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Laloulah
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mitschie matschie matschen

February 4th, 2014
As we continue to watch 'Jonalu' as part of our German diet, it is interesting seeing the boys trying to engage with it. The stories are divided up into sections- with two or three songs interspersed throughout the episode. These songs are often repeated, so then it is easier to sing along. And they also have actions. Amazing how connected the body is- when you move your arms and legs, somehow it becomes easier to mimic and remember strange words. But the boys are really experimenting with the sounds of German. Like the 18 month old who approximates the sounds that they hear every day and come out with 'toddler talk'. I find this is happening to the boys. They are pronouncing the sounds correctly, and they make up words that 'Sound German'. But are really in that pre-verbal stage. Maybe I'll wake up one morning and they'll have gone native!

and here comes the slump

January 29th, 2014
Like the old adage- what goes up, must come down. We had the triumph of my last post where my youngest said that French was a part of his brain. And then, last week as I was trying to finalise plans for my return to work, he declared he didn't want to learn anymore French adn German. And when it looked like he would have to accompany me to a French club as a student while I taught,(more on that later in the week) he really wasn't impressed. So, we just bumble along, making things up as we go. He refused to watch German TV one morning, but realised that his brother would then watch more TV than him and as it was his choice (which I pointed out to him) he couldn't say it was unfair. "Oh al...RIGHT" he moaned while I said yay! inside. Sneaky Mummy.

big day for trilingualism in our family

January 24th, 2014
We were getting ready to go out and as he was putting his shoes on, my youngest stunned me with this statement. "Mum, you know how there are separate folders on our computer, with different names?" I replied that I did. He continued, "Well, when you speak in French to me, it's like I go that folder and open it, and then there's French in my brain." Can you believe it? Can you honestly believe it? I was blown over. He had explained so clearly and succinctly, in his five year old way, how his brain accesses the different parts of itself. And to have enough French IN his brain to have its own folder! What a joy! What a triumph! I am still pinching myself to make sure I am not dreaming.

Jonalu

January 22nd, 2014
Jonalu is a German TV show I have known about for a while, but the kids have never seemed interested. SO we started off this morning with the usual "Igam Ogam" clip. This morning was "Das ist komisch" (that's funny/strange) and the boys had a good laugh with Papasaurus and his incredible snoring. Then they noticed a robot in the thumbnails on the side and they desperately wanted to see that. So I let them. I'm glad I did! Jonalu incorporates actions and singing and because it was all about a robot that goes silly, it held the boys attention for the entire 24 minutes. M even picked up the word "Noch mals" that we have seen in Igam Ogam before. How exciting was that! But even more exciting, there is a character called Scottie in the program. He is a spider who speaks English, and the mice translate for him into German! The boys were rapt. When they went off to play lego afterwards they were talking about the linguistic skills of their robbers. They decided two would speak German, two would speak French and two speak English! Love it!

Was sind deine Hobbys?

January 21st, 2014
We were having dinner tonight and generally mucking around with language as we do. Suddenly, my eldest came out with "deine Hobbys". Absolutely no idea where he got that from. But I rushed to capitalise on it. I repeated, "Deine Hobbys. Was sind Deine Hobbys?" (Your hobbies. What are your hobbies?) Then I mimed some words - lesen (reading) schlafen (sleeping) and schwimmen (swimming). The boys guessed these easily. They then made the suggestion of what I don't like to do. So I taught them, "Was magst du nicht?" (What don't you like) And I came up with laufen (running) and Haifische (sharks). The boys were able to repeat the structures beautifully and really enjoyed guessing the words. And it all stemmed so naturally from what they were interested in at the time. Good one!

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