heard Poppette (25.5 months) "reading" out loud to herself in French recently, it struck me that there are ways in which her use of her minority language can be optimised. As you can imagine, this brought quite a smile to my face :D

When I say "reading", I mean that Poppette was telling herself the story from memory as she looked at the pages in her book. Toddler's memories are like sponges and Poppette has memorised loads of her favourite stories.

Some of Poppette and Little Man's books are in both languages, others are in just one. Where Poppette has only heard a story in French, naturally, when she "reads" it to herself, she does so in French.... and when I think about it, it's obviously the same for experiences that she has only experienced in French too such as un tour de manège [a ride on the merry go round] which she excitedly chatters about all the time at the moment. new non-native resolution is to try and step up the new experiences and language learning opportunities that we have and help Poppette to learn about these things in French first. I'm really hoping that this will help to keep the language as alive as possible, give Poppette a very good reason to continue to speak French and, hopefully, help to prevent the English immersion experience at nursery from overpowering our bilingual endeavour.


  1. Great that you're preparing for the immersion nursery already, as I know the dominance of the majority language at this stage can take parents by surprise. I've recommended a CD for you via my comments box (Baby's First Words In French) and I would just gather any French speaking materials you can at this point to really surround her with native French voices :-) My kids are both big fans of the LeapFrog talking books. You can also find some great talking toys, we had a bilingual singing guitar when they were smaller!

    1. Hi Tallulah... it really helps that you're several steps ahead of me with all this!! I really appreciate all your support and advice. Thank you :D